Cerulean Warbler

photo by Phil Swanson

Dendroica cerulea
L 4 3/4″ (12 cm).

Song or calls:
Song is short, fast, accelerating series of buzzy notes on one pitch, ending with single buzz note.

Description: Short-tailed; two wide white wing bars. Male is bluish above with dark streaks on back; white below with dark breast band and dark streaking on sides. Female is bluish-green above; pale eyebrow broadens behind eye; dark eye line; pale yellow breast and throat; and pale streaking on sides.

cerulean warbler
Habitat: Moist deciduous bottomland forests and mature upland woods. Preferred breeding habitats are rather open forests with large trees and sparse undergrowth.

Where in Nebraska: Uncommon spring and fall migrant in eastern Nebraska. Cerulean Warblers have nested at Fontenelle Forest in Sarpy County. Rare or local summer resident along Missouri River in southeast. Vagrants seen in west.

Fun Facts: The female Cerulean Warbler has an unusual way of leaving a nest after sitting on it a while, often referred to “bungee-jumping.” She will drop from the side of the nest, keeping her wings folded to her sides in a sort of free fall, and opens her wings to fly only when she is well below the nest.

Cerulean Warbler - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)