Hey guys, welcome back. Cornell describes today’s bird as “drab, but elegantly marked” and that’s certainly a good way to put it. The worm-eating warbler is a small warbler that is an olive brown, with a slightly yellower head. They have four bold black stripes on their head. These are warblers that are not quite as plentiful as some of the other species we’ve featured. In fact, their breeding range is focused in the Appalachians, barely extending into southern New York state. Their range does creep a bit further north right along the Atlantic coast, which is how I’ve been able to see these guys.
All of the worm-eating warblers I’ve ever seen (to date) were in Central Park in New York. Never plentiful, there’d usually be a few that popped up every spring (and possibly in fall, but I never saw one in fall.) These birds love the understory, and as their breeding range may indicate, they love the sides of slopes, the steeper the better. The last two I remember seeing were in such surroundings. There’s a dirt (sometimes mulched) trail leading from the Ravine in the north end of Central Park to the North Woods. This trail is fairly steep, and was a tremendous birding spot in spring because it took you up to a place where you’d be at eye level with the canopy of the trees at the bottom of the hill. In the understory on this hill was where the worm-eating warblers were. One, I remember, was on a small plant, probing dead leaf clusters, which I’d later discover was something they’re known to do. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of worm-eating warblers. They’re even less common here in northern Ohio, so it may be a while before I get a good pic of one! Next time, we’ll look at an interesting raptor that I do have good pictures of. Osprey is up next! See you then!