Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus)
- The pine warbler grows to a length of 4.75 to 5.5 inches (12 to 14 cm), with a wingspan of 9 inches (22 cm). It has an olive-colored back and upper wings, white wing bars, thin, pointed bill, and yellow throat and breast. It is the only bird in the forest with a bright yellow throat and white wing bars. The pine warbler is a small, active bird.
- Life History
Pine warblers dine on insects, fruits, and seeds. Their predators include hawks and other birds of prey. At one year, they reach sexual maturity. Mating season is from mid-March through early June. Cup-shaped nests made of bark strips, pine needles, twigs and other fine material are built 25 to 40 feet (7.5 to 12.5 m) above ground near the branch tips of pine trees. Females lay three to five eggs, white with brown spots. Young hatch after about ten days. The young are altricial (born with their eyes closed and bald), but they open their eyes, grow feathers and fledge all within about ten days of hatching. Pine warblers live less than five years.
Pine warblers spend most of their time in pine forests, overwintering in the southern United States with a relatively short migration in the spring to more northern states. However, some pine warblers are permanent Texas residents. The scientific name for this species describes its habitat: dendron (a tree); oicos (inhabitants); and pinus (a pine tree). Pine warblers are among the most abundant warblers in the forest, able to adapt to different types of food available at different times of year. Their more subdued coloring makes them more difficult to see than some of the more brightly colored warblers.
- Pine warblers prefer mature jack pine and pitch pine woodlands, mixed with hardwoods.
- Pine warblers are found in the eastern United States, especially in pine forests, riparian areas and oak woodlands.
- Although not endangered now, good forest management will insure that pine warblers will survive into the future. Pine warblers will need forests with groups of pine trees and hardwoods and minimal human disturbance.