Blue-Winged Warbler

Vermivora cyanoptera
Range Map

Blue-Winged Warblers breed east of the Mississippi River from northern Arkansas north to southeast Wisconsin, east to New England, but they spend winters in eastern Mexico and Central America. The birds I met in southern Texas were migrating north to perpetuate the species. Habitat change such as clear-cut forests have benefitted these birds, but at the expense of the endangered, but genetically similar Golden-Winged Warbler, which these birds will hybridize with, posing yet another threat to the Golden-Winged Warbler’s gene pool.

My meeting with this bird was all too brief. It was late in April 2020, and the pandemic lockdown prevented me from visiting many premier birding destinations, such as Resaca de la Palma, west of Brownsville (Texas). Least Grebes were a species native to this region, and I wanted to find them. At the far side (from the visitor’s center) of the reserve is a location called Hunter’s Lane, and the only place I was told that might have enough water to support the grebes. I rode my bicycle out to the location, hoping I might find the grebes, but the water barely constituted a mud puddle (levels go up and down depending on a controlled water delivery system). I found no grebes that day (nor that year), but all was not lost. I met with a Blue-Winged Warbler, Bronzed Cowbird, Clay-Colored Thrush, Common Ground Dove, Common Yellowthroat, Couch’s Kingbird, Groove-Billed Ani, Painted Bunting, Stilt Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, and Yellow-Billed Cuckoo.

Today’s science does not recognise any subspecies of Blue-Winged Warbler (i.e. they are monotypic).

Click map markers to reveal further information