An aptly named bird, the pine warbler is a member of the New World warbler family. With its numbers in a constant upswing, one would expect to spot one with relative ease; sadly though, the bird spends most of its time in pine branches at great heights, often obscured by pine cones and needles.
|Scientific Name||Setophaga Pinus|
|Other Names||Chipe pinero (Spanish); Paruline des pins (French)|
|Similar to||Olive-capped Warbler, Yellow rumped Warbler|
|Size||Length: 5.1-55inches (13-14cm)
Wingspan: 7.5-9.1inches (19-23cm)
|Weight||0.3-0.5 oz (9-15g)|
|Color||Adult Male: Olive backs with a bright yellow breast and throat, eyes have yellowish lines above them
Adult Females: Backs are olive-brown with paler yellow undersides, olive-brown may sometimes be replaced with gray-brown with similar eye lines as the males
Juvenile: Similar to the female
|Distribution Range||Most of Eastern North America, from Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec in the north through to the southern tip of Texas in the south; Pine warblers up north venture southwards during winter|
|Habitat||Pine forests and deciduous forest with pine trees|
|Songs & Vocalizations||Males use short rapid trills|
|Lifespan||Up to 8 years|
|Diet||Mostly insects; also eats fruits, pine seeds|
|Clutch Size||3-5, mostly 4; 1-3 clutches are produced every year|
|Incubation Period||12-13 days|
|Predators||Blue jays have been known to prey on eggs|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
Pine warblers forage by moving at a rather sluggish pace on branches and tree trunks, and on the ground when looking for insects. They have been known to exhibit this behavior in flocks made up of other warbler species. They are highly territorial, more so during the breeding season in late March to early June.
Mating and Reproduction
Believed to be monogamous during a breeding season, the males chase other birds away by flying with stiff wing-beats first towards and then away from the intruder, often in circular movements.
Nests are built between April and June solely by the female. The male, however, does accompany the female during the gathering of stuff required for the nest building. Nests are always built on the horizontal branches of a pine tree.
Eggs are grayish, white or greenish white in appearance, with brown speckles towards the broader ends. Once the young are hatched, both the parents take up the responsibility of bringing food and guarding them. The newborn nestle for an average of 10 days before they become mature enough to venture out on their own. They reach sexual maturity at an age of 1 year.
- Unlike other members of the warbler family, pine warblers are known to frequent bird feeders. This is because their diet consists of pine seeds, unlike others of its family.
- Pine warblers play hosts to the malaria-causing endoparasite called Plasmodium.
- The call of the pine warbler is very similar to that of the dark-eyes junco and the chipping sparrow.