Bachmans wood warbler

Bachmans Wood Warbler Distribution Map

Bachmans wood warbler: Vermivora bachmanii

Taxonomic Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Parulidae
Genus/Species: Vermivora bachmanii
Common Name: Bachman’s wood warbler (widely accepted as Bachman’s warbler)

Listing Status

Federal Status: Endangered (Presumed Extinct)
FL Status: Federally-designated Endangered
FNAI Ranks: Not Ranked
IUCN Status: CR (Critically Endangered)

Physical Description

The Bachman’s wood warbler is the rarest songbird endemic to the U.S. (Coder and Jackson 1994).  This species can reach a body length of 3.9-4.3 inches (10-11 centimeters) with a wingspan of 4.25-4.75 inches (10.8-12.1 centimeters) (University of Georgia 2008, Alsop 2002).  Male’s have a gray nape (back of neck), yellow chin and belly, olive upper part of the tail, back, and wings, yellow forehead, and a black patch on their crown.  Females differ with a gray patch on their crown and a pale olive back (University of Georgia 2008).  This species may be extinct.  The last confirmed sighting of a nest was in 1937 (BirdLife International 2011). 

Life History

The diet of the Bachman’s wood warbler primarily consists of insects and other small arthropods (Hamel 2011).

Little is known about the life history of the Bachman’s wood warbler.  Nesting occurs between late March and early June, after the spring floods.  Nests are built in heavy undergrowth, within 3.3 feet (one meter) from the ground (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Multi-Species Recovery Plan, n.d.).  Nests are constructed with grass, leaves, and moss, while lined with high-quality vegetation material and Spanish moss.  The average clutch size for Bachman’s wood warbler is three to five eggs (University of Georgia 2008).     

Habitat and Distribution

Bachmans Wood Warbler Distribution Map

The Bachman’s wood warbler inhabits bottomland forests and swamps (along with canebrakes) (Alsop 2002).  This species is found in Arkansas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina, while wintering in Florida and Cuba (BirdLife International 2011).  In Florida, the species is found in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Species Profile, n.d.)

Threats:

Due to the lack of information on the ecology and life history of the Bachman’s wood warbler, and the lack of recent sightings, conservation management strategies and threats are difficult to determine.  This species’ large breeding range is a threat as its low population numbers can prevent the birds from finding mates.  During the late 1800’s, collisions with lighthouses were listed as a threat to the species.  Presently, collisions with similar size structures could be a threat towards the species (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Multi-Species Recovery Plan, n.d.). 

Conservation and Management

The Bachman’s wood warbler is protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  This species is also protected as an Endangered species by the Federal Endangered Species Act and as a Federally-designated Endangered species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule External Website.

Federal Recovery Plan External Website

Other Informative Links

BirdLife International External Website
International Union for Conservation of Nature External Website
NatureServe Explorer External Website
University of Georgia External Website
University of Georgia Species Profile External Website
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Multi-Species Recovery Plan for South Florida External Website

 

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References

Alsop, F. J. (2002). Birds of Florida. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley Inc. Page 36

BirdLife International (2011) Species factsheet: Vermivora bachmanii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org External Website on 25/07/2011.

Coder, K. D., & Jackson, J. J. (1994, April). Bachman's Warbler (Vermivora bachmanii). Retrieved July 25, 2011, from Warnell School of Forest Resources: http://warnell.forestry.uga.edu/service/library/index.php3?docID=94&docHistory%5B%D=5&docHistory%5B%5D=202&docHistory%5B%5D=361 External Website

University of Georgia. (2008). Bachman’s Warbler Vermivora bachmanii. Retrieved July 25, 2011, from Museum of Natural History: http://naturalhistory.uga.edu/~gmnh/gawildlife/index.php?page=speciespages/species_page&key=vbachmanii External Website

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Multi-Species Recovery Plan. (n.d.). Bachman’s Wood Warbler Vermivora bachmanii. Retrieved July 25, 2011, from South Florida Ecological Services Office: http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/MSRPPDFs/Bachmanswarbler.pdf External Website

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Species Profile. (n.d.). Bachman’s Wood Warbler Vermivora bachmanii. Retrieved July 25, 2011, from Environmental Online Conservation System: http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=B03G External Website


Image Credit FWC



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