Worm-eating Warbler Video Portrait

Worm-eating Warblers are common on our property in near the Missouri River. There are several breeding pairs, most of which favor the sides of forested, steep ravines. Worm-eaters usually arrive here about mid-April, about the same time as the Morel Mushrooms begin to appear. A double treat for my wife, Dayna, and me! These males were filmed during April and May of 2009 and 2010 in central Missouri:

placeholder image for the Worm-eating Warbler video clip by Carl Gerhardt

The trilled song of Worm-eating Warblers is very similar to that of Chipping Sparrows, but you can usually guess which species you are hearing by the habitat. Worm-eating Warblers favor dense woodland, where Ovenbirds and Northern Parula Warblers are also common. Chipping Sparrows are common in more open habitats and often come to feeders. Worm-eating Warblers breed in the eastern third of the United States.

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  1. Here in Michigan, the Worm-Eating Warbler is a prized bird to look for by birders, because, unlike in Missouri, in Michigan, the Worm-Eating Warbler is a very rare but annual migrant. I would like to see one myself, but I never have, and I’ve also never even heard one. It also breeds in Michigan in some years. Sightings seem to be slowly increasing here, mostly in southwestern Michigan. However, there’s a reason for this. The global Worm-Eating Warbler population is increasing.

    About the video, the very first time I saw the video, the beginning of it confused me. The Ovenbird singing loudly in the beginning sings exactly while the warbler was singing. It made me think the Ovenbird was the Worm-Eating Warbler, but then when it sang while the Ovenbird wasn’t singing, I was no longer confused. I like how the Worm-Eating Warbler’s tail vibrates rapidly as it sings. That’s pretty interesting.

    The song of the Worm-Eating Warbler increases in volume, and that’s another way you can tell that what you’re hearing is a Worm-Eating Warbler.

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