Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus)



The Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus) is primarily an insectivore, but it's also the only warbler that eats large quantities of seeds, primarily those of pines.   During the winter, it often joins mixed flocks of birds.  Among our yard birds, we see it at both the sunflower seed and suet feeders.  At the sunflower seed feeder, the Pine Warbler is probably foraging for bits of broken sunflower seeds left by other birds whose beaks are more suited to cracking open a sunflower seed.  However, Cornell Labs says it can open seeds "by placing them in bark crevices and hammering with bill."




Depending upon whose range map one consults, the Arkansas Ozarks are either within the Pine Warblers year round range or right on the edge of both a year round and migratory range. Some Pine Warblers live year round in the southeastern US.  Others breed in the northeast and migrate south during the winter.  The key factor is habitat.  Pine Warblers require pine trees.  Our woods are mixed hardwoods and pines.


I've never seen a Pine Warbler except during the winter, but that proves nothing.  If it were still here during the summer, the warbler would be nesting and foraging for insects high in our pine trees and I'd be unlikely to see it.





While the Pine Warbler superficially looks something like an American Goldfinch, there are also many obvious differences:  Bill shape, body shape, wingbar placement, etc.  The Hilton Pond Center website discusses these difference in detail complete with photographs.




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24 comments:

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I love your blog! Kind of embarrassed to call myself a birder when compared to you, but I am trying to learn more -- and learn more photo. skills as well!
Thanks for sharing both your knowledge and your wonderful pictures.

The cuckoo bee post below was great as well.

cindyzlogic said...

A beautiful Warbler!! I have not seen a Warbler yet...something to look forward to :-)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We usually only see Pine Warblers during migration. Some years we don't see them at all. You are so lucky that they winter with you.

Marvin said...

Sallie: I'm not really a birder. I'm interested in learning what I can about all the flora and fauna in our extended "yard", and that includes the birds.

When it comes to identifying birds, I'm fortunate that my wife grew up birding. Though shes semi-retired now (doesn't keep a life list or travel to add new birds) her ID skills are still pretty good.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Hmmm.. I wonder if I have Pine Warblers and just think I have been seeing Goldfinches? I'll have to get the binoculars in play.

I always enjoy the photos and information you share, Marvin.

NicoleB said...

Didn't I leave a comment on this one? *scratches head*
Those are for sure some beautiful fellas. And they seem to enjoy the pickings big time :)

MyMaracas said...

Cute little guys. I'm not sure I could tell one apart from a goldfinch, but we seem to be outside their range here in Indiana. Again - love that feeder.

Rambling Woods said...

I love how you share information as I always learn something from you Marvin and today is no exception... Michelle

Leora said...

He is a sweet looking bird! Thanks for teaching me about the pine warbler.

Johnny Nutcase said...

aw these guys are so cute. I love that last one where he's looking up at the other warbler- cute!

Kelly said...

...great post. I love the photos of these fellas, especially the last one. Did your wife make the really cool feeder? I love it!

KaHolly said...

We have them during the summer months up in Cape Breton. Great, informative post. As always. Thanks, karen

Gary said...

Beautiful series!! They are close to the goldfinch, but not quite. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Bill S. said...

what a wonderful post. I have never seen a pine warbler, but that is one of my goals. Thanks.

Fotokarusellen said...

Thank you for information. A beautiful set of photos. Well done!

mick said...

A very interesting post and nice photos.

Sondra said...

I love the Pine Warbler they are really getting yellow now in preparation for breeding and I really enjoy the shrill twill call the make!

Andrew said...

Lovely images and info. Many thanks for sharing.

Frank said...

Interesting post Marvin. This is one species I do remember seeing in Texas in the autumn but sadly no pictures. Cheers FAB.

Springman said...

Wonderful post Marvin! Your affection for these little guys is obvious in your neat photos and informative text. I have to find out if the Pine Warbler brightens up in the spring like its look alike goldfinch does. Cheers!

holdingmoments said...

Beautiful captures of a lovely bird.

bailey-road.com said...

Great,informative post! Love the photos!

phylliso said...

I know what you mean by how long some sites take to load.I just changed my blog around & it takes ME to get on it a little longer.I hate to redo it again,so time consuming.
You blog is beautiful & full of info.Thanks for sharing your warbler photos.phyllis

Larry said...

Excellent photos and good information on the beautiful Pine Warbler Marvin.