South Dakota
Birds and Birding
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MacGillivray's Warbler

Oporornis tolmiei

Length: 5.25 inches Wingspan: 8.25 inches Seasonality: Summer / Migrant
ID Keys: Olive upperparts, yellow below, crisp white crescents above and below the eye.  Males with blackish throats, females with grayish throats.  

MacGillivray's Warbler - Oporornis tolmieiMacGillivray's Warbler is a close relative of the Mourning Warbler, generally taking it's ecological niche in the western part of the continent.  They can be locally abundant during migration through the western United States, especially in the Southwest U.S.  They often skulk low among dense thickets except during the breeding season, when males will often sing exuberantly from a high exposed perch.

Habitat: During the summer breeding season, they prefer thickets and dense forest undergrowth, usually near clearings or forest edges, and along stream bottoms.  They can often be found in burned areas or short brushy second-growth forest.  They are also usually found in forest undergrowth during the winter in the tropics.

Diet: Primarily feeds on insects, but will also take spiders and occasionally worms.  They also are known to feed at sapsucker drill wells.  

Behavior: Forages in brush and forest undergrowth, typically close to the ground, looking for insects in the foliage.  Will also hop around on the ground in pursuit of insects.

Nesting: June and July

Breeding Map: Breeding Bird Survey map

Song: Usually a 2-part song, with 3 to 5 short notes followed by 2 or 3 notes at a lower pitch.

Migration: Summers throughout much of the western United States and western Canada.  Winters in Mexico and Central America.

Similar Species: Mourning Warbler, Connecticut Warbler

Conservation Status: Populations have evidently declined slightly in recent decades.

South Dakota Hotspot: MacGillivray's Warblers breed in the Black Hills, and can often be found in the Spearfish Canyon area.

Further Information: 1) Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, MacGillivray's Warbler

2) Cornell University's "All About Birds - MacGillivray's Warbler"

3) eNature.com: MacGillivray's Warbler

Photo Information: May 28th, 2004 -- Little Spearfish Creek -- Scott Weins

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
MacGillivray's Warbler - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Uncommon summer resident in the Black Hills.  Rare migrant elsewhere in the far west, accidental in the rest of the state.
 

Additional MacGillivray's Warbler Photos (coming soon!)