The Worm-eating Warbler is
another poorly named bird, for they rarely if ever feed on earthworms, although
they do feed heavily on caterpillars.
Relatively unusual for a warbler, they're often quite sluggish, slowly poking
through the forest understory and the forest floor for insects. The female is
extremely attached to her nest, and will often remain, motionless, until a
predator (or curious bird watcher) is within inches of the nest. The
mother will then burst from the nest, feigning injury a short distance away to
try and lure the intruder away from the nest. Their dry
trilling is very reminiscent of the Chipping
in deciduous forests during the summer breeding season, especially slopes or
shaded banks with a thick undergrowth of shrubs and saplings. Found in
dense thickets or forest undergrowth during migration and in winter.
feeds on caterpillars and other insects, as well as spiders and occasionally
Behavior: Forages in trees and shrubs for insects, especially on the bark
of tree trunks and branches. Will also forage on the ground, probing
fallen leaves for insects. Often a relatively sluggish forager, at least
compared to most warblers.
in South Dakota.
throughout much of the eastern United States wouth of the Great Lakes.
Winters in Mexico and southward.
Similar Species: Generally distinctive, although
possibly confused with Swainson's Warbler.
Conservation Status: Have disappeared or sharply
declined in some areas due to habitat loss. Overall, numbers appear to
currently be stable however.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Worm-eating Warbler