Family: Emberizidae (Wood Warblers)
The Bay-breasted Warbler is one of the more larger warblers measuring about 5-6" long with a wingspread of 8 1/4-9 1/4". They have short, slender, and sharp-pointed bills. The male has chestnut-red throat, upper breast and sides area. The forehead, cheeks and a small space over the eye are deep black. The sides of the neck are yellowish-white. Upperpart is ash-gray and streaked with black, two white wing bars, light brown legs, brown eyes and the rest of the underparts are a buff color. The female in spring is similar to the male but with the colors fainter and in Autumn is olive-green above.
Bay-breasted Warblers are very active, hopping about in thickets and leaves of trees in search of insects. As with all warblers, they are migratory and can be seen as early as April in the Eastern US.
The song of the Bay-breasted Warbler is a high-pitched, thin sibilant "tees teesi teesi" which is very similar to the Blackburnian and Cape May Warblers.
Migratory. Winters in Panama to Venezuela; breeds in Canada in mixed evergreen-hardwood forests.
The nest is made up on dried grass stalks, mosses, roots, twigs and lichens. It is lined with bark strips and hairs of rabbit. The nest can be found anywhere from 10-50 feet above ground in a spruce, birch or hemlock tree and sometimes even in shrubs. They normally roost in places where they nest. During the months of May through July, approximately 4-6 eggs are laid which are white with spots of brown. Incubation is by the female only which lasts approximately 12 days with the first young leaving the nest in 12-13 days after hatching.
Natural Feeding Habits:
The Bay-breasted Warbler's diet is mainly insects such as flies, grasshoppers, cankerworms, moths, beetles and leafhoppers which it finds by very actively searching each leaf and sometimes flowers. They sometimes eat berries such as mulberries.
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