Birds of the Week # 36
The Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus) is a small songbird of the New World warbler family. Their breeding habitats are open pine woods in eastern North America. These birds are permanent residents in southern Florida. Some of them, however, migrate to northeastern Mexico and islands in Bermuda and the Caribbean. The first record for South America was a vagrant wintering female seen at Vista Nieve, Colombia, on 20 November 2002; this bird was foraging as part of a mixed-species feeding flock that also included wintering Blackburnian and Tennessee warblers. They forage slowly on tree trunks and branches by poking their bill into pine cones. These birds also find food by searching for it on the ground. These birds mainly eat insects, seeds and berries. Their nests are deep, open cups, which are placed near the end of a tree branch. Pine warblers prefer to nest in pine trees, hence their names. Three to five blotched white eggs are laid.
The Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) is a species of woodpecker, the smallest in North America. Downy woodpeckers are native to forested areas, mainly deciduous, of North America. Their range consists of most of the United States and Canada, except for the deserts of the southwest and the tundra of the north. Mostly permanent residents, northern birds may migrate further south; birds in mountainous areas may move to lower elevations. Downy woodpeckers nest in a tree cavity excavated by the nesting pair in a dead tree or limb. In the winter, they roost in tree cavities. Downy woodpeckers forage on trees, picking the bark surface in summer and digging deeper in winter. They mainly eat insects, but they also feed on seeds and berries. They are a natural predator of the European corn borer, a moth that costs the US agriculture industry more than $1 billion annually in crop losses and population control. In winter, especially, downy woodpeckers can often be found in suburban backyards with mature trees where they feed on suet and shelled peanuts provided by mesh bird-feeders.
© HJ Ruiz – Avian101