Setophaga tigrina - (Gmelin, 1789)
Cape May Warbler
Other English Common Names: Cape May warbler
Synonym(s): Dendroica tigrina (Gmelin, 1789)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Dendroica tigrina (Gmelin, 1789) (TSN 178887)
French Common Names: paruline tigrée
Spanish Common Names: Chipe Atigrado
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102913
Element Code: ABPBX03040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Perching Birds
Image 7556

© Larry Master

 
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 tigrina
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: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 03Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread in breeding range; no significant, range-wide decline evident. However, some local declines are occurring and concerns exist regarding loss of forest habitat, both on breeding and wintering grounds.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5M (29Jan2018)

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 (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (SNA), District of Columbia (S2S3N), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNRN), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (S2N), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (S4S5B), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (S3N), Michigan (S3S4), Minnesota (SNRB), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNA), Nebraska (SNRN), New Hampshire (S3B), New Jersey (SNA), New York (S2B), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (S1N), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (S4N), Texas (S2), Vermont (S1B), Virginia (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (S3B)
Canada Alberta (S3B), British Columbia (S3B), Labrador (S2B,SUM), Manitoba (S5B), New Brunswick (S3B,S4S5M), Newfoundland Island (S2B,SUM), Northwest Territories (S4B), Nova Scotia (S2B), Nunavut (SUB,SUM), Ontario (S5B), Prince Edward Island (S3B), Quebec (S4S5B), Saskatchewan (S4B), Yukon Territory (S2B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: northeastern British Columbia and southern Mackenzie to northern Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, south to central Alberta, central Saskatchewan, northwestern North Dakota, northeastern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, eastern New York, and northern New England (Baltz and Latta 1998). NON-BREEDING: primarily from central Bahamas through Greater Antilles (fairly common in Puerto Rico) to Virgin Islands; rare in Florida Keys, Lesser Antilles, and on Caribbean islands and coasts of Mexico and Central America (casual from Yucatan to Panama); rare in northeastern Colombia, northern Venezuela; Trinidad; almost regular on Tobago; Netherlands Antilles (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Baltz and Latta 1998).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: HABITAT LOSS: Breeding: The continued loss of mature forest throughout the breeding range will undoubtedly contribute to long-term declines in this species. Much of the core of this species' range is in the western boreal forest, so is threatened by forest conversion to agriculture along the southern edges of the boreal zone. In Saskatchewan alone, 4368 square kilometers of forest was lost to agriculture in the period 1966-1994, a rate of -0.87%/year (Hobson et al. 2002). Much of the remaining southern boreal forest in western Canada has been leased to forestry companies (Cummings et al. 1994, Stelfox 1995). Logging is also a concern in southeastern Canada and the northeastern U.S.

Urban sprawl, roadworks, dredging and reclamation of wetlands and tidal mangroves, problems of sewage and solid waste disposal are threats to wintering habitat throughout the Caribbean (Raffaele et al. 1998). Rising human populations and increasingly unfavorable patterns of land ownership are likely to accelerate habitat destruction and degradation in the region.

Non-breeding: Cape May Warblers are particularly common in shade coffee plantations on the wintering grounds. As these plantations are converted to shadeless plantations, winter habitat may be lost as well. For a more detailed regional summaries of regional threats, legislation efforts, and research and monitoring needs see Raffaele et al. (1998).

PESTICIDES AND CONTAMINANTS: Intensive aerial spraying programs to control spruce budworms could have a negative impact on this and other warblers that specialize on this food source (Dunn and Garrett 1997, Pearce et al. 1976). Pesticide spraying to eradicate mosquitoes, malaria, yellow fever and crop pests threaten to poison birds and reduce arthropod prey abundance in the Caribbean (Raffaele et al. 1998).

COLLISIONS: Collisions with communication towers a significant cause of mortality during migration (Owre 1967, Taylor 1973). 6% of band recoveries from Cape May Warblers have come from birds hit by cars (Taylor 1973). Construction of communication towers (including radio, television, cellular, and microwave) in the United States has been growing at an exponential rate, increasing at an estimated 6 percent to 8 percent annually. According to the Federal Communication Commission's 2000 Antenna Structure Registry, the number of lighted towers greater than 199 feet above ground level (AGL) currently number over 45,000 and the total number of towers over 74,000. Non-compliance with the registry program is estimated at 24 percent to 38 percent, bringing the total to 92,000 to 102,000. By 2003, all television stations must be digital, adding potentially 1,000 new towers exceeding 1,000 feet AGL. This increasingly large number of obstacles will likely result in larger numbers of migrating birds killed by collisions.

HURRICANES: Hurricanes may reduce local wintering populations of neotropical migrants in the West Indies.

PREDATORS: Cats are a major source of bird mortality throughout the Caribbean (Raffaele et al. 1998) and are likely a significant threat to this species during migration and the non-breeding season when it is found nearer the ground. 11% of Cape May Warbler band recoveries have been from birds killed by cats.

HUNTING: 19% of banded birds recovered were shot, mostly on the non-breeding grounds (Taylor 1973).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend data must be carefully interpreted as populations of Cape May Warbler fluctuate more than populations of most warblers, with highest breeding densities reached during outbreaks of spruce budworm. Budworm populations are cyclical and regional densities may undergo drastic changes in population density in response. Survey-wide Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for the most recent time period (1980-2000) show a non-significant decline of -1.4% per year with a similar but shallower trend for Canada, where the bulk of the population is found. Of all states and provinces, only New Brunswick and Maine showed a negative, statistically significant, long-term population trend (-11.1 and -11.3%/year respectively, 1980-2000). However, even those these are 'statistically significant,' the data is such that any interpretations must be made with caution. For the same period, BBS data also indicates a significant -9.4% (n = 61) annual decline in the U.S. population. For the period 1966-1979, BBS data show a continent-wide annual increase of 1.7% (Sauer et al. 2001). Trends varied between physiographic regions from non-significant changes to highly significant short-term declines (Baltz and Latta 1998). Some local increases over historical numbers have been noted, such as in northern Michigan (Dunn and Garrett 1997). Ridgely and Gwynne (1989) suggest that populations in Panama were increasing, possibly correlated with increases on the breeding grounds, but the dearth of monitoring throughout the non-breeding range make computing population trends impossible.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to Relatively Stable
Long-term Trend Comments: Has undoubtedly declined somewhat as a result of loss of forested habitat throughout its range in the past 300 years.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: northeastern British Columbia and southern Mackenzie to northern Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, south to central Alberta, central Saskatchewan, northwestern North Dakota, northeastern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, eastern New York, and northern New England (Baltz and Latta 1998). NON-BREEDING: primarily from central Bahamas through Greater Antilles (fairly common in Puerto Rico) to Virgin Islands; rare in Florida Keys, Lesser Antilles, and on Caribbean islands and coasts of Mexico and Central America (casual from Yucatan to Panama); rare in northeastern Colombia, northern Venezuela; Trinidad; almost regular on Tobago; Netherlands Antilles (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Baltz and Latta 1998).

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, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

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; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NY Essex (36031)
VT Bennington (50003), Caledonia (50005), Rutland (50021), Windham (50025)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Hudson-Hoosic (02020003)+
04 Otter Creek (04150402)+, Ausable River (04150404)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small bird (warbler).
Reproduction Comments: Basic information is sparse due to the extreme height of the nest and the female's elusive behavior. Nest is invariably in the uppermost clump of thick foliage near the top of tall conifers (DeGraaf and Rappole 1995). Most often in spruce, occasionally in fir (Bent 1953), and concealed in thick foliage against main tree stem (Phillip and Bowdish 1919, Pettinghill 1971). Height typically 9-18 m (Baicich and Harrison 1997). Nest is a bulky cup composed of sphagnum moss, spruce twigs, grass, pine needles, cedar bark, and plant down, lined with animal hair, rootlets, and feathers (Baicich and Harrison 1997). Typically visible from below.

Incubation by female. Female lays in June; 4-9 eggs, usually 6-7, up to 9 in spruce budworm years (Baltz and Latta 1998, Baicich and Harrison 1997). Parents approach nest by hopping upward from base of nest tree (Pettinghill 1971). Reproductive output increases when spruce budworm is abundant. No information on nestling or fledgling period. Single brooded. An apparently rare host of the Brown-headed Cowbird (Friedman and Kiff 1985).

Ecology Comments: Solitary during breeding season excluding interactions with mate and young. During migration will join mixed foraging flocks of up to 30 birds (Burns 1915), but also solitary, defending short-term territories (Sealy 1988, 1989). Behavior on wintering grounds depends upon habitat. Some birds join mixed species flocks, others are solitary. Most Puerto Rico birds were territorial (Hagan and Johnston 1992), while birds in some Dominican Republic habitats joined foraging flocks (never in coffee plantations, Latta and Wunderle 1996). In the Bahamas, known to defend widely spaced blooming century plants that provide insects and nectar (Emlen 1973, Morse 1989).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: A long-distance migrant with an elliptical migration. Sexes appear to migrate together (Hall 1981). Fall migration is primarily through the northeastern United States. Most birds have departed the breeding grounds by September. In spring, most birds depart the West Indies by early to mid-May (Bond 1985, Baltz and Latta 1998) .
Estuarine Habitat(s): Scrub-shrub wetland
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: BREEDING: Primarily in forests of spruce (PICEA spp.) and/or fir (ABIES spp.), typically in stands > 50 years old, > 15 m tall, with well developed crowns and some trees that rise above canopy for use as singing posts (AOU 1998, Rosenberg and Hodgeman 2000, Baltz and Latta 1998, Baker 1978, Welsh 1987, Semenchuk 1992). Trees may be scattered or dense; also found near forest edge, especially if birches or hemlocks are present and more open land with small trees (DeGraaf and Rappole 1995). Proliferates in areas heavily infested by spruce-budworms, and may not occur after the outbreak has subsided (Brewster 1938, Erskine 1977, Morse 1989).

In Ontario found in habitats dominated by White (P. GLAUCA) or Black Spruce (P. MARIANA) of at least 30 m height with Balsam Fir (ABIES BALSAMEA) in canopy and an understory of Speckled Alder (ALNUS INCANA), Labrador Tea (LEDUM GROENLANDICUM), and briers (Kendeigh 1947). In Quebec, occurs in White Spruce plantations at least 50 years old with a sparse shrub understory; average distance between trees 2.4 m +/- 1.3 SD and canopy height > 10 m (DesGranges 1980). In Alberta, uses dense, mature White Spruce, stand of coniferous and mixed forest (Semenchuck 1992).

In Michigan, found in wet coniferous bogs dominated by black spruce (Baker 1978, L.C. Binford in Brewer et al. 1991). In New York, occupies stands of medium aged spruce (25-75 years old), with some Balsam Fir (J. M. C. Peterson in Andrle and Carroll 1988). In Maine, uses various coniferous forest stands, including second-growth Balsam Fir and Red Spruce (P. RUBENS) with an open understory (Morse 1978).

MIGRATION: In a variety of forest woodlands (conifers and especially spruces are preferred), scrub and thicket (Godfrey 1986, AOU 1983, Dunn and Garrett 1997). In spring found in association with exotic flowering trees such as silk-oats and bottlebrush as well as flower and catkins of hardwoods such as oaks, hickories, and honey locusts. Fall migrants commonly in berry producing shrubs and small vineyards within woodlands. In Indiana, found in such habitats on campuses, golf courses, tree nurseries, pine plantations and residential areas, in brier patches, overgrown fence rows and weedy roadsides (Mumford and Keller 1984, Baltz and Latta 1988).

NON-BREEDING: Overwinter in mature tropical forests, open woodland and exotic shade and flowering trees (e.g., palm, eucalyptus, casuarinas) over a wide range of elevation. Commonly found in gardens or shade coffee plantations, where flowering plants are abundant. Includes towns, ornamental gardens, parklands, montane forest, arid mesquite, pines, mangroves and other flowering trees, and occasionally dense forest (AOU 1983, AOU 1988, Ehrlich, Dobkin, and Wheye, 1988, Dunn and Garrett 1997, Pashley 1989). Nectar sources (flowering plants) are an important winter habitat component.

Variety of habitats in the West Indies; shade coffee plantations, coastal thickets and almost anywhere plants are flowering, but uncommon in native dry forest (Raffaele et al. 1998). In the Bahamas, common in gardens and plantings, second-growth, and Red Mangrove (RHIZOPHORA MANGLE); rarely in pine forest (Baltz 1993). In Jamaica, primarily in gardens and parklands to 1,500 m (Lack and Lack 1972). In Puerto Rico and Cuba, common in dry coastal vegetation, more commonly in BUCIDA BUCERAS, BURSERA SIMARUBA, and COCCOLOBA DIVERSIFOLIA (Post 1978, Wallace et al. 1996), and secondary forest (Stacier 1992, Baltz and Latta 1998).

In the Dominican Republic, occurs in pine and broadleaf, dry scrub, pasture and shade-coffee plantations (Arendt 1992, Wunderle and Waide 1993). Common in Cuba where it is found in forests and gardens (Garrido and Kirkconnell 2000). In Mexico, found in semiarid scrub and woodland and gardens at flowering trees (Howell and Webb 1995). In Costa Rica, in open groves, garden trees, open areas, associating with flowering EUCALYPTUS and ERYTHRINA trees (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Adult Food Habits: Frugivore, Invertivore, Nectarivore
Immature Food Habits: Frugivore, Invertivore, Nectarivore
Food Comments: Primary food is invertebrates. During the breeding season eats insects and spiders, leafhoppers, beetles, fruit juice and sap (Terres 1980). Spruce budworm is an important food source. Primarily forages among tree foliage and in thickets while perched, but known to hawk, hover and flycatch throughout the year (Post 1978, Terres 1980). Differs from other spruce wood-warblers in that it feeds consistently near the tops of trees in the upper, outer portion of spruce and fir; overlaps significantly with Blackburnian Warbler (DENDROICA FUSCA, MacArthur 1958).

Unlike many other warblers, adopts a radically different foraging strategy during migration and on its wintering grounds when it feeds mainly on the ground (Gauthier and Aubrey 1996). During migration, observed foraging at hummingbird feeders, sapsucker holes, grapes and grape vines and on the ground on lawns and at water ditches (McAtee 1904, Burns 1915, Kilham 1953, Morse 1980, Blanich 1988, Sealy 1988, 1989).

During non-breeding season, feeds heavily on nectar, also taking invertebrates and fruit (Pashley 1989); however, not an obligate nectarivore in winter (Baltz and Latta 1998). Gleans and hovers to capture small spiders in foliage and clings to mossy branches to extract larvae and other small invertebrates (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Takes insects and nectar from AGAVE spp. (Emlen 1973), Peach-leaved Willow (SALIX AMYGDALOIDES) catkins (Sealey 1989) and insects and fruit from CECROPIA trees (Lack 1972).

In Jamaica, feeds high in small-leaved trees (but not conifers) taking prey from leaves and occasionally from air by hovering, taking sap from holes bored by sapsuckers and comes to hummingbird feeders in gardens (Lack 1976). In Puerto Rico forages in upper portions of trees; rarely in shrubs (Baltz and Latta 1998). In the Dominican Republic, most foraging is directed toward deciduous substrates in shade coffee plantations (78%, including flowers 40%, leaves 28%, wood 10%) and 57% in pine forest, including flowers (34%) and leaves (23%) in deciduous understory (J. Wunderle and SCL unpubl. data, in Baltz and Latta 1998). In Costa Rica, forages in EUCALYPTUS and ERYTHRINA trees (Stiles and Skutch 1989).

Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 13 centimeters
Weight: 11 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Habitat loss is an increasing threat in the spruce-hardwood region of North America and throughout much of the non-breeding range where tropical deforestation is an ever-increasing problem. Pesticides used to manage the transmission of human disease and to maintain timber production, as well as the increasing pace of communication tower construction will likely continue to detrimentally affect populations. Successful management of this species will require protection of existing habitat. Forest management should focus on maintaining a designated minimum acreage of suitable habitat, especially where logging and fires affect forest size, shape, and plant species composition. Conservation should focus on the maintenance of tropical forest cover and encouraging farmers to cultivate shade-grown coffee rather than more intensive farming methods.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Large forest tracts should be preserved on the breeding and wintering grounds. Higher priority areas are those with greater forest connectivity and less fragmentation. Because shade-grown coffee plantations are a major source of habitat throughout the non-breeding range, maintaining the presence of these plantations in the landscape, rather than less favorable, more intensive coffee cultivation or other agricultural crops is a priority.
Management Requirements: BREEDING: LOGGING. While much of the boreal forest remains relatively unmodified by forest management, the increasing demand for aspen and 60-100-year-old coniferous pulp production threatens to increase the pace of logging and the effects of habitat alteration. Currently, intensive harvesting and forest planting now occurs in boreal forests in Ontario, Minnesota, and northern Maine (Askins 2000). Without careful management, homogenization and decimation of this ecotype could lead to the extirpation of Cape May Warbler and many other species of wildlife.

It is likely that repeated fires and logging are a primary factor limiting the availability of suitable breeding habitat, especially in the western half of the range. Short-rotation cutting cycles, combined with high frequencies of fire prevent development of the mature forests needed by both the warbler and its budworm prey (Erskine 1977, Baltz and Latta 1998). Present management is favoring younger, more even-aged stands. As a result, poorly managed, unsustainable logging practices may be more important than the frequency and extent of budworm outbreaks; without a suitable forest type, budworm outbreaks will not occur (A. Erskine in Baltz and Latta 1998).

A 1995 forest-management plan for New Brunswick (New Brunswick Department. of Natural Resources and Energy 1995) projected that mature and over-mature classes of spruce-dominated coniferous forest will decline more rapidly over the next 40 years (from 46% of land area to 8%) than any other habitat-community type. This projection may also apply to large portions of Nova Scotia, Quebec, and the industrial forests of northern Maine (Rosenberg and Hodgeman 2000).

Unlike patchily distributed species where a site specific approach is appropriate, successful management for species occupying mature coniferous forest will need to focus on maintenance of minimum percentages of the landscape mosaic to prevent local loss of this habitat type. Cooperative relationships with industrial forest landowners seems to be the best approach in the U.S. (Rosenberg and Hodgeman 2000).

BUDWORM CONTROL. Budworms are considered a pest in industrial forests and efforts have been made to control them using chemical insecticides. Some poisons are considered lethal to songbirds and are considered to be likely causes of decline in some regions . Modifications in spraying regimes and chemicals used may have greatly reduced the numbers of birds killed directly (Pearce et al. 1976), but few data exist on whether the decrease in insect abundance has negatively affected bird populations or affected life span and/or productivity.

Budworm outbreaks are thought to have been more frequent in twentieth century than previously (Baltz and Latta 1998). Fire protection and the use of pesticides to maintain forests stands have not entirely eradicated budworms. Instead, it has had the effect of maintaining them at low levels (Blais 1983). As a result, spraying may have had the effect of stabilizing populations of Cape May Warbler at or near a historic high (Morse 1989).

NON-BREEDING: Little known. There are indications that fragmentation of tropical forests may lead to increased mortality for migrants occupying those patches. Until further research proves otherwise, limiting fragmentation and increasing forest connectivity should be guidelines for forest management in the tropics as well as in the temperate forests of North America (Petit et al. 1995).

Monitoring Requirements: The roadside monitoring protocol of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) may under-represent forest songbirds in relatively mature forests, especially in more isolated locations. Large portions of this species' range is poorly monitored by the BBS; routes are sparse. Supplementing BBS monitoring with programs such as the Forest Bird Monitoring Program (FBMP) or the Birds in Forested Landscapes (BFL) program will likely improve the accuracy of monitoring efforts.
Management Research Needs: Baltz and Latta (1998) suggest the following research needs related to management:

1. Further study is needed on breeding cycle including incubation, growth and development of young, parental care, and demographic variables including reproductive success.

2. Investigation of the behavior during budworm outbreaks that may shed light on whether clutches are laid during infestations; may also reveal different foraging niches than those described by MacArthur (1958).

3. Studies of dispersal and site fidelity and how these relate to the spatial and temporal occurrence of spruce budworm outbreaks.

4. Studies of site fidelity, dispersal, mating, and reproductive success in fragmented and unfragmented forest.

5. Long term studies of the possible negative effects of spruce budworm spraying.

6. Further study and quantitative data is needed on habitat use and spacing on the non-breeding grounds.

7. Investigation of wintering ecology is needed including site fidelity, sex ratios and annual survival rates; the Bahamas, have high densities of this species and may be an appropriate study site.

The effect of habitat fragmentation and loss of connectivity in tropical environments is poorly understood. Further investigation of this question is of immediate concern because of the rapidly increasing human populations throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Biological Research Needs: Baltz and Latta (1998) suggest research is needed to further investigate vocalization types.
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: 20Dec2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: ROBERTSON, B., revised by S. Cannings
Management Information Edition Date: 21Aug2001
Management Information Edition Author: ROBERTSON, B.
Management Information Acknowledgments: Funding for the preparation of this abstract was provided by the Department of Defense, Partners in Flight Program, through The Nature Conservancy, Wings of the Americas Program. Edited by D. Mehlman and S. Cannings.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 29Jan1990
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).

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