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Townsend’s Warbler

Setophaga townsendi

The Townsend’s Warbler’s breeding habitat is forested lands with large coniferous trees on the Pacific northwestern coast and mountains of North America from Alaska south into Washington, Oregon and Idaho.  Their winter homes are stretched along the western coast of North American from Washington to northern Baja California, and several inland locations from southeastern Arizona to Central America.

Their nests are shallow cups built with grass and lined with moss. These nests are usually placed atop a branch in a conifer. Females have been observed dismantling a constructed nest and later tearing it down an moving it to another tree. It isn’t fully understood why they do this. Townsend’s Warblers will sometimes cross breed with their closely related cousins, the Hermit Warbler.

I sometimes see these birds at my Southern California home during migration, but to date my favorite encounters with this and several other warbler species (and other species) has been atop Santa Rosa Mountain in souther Riverside County (California).

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