Setophaga cerulea - (Wilson, 1810)
Cerulean Warbler
Other English Common Names: cerulean warbler
Other Common Names: Mariquita-Azul
Synonym(s): Dendroica cerulea (Wilson, 1810)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Dendroica cerulea (A. Wilson, 1810) (TSN 178903)
French Common Names: Paruline azurée
Spanish Common Names: Chipe Cerúleo
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101759
Element Code: ABPBX03240
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Perching Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Passeriformes Parulidae Setophaga
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Dendroica cerulea
Taxonomic Comments: Phylogenetic analyses of sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (Lovette et al. 2010) indicate that all species formerly placed in Dendroica, one species formerly placed in Wilsonia (citrina), and two species formerly placed in Parula (americana and pitiayumi) form a clade with the single species traditionally placed in Setophaga (ruticilla). The generic name Setophaga has priority for this clade (AOU 2011).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 03Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Large breeding range in eastern North America, but declining, even with population expansion in some areas; decline apparently is due primarily to habitat loss and fragmentation, with the greatest effect perhaps occurring in the winter range in South America.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4B (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3B,NUM (14Dec2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S1B), Arkansas (S4B), Connecticut (S3B), Delaware (S1B), District of Columbia (S2N), Florida (SNA), Georgia (S1), Illinois (S3), Indiana (S3B), Iowa (S2B,S3N), Kansas (S1B), Kentucky (S4B), Louisiana (S1B), Maryland (S3B), Massachusetts (S1B,S2M), Michigan (S3), Minnesota (S3B), Mississippi (S2B), Missouri (S2S3), Nebraska (S2), New Hampshire (S3B), New Jersey (S3B,S3N), New York (S3?B), North Carolina (S2B), Ohio (S4), Oklahoma (S2B), Pennsylvania (S4B), Rhode Island (S1B,S2N), South Carolina (S1?B), South Dakota (S1B), Tennessee (S3B), Texas (SHB,S3N), Vermont (S1S2B), Virginia (S3S4B), West Virginia (S2B), Wisconsin (S2S3B)
Canada Ontario (S3B), Quebec (S1B)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: E (12Jan2005)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Endangered (26Nov2010)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: This sky-blue forest songbird is at the northern edge of its breeding range in Canada. Relying on relatively large tracts of undisturbed hardwood forest, it has rather specialized habitat requirements on both its breeding and wintering grounds. Its population has been experiencing significant declines across most of its range since the 1960s and the present Canadian population is estimated at about only 1000 individuals. These declines are believed to be driven mostly by loss and degradation of this species' wintering habitat, which is restricted to montane forests in the northern Andes of South America. It is also threatened by habitat loss and degradation on its breeding grounds. There is evidence for continuing declines. Also, new information on demographics suggests that chances for population rescue in Canada are lower than previously thought.

Status history: Designated Special Concern in April 1993. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2003. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in November 2010.

IUCN Red List Category: VU - Vulnerable

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: southeastern Nebraska across southern Great Lakes region to southern Ontario, southwestern Quebec, and western New England, south to northern Texas, central Georgia and Alabama, western North Carolina, and Maryland (AOU 1983). Most abundant in the Cumberland Plateau and surrounding regions (S. Droege, pers. comm.). NON-BREEDING: primarily in a narrow elevational zone (500-1800 m) on the eastern slopes of the Andes from Colombia and Venezuela through Ecuador to Peru (AOU 1983); relatively few overwinter elsewhere, though a small population exists in the tepui region of Venezuela (Robbins et al. 1992). MIGRATION: in spring through the West Indies, Bahamas, and eastern North America. In fall across northeastern North America to New England and the Maritimes, then over water through Bermuda and the Lesser Antilles to South America (AOU 1983) through Venezuela and Colombia (where a few may winter). Rare transient in Central America (more common farther south); rare or accidental in eastern Mexico and the Caribbean. Birdlife International (2014) provides an estimate of 815,000 square kilometters.

Area of Occupancy: 2,501 to >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: An estimate. There are no data on home range size of Cerulean Warblers (Buehler, Harnel, and Boves, 2013) but the population size estimate would suggest that occupancy would at least meet the lower value of the occupancy range.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Species range is quite large, encompassing the eastern U.S.,so there are undoubtedly at least 81 EOs at the present time.

Population Size: 100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Partners in Flgiht (2013) has an estimate of 600,000 for this species while National Audubon Society (2014) has an estimate of 560,000

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Estimate based on population size

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The fact that the rangewide decline in numbers is most severe in the center of their range, where the highest numbers of individuals are recorded on the BBS, is a cause for concern. Threats and limiting factors most frequently mentioned are destruction of both breeding and wintering habitat. In each case, human agency is associated with the destruction as the primary threat. The traits of the species as a single brooded, forest nesting neotropical migrant are believed to be the features that put the species at risk for population decline resulting from habitat destruction. Habitat destruction may operate at three different scales by three different mechanisms. First, as potential habitats are destroyed, the gross area of habitat is reduced and the carrying capacity of the breeding or wintering range is reduced in proportion to the reduction in area. While this threat is straightforward and undeniable, it has not proceeded to the point that it alone is threatening the population with extinction rangewide. Second, the manner in which the reduction in gross area occurs can affect the actual carrying capacity of the remaining habitat. Evidently, patches of habitat below a certain size are simply not capable of supporting breeding birds (Robbins et al. 1989). Whether this is also true in the wintering range is unknown. Third, some evidence indicates that certain tree species of apparent importance to the birds may be experiencing rangewide declines in vigor as a result of as yet undetermined factors (Robbins et al. 1992). Hands et al. (1989) list contaminants, predation, competition, diseases/parasites, weather, and human disturbance as additional potential limiting factors. Hands et al. (1989) comment that red squirrels (TAMIASCIURUS HUDSONIUS) may depredate the nests, and note the red-eyed vireo (VIREO OLIVACEUS), northern parula (PARULA AMERICANA), and yellow-throated warbler (DENDROICA DOMINICA) as possible competitors. Robbins et al. (1992) indicate that nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (MOLOTHRUS ATER) is a likely factor in the decline. Nest parasitism by cowbirds is at least part of the mechanism by which the forest fragmentation effect is manifested (Hamel 1992). No specific causal connection of the decline to any particular factor has been investigated or demonstrated. Several factors are involved in synergy and protection efforts will be required before the complex of causes can be proved beyond a doubt. Fragmentation is not the cause of the reduction in populations of the birds in small tracts, but rather the precursor that permits the operation of that causal factor. Expanding range of the shiny cowbird (MOLOTHRUS BONARIENSIS) poses a potential threat (Robbins et al. 1992). Warbler disturbance by humans is primarily by destroying and degrading mature forests. This suggests that management plans should include education programs for land owners and managers of the habitat needs of the warbler. Emphasis in these programs should be on the need for protection of large tracts of mature, deciduous, primarily lowland forests (Hands et al. 1989).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate a significant population decline in eastern North America, 1966-1994; decline was 49.5% between 1966 and 1993, a nonsignificant 17.2% between 1984 and 1993 (Price et al. 1995). The decline has been most pronounced in the core of the breeding range (Robbins et al. 1992). Population size has declined across range in eastern U.S., but species has expanded range, particularly in the Northeastern U.S. and Ontario, perhaps in response to forest maturation (Hamel 1992, Oliarnyk and Robertson 1996). See Hands et al. (1989) for information on status in the north-central U.S. See McCracken (1993) for information on status in Canada (fairly stable). The latest BBS results show a -1.95% annual decline over the 2002 - 2012 BBS surveys, which translates to an 80% decline overall during this short time period (Sauer, et. al. 2014).

Long-term Trend: Decline of >70%
Long-term Trend Comments: The BBS data show a -3.02% annual decline over the 1996 - 2012 time period, a 75% decline (Sauer, et. al. 2014). Cerulean Warblers have shown one of the steepest decline of any warbler species (National Audubon Society, 2014).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly to moderately vulnerable.
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This species is typically found in mature forested areas with large tall trees of broad-leaved, deciduous species and an open understory (National Audubon Society, 2014). Such areas are threatened due to habitat degradation and forest fragmentation with human population growth and land use changes. Winter habitat is being destroyed for production of coffee beans and coca (National Audubon Society, 2014).

Environmental Specificity: Narrow to moderate.
Environmental Specificity Comments: This species primarilyi uses mature forests but may also inhabit wet bottomlands, second-growth forests, and mesic upland slopes (National Audubon Society, 2014).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Inventory this species on its wintering grounds and its relative abundance by habitat type and land use (Buehler, Hanel, and Boves, 2013).

Protection Needs: Current conservation projects include habitat acquisition and protection, which considers the minimum amount of land necessary to support the Cerulean Warbler; land acquisition and protection by various agencies and local land trusts; and the Cerulean Warbler Atlas Project by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that seeks to learn more about where Ceruleans are and their habitat needs. Land management that supports Ceruleans would involve maintaining forests with distinct canopy layers. Because the Cerulean is also an area-sensitive species, meaning that it requires a large tract of suitable forest cover, management at the landscape level also needs to be considered. Ideally, large tracts of suitable habitat should be self-sustaining. (National Audubon Society, 2014).

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: southeastern Nebraska across southern Great Lakes region to southern Ontario, southwestern Quebec, and western New England, south to northern Texas, central Georgia and Alabama, western North Carolina, and Maryland (AOU 1983). Most abundant in the Cumberland Plateau and surrounding regions (S. Droege, pers. comm.). NON-BREEDING: primarily in a narrow elevational zone (500-1800 m) on the eastern slopes of the Andes from Colombia and Venezuela through Ecuador to Peru (AOU 1983); relatively few overwinter elsewhere, though a small population exists in the tepui region of Venezuela (Robbins et al. 1992). MIGRATION: in spring through the West Indies, Bahamas, and eastern North America. In fall across northeastern North America to New England and the Maritimes, then over water through Bermuda and the Lesser Antilles to South America (AOU 1983) through Venezuela and Colombia (where a few may winter). Rare transient in Central America (more common farther south); rare or accidental in eastern Mexico and the Caribbean. Birdlife International (2014) provides an estimate of 815,000 square kilometters.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada ON, QC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Crawford (05033), Desha (05041), Franklin (05047), Montgomery (05097), Newton (05101), Pike (05109), Polk (05113), Pope (05115), Union (05139)
CT Litchfield (09005), Middlesex (09007), New London (09011), Tolland (09013), Windham (09015)
DE New Castle (10003)
IA Allamakee (19005), Clinton (19045), Scott (19163)
IL Adams (17001), Brown (17009), Bureau (17011), Carroll (17015), Crawford (17033), Edgar (17045), Fayette (17051), Gallatin (17059), Jackson (17077), Jo Daviess (17085), La Salle (17099), Lake (17097), Lawrence (17101), Monroe (17133), Ogle (17141), Rock Island (17161), Tazewell (17179), Union (17181), Wabash (17185), Winnebago (17201)
IN Allen (18003), Bartholomew (18005), Boone (18011), Brown (18013), Clark (18019), Crawford (18025), Dubois (18037), Fayette (18041), Floyd (18043), Fountain (18045), Hamilton (18057), Hancock (18059), Harrison (18061), Hendricks (18063), Jackson (18071), Jefferson (18077), Jennings (18079), Johnson (18081), Kosciusko (18085), La Porte (18091), Lagrange (18087), Marion (18097), Marshall (18099), Martin (18101), Monroe (18105), Montgomery (18107), Morgan (18109), Newton (18111), Owen (18119), Parke (18121), Perry (18123), Pike (18125), Porter (18127), Posey (18129), Pulaski (18131), Putnam (18133), Ripley (18137), Spencer (18147), St. Joseph (18141), Starke (18149), Steuben (18151), Tippecanoe (18157), Union (18161), Wabash (18169), Warren (18171), Warrick (18173), Washington (18175)
KS Anderson (20003), Doniphan (20043), Labette (20099), Leavenworth (20103), Linn (20107)
LA Madison (22065)*
MI Alcona (26001), Alger (26003)*, Allegan (26005), Barry (26015), Berrien (26021), Calhoun (26025), Cass (26027), Clinton (26037), Gratiot (26057), Hillsdale (26059), Ingham (26065), Ionia (26067), Iosco (26069), Jackson (26075), Kalamazoo (26077), Kent (26081), Lapeer (26087), Livingston (26093), Manistee (26101), Mason (26105), Montcalm (26117), Muskegon (26121), Oakland (26125), Oceana (26127), Oscoda (26135), St. Clair (26147), St. Joseph (26149), Tuscola (26157), Van Buren (26159), Washtenaw (26161), Wayne (26163)
MN Anoka (27003)*, Becker (27005), Benton (27009)*, Brown (27015), Carver (27019), Chisago (27025), Crow Wing (27035), Dakota (27037), Douglas (27041), Fillmore (27045), Goodhue (27049), Hennepin (27053), Houston (27055), Isanti (27059), Kanabec (27065), Kandiyohi (27067), Mahnomen (27087)*, Meeker (27093)*, Mille Lacs (27095), Morrison (27097), Nicollet (27103), Olmsted (27109), Otter Tail (27111), Pine (27115), Pope (27121), Rice (27131), Scott (27139), Sibley (27143), Stearns (27145), Todd (27153), Wabasha (27157), Washington (27163), Winona (27169), Wright (27171)
MO Barry (29009), Butler (29023), Carter (29035), Clark (29045), Crawford (29055), Dallas (29059), Franklin (29071), Lewis (29111), Linn (29115), Macon (29121), Oregon (29149), Ozark (29153), Phelps (29161), Pulaski (29169), Putnam (29171), Reynolds (29179), Scotland (29199), Shannon (29203), Shelby (29205), Sullivan (29211), Texas (29215), Washington (29221), Wayne (29223)
NC Alleghany (37005)*, Bertie (37015), Buncombe (37021), Caldwell (37027), Clay (37043), Graham (37075), Halifax (37083), Haywood (37087), Henderson (37089), Johnston (37101)*, Macon (37113), Madison (37115), Martin (37117), McDowell (37111), Mitchell (37121), Northampton (37131), Polk (37149), Rutherford (37161), Swain (37173), Transylvania (37175), Watauga (37189), Wilkes (37193)*, Yancey (37199)
NE Brown (31017), Dakota (31043), Douglas (31055), Nemaha (31127), Richardson (31147), Sarpy (31153), Thurston (31173), Washington (31177)
NH Cheshire (33005), Rockingham (33015)
NJ Bergen (34003), Cumberland (34011), Morris (34027), Ocean (34029), Passaic (34031), Sussex (34037), Warren (34041)
OH Athens (39009), Hocking (39073), Jackson (39079), Lawrence (39087), Morgan (39115), Portage (39133), Vinton (39163), Wayne (39169)
OK Le Flore (40079)
RI Kent (44003)
SD Lincoln (46083)
TN Anderson (47001), Campbell (47013), Cheatham (47021), Davidson (47037), DeKalb (47041), Fentress (47049), Franklin (47051), Grundy (47061), Hardeman (47069), Haywood (47075), Henderson (47077), Hickman (47081), Lauderdale (47097), Lawrence (47099), Lewis (47101), Marion (47115), Monroe (47123), Morgan (47129), Obion (47131), Overton (47133), Perry (47135), Putnam (47141), Scott (47151), Shelby (47157), Stewart (47161), Williamson (47187)
TX Brown (48049)*
VT Addison (50001), Chittenden (50007), Franklin (50011), Rutland (50021)
WI Adams (55001), Ashland (55003), Bayfield (55007), Buffalo (55011), Chippewa (55017), Clark (55019), Columbia (55021), Crawford (55023), Dane (55025), Douglas (55031), Fond Du Lac (55039), Forest (55041), Grant (55043), Green (55045), Green Lake (55047), Iowa (55049), Jackson (55053), Jefferson (55055), Juneau (55057), La Crosse (55063), Lincoln (55069), Manitowoc (55071), Marathon (55073), Marinette (55075), Marquette (55077), Monroe (55081), Oconto (55083), Oneida (55085), Outagamie (55087), Pepin (55091), Pierce (55093), Polk (55095), Price (55099), Richland (55103), Rock (55105), Sauk (55111), Sawyer (55113), Shawano (55115), Sheboygan (55117), St. Croix (55109), Taylor (55119), Trempealeau (55121), Vernon (55123), Vilas (55125), Walworth (55127), Washington (55131), Waukesha (55133), Waupaca (55135), Winnebago (55139)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Piscataqua-Salmon Falls (01060003)+, West (01080107)+, Lower Connecticut (01080205)+, Farmington (01080207)+*, Pawcatuck-Wood (01090005)+, Quinebaug (01100001)+, Shetucket (01100002)+, Thames (01100003)+, Housatonic (01100005)+
02 Rondout (02020007)+, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+
03 Lower Roanoke (03010107)+, Upper Neuse (03020201)+*, Upper Yadkin (03040101)+, Upper Catawba (03050101)+, Upper Broad (03050105)+
04 Beartrap-Nemadji (04010301)+, Bad-Montreal (04010302)+, Betsy-Chocolay (04020201)+*, Manitowoc-Sheboygan (04030101)+, Oconto (04030104)+, Peshtigo (04030105)+, Upper Fox (04030201)+, Wolf (04030202)+, Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+, Milwaukee (04040003)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+, Black-Macatawa (04050002)+, Kalamazoo (04050003)+, Upper Grand (04050004)+, Maple (04050005)+, Lower Grand (04050006)+, Thornapple (04050007)+, Pere Marquette-White (04060101)+, Muskegon (04060102)+, Manistee (04060103)+, Au Sable (04070007)+, Shiawassee (04080203)+, Flint (04080204)+, Cass (04080205)+, St. Clair (04090001)+, Lake St. Clair (04090002)+, Huron (04090005)+, St. Joseph (04100003)+, St. Marys (04100004)+, Mettawee River (04150401)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+
05 Mahoning (05030103)+, Hocking (05030204)+, Walhonding (05040003)+, Upper New (05050001)+*, Lower Scioto (05060002)+, Whitewater (05080003)+, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)+, Little Scioto-Tygarts (05090103)+, Upper Wabash (05120101)+, Salamonie (05120102)+, Middle Wabash-Deer (05120105)+, Tippecanoe (05120106)+, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+, Sugar (05120110)+, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+, Embarras (05120112)+, Lower Wabash (05120113)+, Upper White (05120201)+, Lower White (05120202)+, Eel (05120203)+, Driftwood (05120204)+, Muscatatuck (05120207)+, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+, Patoka (05120209)+, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+, Obey (05130105)+, Upper Cumberland-Cordell Hull (05130106)+, Collins (05130107)+, Caney (05130108)+, Lower Cumberland-Sycamore (05130202)+, Harpeth (05130204)+, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+, Lower Ohio-Little Pigeon (05140201)+, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)+
06 Upper French Broad (06010105)+, Pigeon (06010106)+, Nolichucky (06010108)+, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+, Upper Clinch (06010205)+, Lower Clinch (06010207)+*, Emory (06010208)+, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Hiwassee (06020002)+, Guntersville Lake (06030001)+, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001)+, Lower Duck (06040003)+, Buffalo (06040004)+
07 Elk-Nokasippi (07010104)+, Long Prairie (07010108)+, Platte-Spunk (07010201)+, Sauk (07010202)+, Clearwater-Elk (07010203)+, Crow (07010204)+, South Fork Crow (07010205)+*, Twin Cities (07010206)+, Rum (07010207)+, Chippewa (07020005)+, Middle Minnesota (07020007)+, Cottonwood (07020008)+, Lower Minnesota (07020012)+, Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Kettle (07030003)+, Snake (07030004)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Rush-Vermillion (07040001)+, Cannon (07040002)+, Buffalo-Whitewater (07040003)+, Zumbro (07040004)+, Trempealeau (07040005)+, La Crosse-Pine (07040006)+, Black (07040007)+, Root (07040008)+, Upper Chippewa (07050001)+, Flambeau (07050002)+, Lower Chippewa (07050005)+, Eau Claire (07050006)+, Coon-Yellow (07060001)+, Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003)+, Apple-Plum (07060005)+, Upper Wisconsin (07070001)+, Lake Dubay (07070002)+, Castle Rock (07070003)+, Baraboo (07070004)+, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+, Kickapoo (07070006)+, Copperas-Duck (07080101)+, Lower Wapsipinicon (07080103)+, Upper Rock (07090001)+, Crawfish (07090002)+, Pecatonica (07090003)+, Sugar (07090004)+, Lower Rock (07090005)+, Bear-Wyaconda (07110001)+, North Fabius (07110002)+, The Sny (07110004)+, North Fork Salt (07110005)+, Kankakee (07120001)+, Iroquois (07120002)+, Des Plaines (07120004)+*, Upper Fox (07120006)+, Lower Illinois-Senachwine Lake (07130001)+, Vermilion (07130002)+, Mackinaw (07130004)+, Lower Illinois (07130011)+, Cahokia-Joachim (07140101)+, Meramec (07140102)+, Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105)+, Big Muddy (07140106)+, Middle Kaskaskia (07140202)+
08 Lower Mississippi-Memphis (08010100)+, Obion (08010202)+, Lower Hatchie (08010208)+, Upper St. Francis (08020202)+, Lower Arkansas (08020401)+, Lower Mississippi-Greenville (08030100)+, Little Missouri (08040103)+, Lower Ouachita-Bayou De Loutre (08040202)+, Tensas (08050003)+*
09 Otter Tail (09020103)+, Buffalo (09020106)+, Eastern Wild Rice (09020108)+*
10 Middle Niobrara (10150004)+, Lower Big Sioux (10170203)+, Blackbird-Soldier (10230001)+, Big Papillion-Mosquito (10230006)+, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Independence-Sugar (10240011)+, Lower Grand (10280103)+, Upper Chariton (10280201)+, Lower Chariton (10280202)+, Little Chariton (10280203)+, Upper Marais Des Cygnes (10290101)+, Lower Marais Des Cygnes (10290102)+, Niangua (10290110)+, Upper Gasconade (10290201)+, Big Piney (10290202)+
11 Beaver Reservoir (11010001)+, Buffalo (11010005)+, North Fork White (11010006)+, Upper Black (11010007)+, Current (11010008)+, Eleven Point (11010011)+, Middle Neosho (11070205)+, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104)+, Poteau (11110105)+, Frog-Mulberry (11110201)+, Dardanelle Reservoir (11110202)+, Mountain Fork (11140108)+, Lower Little (11140109)+
12 Middle Colorado (12090106)+*, Pecan Bayou (12090107)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small (12-cm) canopy-dwelling bird (wood warbler).
General Description: Plumage of adult male is bright blue above and white below with a dark blue or black line across the throat. On the wing are two white wingbars. The feathers of the back have distinct black centers and the flanks are streaked with black. Flight feathers are black edged with blue and the alula and primary coverts are black (Pyle et al. 1987).

Plumage of adult female is greenish above and washed with blue, especially on the rump; the underparts are washed with yellow, the flanks have indistinct black streaking, the flight feathers are blackish edged with bluish-green, and the alula and primary coverts are blackish.

Juvenal plumage is brownish-gray above, with a pale median crown stripe and entirely white underparts. Young females (hatching year/second year) have brownish flight feathers edged with greenish-yellow and brownish alula and primary coverts. Young males have brownish-black flight feathers edged grayish-green, with brownish-black alula and primary coverts.

Full adult plumage is acquired at second prebasic molt. Prebasic molt, partial in first summer, and complete in subsequent years, takes place on the breeding grounds. Partial pre-alternate molt apparently takes place on the wintering grounds (Pyle et al. 1987).

This is a small, arboreal, typical DENDROICA warbler. The mean weight of 36 individuals including male and female adults and young was 9.1 gm (s.d. = 0.60 gm, range = 8.1-10.2 gm) (Clench and Leberman 1978). Wing length ranged from 62-70 mm in males (n = 30), and 58-64 mm in females (n = 26); tail length ranged from 38-43 mm (Pyle et al. 1987). Exposed culmen length was 10 mm (Chapman 1917).

VOCALIZATIONS: The buzzy, frequently two-parted song is similar to that of the northern parula (PARULA AMERICANA). The initial portion of the song is measured, with three or four notes, followed by a second part on a higher pitch of a similar number of notes but sung twice as fast, viz., "ZHEE ZHEE ZHEE ZHEE-zhizhizhizhi." The song is distinguished from that of the northern parula in that cerulean warblers do not terminate their song with a rising trill, or with the "tipping over" note with which the northern parulas typically end their songs. However, songs of northern parulas that terminate in neither of these features are very similar to those of cerulean warblers and considerable practice in the field is necessary to distinguish the two quickly and confidently. Saunders (cited in Bent 1953) describes the song as similar to that of the blackburnian warbler (DENDROICA FUSCA), "...but the loudness, different quality, and lower pitch distinguish it." Allen (cited in Bent 1953) renders the song "WEE WEE WEE WEE bzzz". Others note the similarity of the pattern of the song to that of the black-throated blue warbler (DENDROICA CAERULESCENS).

NEST: made of brown bark covered with gray plant material such as lichens and mosses and lined with mosses (Bent 1953, Harrison 1984).

Reproduction Comments: Apparently a monogamous, single brooded species. The compact nest is built by the female on the lateral limbs of a tree and placed at a considerable distance (e.g., 2-7 m: Harrison 1984) from the bole of the tree, usually saddled on a large, lateral branch, attached perhaps to a small protruding twig. The nest is rather shallow for a warbler (Bent 1953). Variation in site selection is considerable, particularly with respect to the distance from the bole. All authors agree that nests are not built near the ground. Heights from 5-20 m are reported by Bent (1953), Harrison (1984), and Hands et al. (1989), and the typical height is probably above the middle of this range.

The female lays three to five, usually four, eggs. Incubation is believed to be about 12 days (Harrison 1975), and nest life of the young is nine to ten days (n = 1: Southern 1962). The young are fed by both parents, and subsequent to fledging, they move first to lower-level vegetation where their parents feed them, and then gradually farther afield as they approach independence.

Ecology Comments: In various areas, the highest breeding density was 82-290 pairs per sq km (Robbins et al. 1992). Little work has been done on wintering ecology. J. Fitzpatrick and S. Robinson (pers. comm.) have observed that birds participate in canopy-foraging flocks of forest insectivores, with only one or two warblers in a particular flock. This implies that the foraging flock is a resource that is actively defended by the individual warbler against conspecifics. Though empirical data to support this hypothesis are lacking, this behavioral tendency could be of critical importance. Single flock membership implies a finite limit to the total population; a limit determined by available space. However, these recent findings are in contrast to the earlier reports of movements of large flocks of warblers (Bent 1953).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: They arrive in North America in April and leave in September for wintering grounds in northern South America. Birds leave the breeding grounds early, perhaps in early July. Records exist of arrival in Ecuador as early as mid-October (Bent 1953).
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: BREEDING: A tentative description of the characteristics of breeding habitat is a structurally mature hardwood forest in a mesic or wetter situation, with a closed canopy. The size of the trees is of primary importance and their species identity secondary. Landscape situation and context has a strong bearing on whether otherwise suitable breeding habitat will actually contain warblers (Hamel 1992). In eastern Ontario, breeding territories were characterized by well-spaced large trees, with high canopies and dense foliage cover at heights between 12-18 meters (Jones and Robertson 2001). Habitat is frequently described as mature deciduous forest, particularly in floodplains or other mesic conditions (Robbins et al. 1992 in Tennessee and Maryland; Kahl et al. 1985 in Missouri). Territories in central and western Tennessee are found in forest stands with numerous large trees. Within the stands, territories are located in the areas with more large trees than is typical for the stand and are absent from the portions with small trees (Hamel 1988, Robbins et al. 1992). Observations of the utilization of forest vegetation found birds in the tree canopy, almost always above the midpoint of the tree, at an average height of 17 m in a 22-m-tall tree. These results somewhat contradict the statements of Morse (1989, citing Anderson and Shugart 1974), that this warbler utilizes habitat components in proportion to their availability.

Robbins et al. (1989) found occurrences to be associated with large tracts of mature, semi-open deciduous forest in Maryland and adjacent states. Distribution of breeding birds was positively correlated with the natural log of forest area (P < 0.01) and the square root of tree basal area (P < 0.05), and negatively correlated with the arcsine of percent canopy cover by coniferous trees (P < 0.05). In Missouri, Kahl et al. (1985, cited in Robbins et al. 1992), found that habitat around song perches was most consistently characterized by a large number of live stems > 30 cm dbh (range = 50-150 per ha), and a high (always > 18 m), closed canopy (> 85%, never < 65%). Other important features included an intermediate number of woody stems < 2.5 cm dbh (1,030-2,800 per ha, never < 1,030), and few dead stems 2.5-9.9 cm dbh (always < 175 per ha).

In North Carolina, a disjunct population occurs in the old-growth, mature floodplain forest communities of well-drained natural levees within 330 m of the Roanoke River (Lynch 1981, cited in Robbins et al. 1992). The dominant canopy species are sycamore (PLATANUS OCCIDENTALIS), green ash (FRAXINUS PENNSYLVANICA), and sugarberry (CELTIS LAEVIGATA). These communities are characterized by a closed canopy ranging in height from 24-30 m, a distinct shrub layer, and complete ground cover.

In the Cumberland Mountains of eastern Tennessee, a dense population occurs at Frozen Head State Natural Area (C.P. Nicholson, pers. comm.). This area's second-growth forest is in advanced growth, with a high, closed canopy of large trees similar to those described above, in mesic cove and slope topography. Forest composition is of a diverse assemblage of hardwood trees. In North Carolina, also found in mature cove hardwood forests on relatively steep slopes with little understory (H. LeGrand, pers. comm.).

Placement of the nest has been described differently by various authors. Nests in tall tree, about 4.5-27 m up (typically high in tree), well out on large branch, often [apparently] near forest opening. More information is needed on nest site preferences, especially the relationship (if any) to canopy gaps (Hamel 1992). Previous summaries of breeding habitat from studies in the 1980s indicate that the forest in which the birds breed is one with a closed canopy. Bent (1953) states that "...the nest is usually placed...over an opening [sic]." A nest discovered in central Tennessee in 1950 was built in an elm at the edge of an opening beside a farmhouse (K.A. Goodpasture, pers. comm.). Bent (1953) describes a nest site that was five meters out on a limb of a tulip-tree (LIRIODENDRON TULIPIFERA), and 14.8 m up "....with no other limb between it and the ground." Harrison (1984) presents a photograph of breeding habitat which shows a discontinuous canopy edge at a forest road.

Several important questions arise from these conflicting indications of nesting habitat. Do cerulean warblers usually nest in continuous, unbroken forest? Do they build their nests in the canopy of the forest where little other vegetation occurs between the nest and the groundcover? Do they typically build their nests in association with canopy gaps in otherwise unbroken forest? Are they indifferent to nest situation, using closed canopy forest, canopy gaps, and the edge between forest and other land uses in proportion to their availability? The literature is insufficiently clear to distinguish these alternatives. Observer bias is certainly possible in reporting nest locations when nest searches were haphazard, as was almost certainly the case in the existing literature. In such a case, nests built in locations that are easy to find would appear with greater relative frequency in the literature than in the field. One further possibility is that current observations may not reflect the preferences of the birds as they existed in the past. Instead, the current situation may be only a remnant of the actual capability of the birds; a remnant produced by the action of limiting factors (Hamel 1992).

NON-BREEDING: Concentrated on the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in western South America. Elevational range is limited to the lower slopes between 500-1,500 m, in precisely the elevation at which human habitat encroachment is proceeding most rapidly (Skutch, cited in Bent 1953; J. Fitzpatrick and S. Robinson, pers. comms.). The winter habitat is mature deciduous forest, also with large trees, although quantitative measurements are so far lacking. This recent information is different than that quoted by Bent (1953, referring to Taczanowski) that the birds range between 10,000-13,000 ft (3,000-4,000 m) in the Peruvian Andes. Terborgh (1989) associates cerulean warblers with montane forests of middle elevations in the Northern Andes. He further indicates that this warbler does not accept disturbed habitats. In migration, occurs in various forest, woodland, second growth, and scrub habitats; forest canopy, gaps and edges, semi-open areas, usually high in trees (Stiles and Skutch 1989). In winter, occurs in forest and woodland borders on mountain slopes, primarily in tall, primary, evergreen forest (Robbins et al. 1992) (deciduous, according to Hamel 1992).

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Cerulean warblers are insectivores, foraging in and about the foliage of deciduous trees for small arthropods which they capture by gleaning and by sallying (Hamel 1992, Terres 1980, Bent 1953). A sample of four stomachs taken in Alabama in April 1912 (Howell 1924) contained Hymenoptera (42%); Coleoptera, including weevils (23%); and Lepidoptera (35%). These are the only quantitative data on the diet. Warren (1890) mentions a stomach (presumably from a bird taken in Pennsylvania) that contained fragments of spiders and small beetles. In Nebraska, S. Aughey in June 1865 watched an adult bring locusts to its young (C. Robbins, pers. comm.). No plant materials have yet been reported in the diet. Current information is insufficient to establish a distinguishing characteristic of the diet.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 12 centimeters
Weight: 10 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Inhabits mature deciduous forests on both the breeding grounds in North America and the non-breeding range in the Andes. Breeding areas in the Northeast are often in floodplains or other mesic conditions and are typified by large, mature trees and closed or semi-open forest canopies. Nests are located on the lateral limbs of a tree at considerable distances from both the ground and the bole. Common vegetation characteristics of nest sites are unknown and use of openings and edge requires further study. Populations have declined across the range in the eastern U.S., although the range has expanded, particularly in the Northeast, perhaps in response to large-scale forest maturation. More detailed population information is needed to accurately determine trends, causal factors, and distribution at the landscape scale. Occupied forests should be surveyed specifically for the species as well as other neotropical migrants. Large tracts of mature forest (at least 4,000 ha) should be managed by regulating timber harvest and allowing immature stands to reach maturity.
Restoration Potential: Restoration to areas from which old forest habitat has been removed will require substantial periods of time. Reverting farmland and early-successional forests can be regenerated to suitable mature hardwood forest within 80 years. Recovery of habitats will require an unavoidably long-term commitment (Hamel 1992).
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Breeding populations in small forest tracts throughout the range are declining rapidly to extirpation. Populations in Wisconsin showed increasing size dependency in a study in which the largest habitat "island" was 40 ha (Gustafson 1985). Robbins et al. (1989) indicate that the probability of occurrence in Maryland study sites reached 50% of its greatest value when tract sizes were 700 ha or greater. Primary breeding habitat is large tracts of floodplain forest of tall, mature deciduous trees; rarely nests in forest tracts smaller than 250 ha (Robbins et al. 1992). In a study in western Tennessee bottomland hardwood forests, birds were not found in tracts less than 1,600 ha in extent (Robbins et al. 1992).

The implications of these results are that protection of land will only be possible in large tracts. These tracts must be at least 4,000 ha in extent and they should be arranged in such a way that a minimal perimeter distance occurs per unit area (Hamel 1992). No proof exists that the provision of such tracts, composed of suitable breeding habitats, will provide a secure future for the warbler as a breeder in the North American avifauna. However, there is ample evidence that failing to provide such tracts will result in a decidedly insecure future.

The location of breeding and wintering habitats of individual populations is unknown. Consequently, protection of breeding habitat for a particular population may afford no long-term security if its wintering ground is also not secure. Similarly, protection of a particular winter location may not afford security for the birds that winter there unless their breeding grounds are also secure. Establishment of a network of large preserves with extensive tracts of old forest, representing the breadth of both the breeding and wintering grounds, will most likely provide a potentially secure future.

Reserves are not necessarily incompatible with a variety of other low intensity land uses, including forest management, as long as the openings created by forest harvest activities are small. The definition of small is speculative, but probably is of the order of magnitude of a treefall gap rather than of an 8-ha clearcut patch. Thoughtful guidance for preserve design considerations is provided by Harris (1984) and Maser (1988).

A summary of recommendations for preserve design on the breeding grounds is (Hamel 1992): 1) Provide a network of large (at least 4,000 ha) compactly shaped reserves, each capable of providing habitat for 1,500 breeding pairs. 2) Distribute these reserves in such a way that they represent the breadth of the species' range in the middle Mississippi Valley, including particularly Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and Indiana. 3) Provide habitat in these and in other reserves such that compact, continuous, centrally located tracts of old forest are permitted to become established and persist on good soils in these and in other forest tracts.

On the wintering grounds, preserve design should include the following recommendations: 1) Establish a similar network of preserves in primary forest. Such preserves will also likely be of considerable size, a size as yet undeterminable. 2) Distribute the preserves so that they encompass the breadth of the winter range.

Management Requirements: The management potential for populations of this species is unknown. Populations in large tracts in good habitat are apparently stable, suggesting that factors responsible for the decline are not operating uniformly everywhere. The persistent increase in the known range, particularly in the Northeast, suggests that management potential is good (Hamel 1992). If the cerulean warbler is a management priority, then habitat management consists of restricting timber harvest, preventing chemical contamination, and maintaining natural hydrology. Reforestation and protection of young trees on large, lowland tracts should provide future habitat (Hands et al. 1989). Young hardwoods adjacent to mature stands should also be protected from harvesting to ensure the availability of future habitat. Possible protection techniques include conservation easements on, and purchases of, large forest tracts. Lowland hardwood forests can be protected through enforcement of existing wetland-protection regulations (Robbins et al. 1992).

The fact that many known populations are already restricted to public land indicates that public land managers at the state and federal levels are primarily responsible for the bird's future. The tract size proposed by Hands et al. (1989) of 1,730 ac (700 ha) is a minimal estimate. Different studies in different areas have uniformly indicated that forest fragmentation is a significant issue in the protection. That the minimal tract size has varied from region to region in the range indicates that the land use context in different regions has a strong bearing on the operation of the forest fragmentation phenomenon as it affects warblers (Hamel 1992).

Current major land management activities that can be carried out include: 1) the provision of large tracts of old forest, in rich situations rather than in marginal soil types, at several locations throughout the range, and 2) forest management activities that are sensitive to the fragmentation of existing tracts. Forest management that mimics the gap phase succession of eastern deciduous forests will more likely provide a continuous supply of habitat than will even-aged management in large blocks (Hamel 1992).

Monitoring Requirements: Suggested monitoring guidelines from Hands et al. (1989) are: 1) Surveys should be conducted annually at selected sites throughout the northcentral U.S., with the same sites being sampled each year. Annual surveys are justified if multiple species in the same habitat are targeted. If annual surveys are not possible, the same sites should be surveyed for several (three) consecutive years. After this, surveys should be conducted once every three years.

2) If a decline is detected, studies of breeding success and productivity should be initiated at selected sites throughout the northcentral U.S. These studies should be repeated annually until the reasons for the decline are understood.

3) For maximum efficiency, state or regional surveys should be coordinated, for example by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Migratory Bird Management. By setting up such a clearinghouse, the OMBM could prevent duplicative surveys and standardize methodology.

Population status can only be assessed with more data on population trends, nest success, productivity, and mortality rates (Hands et al. 1989). Mortality rates will be difficult to estimate; recaptures and/or resightings of marked individuals may be the only method possible. Capture of these birds requires the use of canopy mist nets (see Greenlaw and Swinebroad 1967, Humphrey et al. 1968).

Currently, monitoring of breeding populations by the BBS grounds provides useful information. However, this monitoring is too imprecise to document trends accurately and to relate trends to causes. The requirement of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 that National Forest lands be monitored for populations of native vertebrates could be used to justify warbler monitoring. The warbler is an excellent candidate for an indicator species for mature hardwood forests, particularly on floodplain sites, but also in mesic upland types as well. Further monitoring of breeding populations will also be required, i.e., monitoring that can document the actual distribution at the landscape scale in regions that are primarily forested and in those that are not. This warbler is an excellent bird to use as the vehicle for a thorough documentation of the operation of the forest fragmentation effect (Hamel 1992).

Monitoring of winter habitat can be done utilizing remote sensing technology for large-scale examinations of trends. Later, more detailed monitoring of the numbers and distribution of the birds in winter will be required.

Management Research Needs: Few specific, quantitative data exist on the vegetation parameters associated with breeding and wintering habitats. Few quantitative data also exist on the population structure, demography, productivity, and habitat utilization. Research needs are thus a substantial portion of the management and monitoring recommendations outlined above. Hands et al. (1989) present a list of information needs indicating for each stage of the annual cycle and each life stage, whether information is lacking on the biology. Robbins et al. (1992) point out that because the species is a canopy dweller whose nests are difficult for humans to access, a life history study has not been done to produce summary values of biological traits. Such a study should be supported and it should include aspects of the monitoring and land management information needs outlined above, as well as traditional data on life history.

Cerulean warblers represent a kind of rarity that may become much more common in the future in North America: landscape-scale rarity on both the breeding and winter grounds. This warbler thus has considerable value as a model for the study of landscape scale change on the increase, decline, and redistribution of habitat and population. A number of studies have addressed various aspects of the fragmentation of forests. Study of this warbler in forest tracts under different landscape contexts, from primarily agricultural to primarily forested ones, will help elucidate the different features operative in the forest fragmentation effect, from the behavioral predisposition, through the operation of edge effects on prey populations, predator populations, populations of potential competitors, and the effects of nest parasitism.

Research on the behavior, biology, and control of brown-headed cowbirds will be an important part of the understanding of the distribution of breeding populations, and of many other host species as well. It is a reasonable hypothesis that the operation of forest fragmentation is a reflection of the penetration of cowbirds into tracts and the extinction of host populations resulting from the reduction of host reproduction below maintenance levels by such parasitism. Research on this topic will be a very useful benefit of study of cerulean warbler populations.

Regardless of monitoring, research, and management on the breeding grounds, the future will not be secure until clear understanding of the winter biology, population distribution, and habitat utilization of the species has been determined, and appropriate protection strategies developed and implemented. In this way, cerulean warblers are also a model species for the need for international cooperation in conservation (Hamel 1992).

Biological Research Needs: Although there was an explosion of research on the species after 2000, numerous biologically interesting questions remain which are important for informing conservation decision-making:, includign refining the distribution on the wintering grounds to identify areas for conservation, determine relationship between breeding habitat type, management practices, and post-fledging survival, and document age- and sex-specific survivorship (Buehler, Hanel, and Boves, 2013).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Passerines

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Nest Site, Nesting Colony
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.

Mapping Guidance: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas as well as foraging areas.

For swallows and other species that have separate nesting and foraging areas, separations are based on nest sites or nesting areas, not to locations of foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap larger than the separation distance are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas. This separation procedure is appropriate because nesting areas are the critical aspect of swallow breeding occurrences, tend to be relatively stable or at least somwhat predictable in general location, and so are the basis for effective conservation; foraging areas are much more flexible and not necessarily static.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Significant dispersal and associated high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by tens of kilometers (e.g., Moore and Dolbeer 1989), and increasing evidence that individuals leave their usual home range to engage in extrapair copulations, as well as long foraging excursions of some species, make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for songbirds and flycatchers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart. Mean foraging radius (from nesting area) of Brown-headed Cowbird females was 4.0 kilometers in California, 1.2 kilometers in Illinois-Missouri (Thompson 1994). Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds, and probably Red-winged Blackbirds all forage up to 1.6 kilometers away from breeding colony (Willson 1966, Horn 1968). In one study, Brewer's Blackbirds were found as far as 10 kilometers from nesting area (Williams 1952), but this may be unusual.

For swallows and other parrerines with similar behavioral ecology, separation distance pertains to nest sites or nesting colonies, not to locations of foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap of more than 5 km are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas. This separation procedure is appropriate because nesting areas are the critical aspect of swallow breeding occurrences, tend to be relatively stable or at least somwhat predictable in general location, and so are the basis for effective conservation; foraging areas are much more flexible and not necessarily static.

Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.

Unsuitable habitat: Habitat not normally used for breeding/feeding by a particular species. For example, unsuitable habitat for grassland and shrubland birds includes forest/woodland, urban/suburban, and aquatic habitats. Most habitats would be suitable for birds with versatile foraging habits (e.g., most corvids).

Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Roost Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: For most passerines: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating individuals (including historical) and potential recurring presence at a given location; minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat.

For swallows: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical) and potential recurring presence at a given location; minimally a reliable observation of 100 birds in appropriate habitat (e.g., traditional roost sites).

Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually.

EOs should not be described for species that are nomadic during nonbreeding season: e.g., Lark Bunting.

Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary but intended to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.

For swallows and other species with similar behavioral ecology, the separation distance pertains to communal roost sites rather than to foraging areas; the former tend to be more stable and specific over time than the latter.

Date: 03Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Roost Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any area used traditionally in the nonbreeding season (used for populations that are not resident in a location year-round). Minimally, reliable observations of 10 or more individuals in appropriate habitat for 20 or more days at a time. For G1-G3 species, observations of fewer individuals could constitute an occurrence of conservation value. Sites used during migration should be documented under the 'migratory stopover' location use class.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is necessarily arbitrary but attempts to balance the high mobility of birds with the need for occurrences of reasonable spatial scope. Note that a population's roost sites and foraging areas are parts of the same occurrence, even if they are more than 5 km apart.

For swallows and other species with similar behavioral ecology, the separation distance pertains to communal roost sites rather than to foraging areas; the former tend to be more stable and specific over time than the latter.

Date: 03Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.

Use Class: Nonmigratory
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a particular location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in or near appropriate habitat.

These occurrence specifications are used for nonmigratory populations of passerine birds.

Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Significant dispersal and associated high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by tens of kilometers (e.g., Moore and Dolbeer 1989), and increasing evidence that individuals leave their usual home range to engage in extrapair copulations, as well as long foraging excursions of some species, make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for songbirds and flycatchers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and breeding-season foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart. Blue jays have small summer home ranges but fly up to 4 kilometers to harvest mast (Tarvin and Woolfenden 1999). Flocks of pinyon jays range over 21-29 square kilometers (Ligon 1971, Balda and Bateman 1971); nesting and foraging areas may be widely separated. Tricolored blackbirds forage in flocks that range widely to more than 15 kilometers from the nesting colony (Beedy and Hamilton 1999).

Unsuitable habitat: Habitat not normally used for breeding/feeding by a particular species. For example, unsuitable habitat for grassland and shrubland birds includes forest/woodland, urban/suburban, and aquatic habitats. Most habitats would be suitable for birds with versatile foraging habits (e.g., most corvids).

Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Notes: These specs pertain to nonmigratory species.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 18Nov2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Dirrigl, F. J., Jr., & G. Hammerson; modified by Jue, Dean K.
Management Information Edition Date: 31Dec1992
Management Information Edition Author: HAMEL, P.B.; REVISIONS BY D.W. MEHLMAN
Management Information Acknowledgments: Parts of this abstract were originally published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Schneider and Pence (1992). Funding for the preparation of the original document was made possible by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Newton Corner, MA. Many individuals and organizations provided data and assistance. The field experiences of B. Ford and the staff of the Warner Park Nature Center in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed significantly to this report. C. Robbins and H. LeGrand critically reviewed an earlier draft of this status report and made a number of helpful suggestions.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 03May1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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