The Cape May Warbler leads very different lives during the
summer and winter months. During the summer, they are most often found in
spruce forests, where they have access to their favorite summer food item,
spruce budworms. They spend their winter on Caribbean islands and in
southern Florida, where much of their diet may shift to nectar, sap, and juices
obtained from puncturing fruit. The Cape May Warbler is the only warbler
with a tubular tongue adapted to feeding on nectar from flowers.
the summer breeding season, they are found in spruce forest, usually in open
forests or near woodland edges. During migration, they also prefer
conifers but can be found in deciduous trees and brushy thickets as well.
They are often found in palm trees during their winter months in the Caribbean
Diet: In the summer, they primarily feeds
on insects, and are especially fond of spruce budworms. During migration
and in winter, they often feed on nectar, and juice obtained by piercing
fruits. They will also drink sap from sapsucker drill holes.
Behavior: On summer on its preferred spruce forest
habitat, usually feeds at the end of spruce branches in search of insects.
They will also occasionally fly out from a perch to capture insects in
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: A high-pitched see-see-see-see.
Migration: Summers throughout central and southeastern Canada, the Great Lakes region, and
northern New England. Winters in the Caribbean and southern Florida.
Conservation Status: Possibly has become more
common in recent decades. Populations seem to boom and bust with
populations of spruce budworms, a favorite food item.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Cape May Warbler"
Cape May Warbler
Image Information: Colored pencil drawing by Terry
Sohl - 2012