Vermivora cyanoptera - Olson and Reveal, 2009
Blue-winged Warbler
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Vermivora pinus (Linnaeus, 1766) (TSN 178853)
French Common Names: Paruline à ailes bleues
Spanish Common Names: Chipe Ala Azul
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105701
Element Code: ABPBX01020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Perching Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Passeriformes Parulidae Vermivora
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 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: Vermivora pinus
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly Vermivora pinus (Linnaeus), but see Olson and Reveal (2009), who showed that the 1766 Linnaean name Certhia pinus is a composite name based on illustrations of birds of two species, the Pine Warbler, now known as Dendroica pinus, and the Blue-winged Warbler, until now Vermivora pinus. They concluded that the name Certhia pinus applies to the Pine Warbler, and that the name Vermivora pinus (Linnaeus) is not available for the Blue-winged Warbler, nor is Sylvia solitaria (Wilson) or any other name. They proposed the new name Vermivora cyanoptera for this species (AOU 2010).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 10Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 03Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Still common.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5M (15Jan2018)

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 (S3B), Arkansas (S3B), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (S5B), Delaware (S1B), District of Columbia (S3N), Florida (SNA), Georgia (S4), Illinois (S4), Indiana (S4B), Iowa (S3B,S4N), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (S4S5B), Louisiana (SNA), Maine (S1B), Maryland (S4B), Massachusetts (S3S4B), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNRB), Mississippi (SNA), Missouri (SNRB), Nebraska (SNRN), New Hampshire (S4B), New Jersey (S4B), New York (S5B), North Carolina (S2B), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S1B), Pennsylvania (S4B), Rhode Island (S5B), South Carolina (SNA), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (S4), Texas (S4), Vermont (S3B), Virginia (S3B), West Virginia (S3B), Wisconsin (S4B)
Canada Ontario (S4B), Quebec (S3)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: eastern Nebraska east across Great Lakes region to New England, south to Arkansas, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, Maryland, and Delaware (AOU 1998). NON-BREEDING: Puebla south through Veracruz, Oaxaca, Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, to central Panama (Stiles and Skutch 1989, AOU 1998). Estimated size of 750,00 square kilometers by Birdlife International (2014).

Area of Occupancy: 2,501 to >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: An estimate given population size.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species has an extremely large range with no statistically significant decrese over the last 40 years (Birdlife International, 2014).

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total pouplation size estimate of 810,000 by Partners in Flight (2013).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: An estimate

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Frequent host of Brown-headed Cowbird (MOLOTHRUS ATER; Ehrlich et al. 1988). Suburban expansion of the human population is depleting habitat for this species. For example, nine former breeding sites in northeastern Ohio have been converted to housing developments; Blue-winged Warblers no longer breed there. Tropical deforestation to make way for coffee plantations and other monoculture-type crops may be reducing the species' winter range. Conservation concerns are highest in the states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, Kentucky, and Alabama (National Audubon Society, 2014).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable to increase of <25%
Short-term Trend Comments: North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data show a non-significant increasing trend survey-wide (0.5% per year, P = 0.44, N = 442) during the period 1966-1998 (Sauer et al. 1999). Significant declines are reported from the Southern New England Physiographic Stratum (-2.2% per year, P = 0.00, N = 43) and the States of Connecticut, Kentucky, and New Jersey; while a significant increase is reported from Pennsylvania (6.9% per year, P = 0.00, N = 60) (Sauer et al. 1999).. The latest BBS shows a 7% decline over the 2002 - 2012 time period (Sauer, et. al. 2014)

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: The latest BBS shows a 25.6% decline over the 2002 - 2012 time period (Sauer, et. al. 2014).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable to not intrinsically vulnerable.
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This species utilizes early successional habitats (National Audubon Society, 2014), which are intrinsically ephemeral in nature. Also, the species nests on or near the ground, which make the nest subject to predation by human-associated predators such as cats and dogs.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Prefers forested-field areas shaded by large trees (National Audubon Society, 2014).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Northeast range expansion is poorly understand, especially relative to relationships with Golden-winged Warbler (Gill, Canterbury, and Confer, 2001).

Protection Needs: Not threatened at this time (2014) but should be monitored continuously due to threats posed by increased human consumption of land (Gill, Canterbury, and Confer, 2001).

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: eastern Nebraska east across Great Lakes region to New England, south to Arkansas, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, Maryland, and Delaware (AOU 1998). NON-BREEDING: Puebla south through Veracruz, Oaxaca, Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, to central Panama (Stiles and Skutch 1989, AOU 1998). Estimated size of 750,00 square kilometers by Birdlife International (2014).

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, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, 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; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE New Castle (10003)
NC Alleghany (37005), Ashe (37009), Buncombe (37021)*, Cherokee (37039), Graham (37075)*, Macon (37113), Rutherford (37161)
NH Rockingham (33015)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Piscataqua-Salmon Falls (01060003)+
02 Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+
03 Upper Broad (03050105)+
05 Upper New (05050001)+
06 Upper French Broad (06010105)+*, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+*, Hiwassee (06020002)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small bird (wood warbler).
Reproduction Comments: Clutch size is four-seven (usually five-six). Incubation, by female, lasts about 10-12 days. Young leave nest at 8-11 days.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Arrives (but uncommon to rare) in Costa Rica early to mid-September, departs by mid- to late April (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Old field, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: BREEDING: Brushy hillsides, second growth, partly open situations with saplings, bogs, woodland edge and clearings, stream edges, overgrown pastures, swamps. Nests close to or on ground, in bushes, weeds, or grasses, or under bushes, or between exposed roots of stump (Terres 1980).

NON-BREEDING: In migration and winter, occurs in brushy areas, scrub, and open woodland (Terres 1980). In the Yucatan, Mexico is a tropical forest specialist (Lynch 1989).

Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats insects and spiders (Terres 1980). NON-BREEDING: pries open rolled leaves and probes for insect larvae and spiders. Hovers or hangs under leaves to snatch prey (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 12 centimeters
Weight: 8 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Found in most of the north-central eastern states; mostly absent from the Gulf Coastal Plain. Nests in overgrown fields or thickets in a variety of open country situations. Listed as significantly rare in North Carolina. North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate declines in Connecticut of 2.8 percent per year over the last 28 years. Thirteen percent of the total population is found in that state (Rosenberg and Wells 1995), indicating a need for extended monitoring and study. Has been expanding range northward into golden-winged warbler's (VERMIVORA CHRYSOPTERA) range, resulting in hybridization that may negatively impact that species. Threats are habitat loss due to suburban development of oldfields and shrublands, clearing/burning of successional shrublands for pasture/agriculture, succession of shrublands to forest, brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbird (MOLOTHRUS ATER). Preserve design/management plans should incorporate practices that would maintain the required oldfield/shrub component.
Species Impacts: Has expanded range over the last century north into the breeding range of golden-winged warbler (VERMIVORA CHRYSOPTERA), typically replacing that species within 50 years (Gill 1980).
Restoration Potential: In upland forest areas, rotational harvesting of timber could supply adequate habitat where appropriate, should restoration become an issue. (Askins, unpubl. data).
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Preserves should include dense vegetation in the herbaceous and shrub layers up to 1.5 meters in height, and little vegetation above 3 meters. Will only use abandoned fields in which the canopy height does not exceed 7 meters (Ficken and Ficken 1968). Will nest in relatively young clearcuts with low canopy heights, preferably close to powerlines, roads, or other openings, size of opening apparently not being a factor if larger than 1.0 hectare (Askins, unpubl. data). Foliage profiles of nest sites suggest that a more open area, with thicker grass and herb layer and fewer shrubs, are important components of a breeding territory. Brown-headed cowbirds (MOLOTHRUS ATER) are a possible management concern because prefer clearcuts with a large number of snags in similar habitats, but a study of nesting success shows no increase in brood parasitism in some areas (Askins, unpubl. data).
Management Requirements: Highly specialized to early successional habitat. Will quickly disappear as the trees age and the canopy consolidates. A constant supply of newly disturbed habitat is necessary to sustain populations in upland forest sites. Nests successfully in small clearcuts (less than 5 hectares); large expanses of continuous early successional habitat are not necessary (Askins, unpubl. data). Management of feral and domestic cat populations and shrubland habitat across breeding range will help most ground-nesting shrub species in many local areas to recover from decline (Gill et al., in prep).
Monitoring Requirements: BBS and other point count data can establish densities, but not mating status and productivity. During breeding season, song rates and scanning (looking from side to side while singing) can indicate whether males are mated. Unmated males sing and scan more often, but because of individual and seasonal variation, it will still be necessary to monitor territorial males to determine mating status (Askins, unpubl. data).
Management Research Needs: Population density is not a reliable indicator of habitat quality. With several species, unmated first-year males or reproductively unsuccessful pairs may occur in high densities in marginal habitats (Van Horne 1983). More information on breeding success is needed (Askins, unpubl. data).
Biological Research Needs: Interactions and hybridization with golden-winged warblers (VERMIVORA CHRYSOPTERA) across broad geographic areas and habitats merit additional study to understand the causal mechanisms of species replacement. (Gill, Canterbury, and Confer, 2001).
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: 17Nov2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jue, Dean K.
Management Information Edition Date: 19Nov1999
Management Information Edition Author: BROWN, B.; REVISIONS BY M. KOENEN AND D.W. MEHLMAN
Management Information Acknowledgments: The author thanks Robert Askins and John Confer for providing unpublished data and reviewing an earlier draft, adding many useful comments. Frank Gill and Ted Floyd also provided valuable information. Allison V. Level and Diana Niskern furnished excellent library services. Thanks also to Jane Fitzgerald, Partners in Flight, and Cathie Sandell for pointing the author in the right direction. Support for the preparation of this abstract was provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative, through challenge grant number 97-270 to The Nature Conservancy, Wings of the Americas Program. Matching funds for this grant were donated by Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Jan1990
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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