The Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora pinus, is a fairly common New World warbler, 11.5 cm long and weighing 8.5 g.
Distribution / Range
It breeds in eastern North America in southern Ontario and the eastern USA. Its range is extending northwards, where it is replacing the very closely related Golden-winged Warbler, Vermivora chrysoptera.
It is migratory, wintering in southern Central America. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, with one bird wandering to Ireland.
The breeding male Blue-winged Warbler is unmistakable. It is yellow above and below. The wings are gray with two white bars, and there is a black eye stripe.
Females are duller, but otherwise similar.
This species forms two distinctive hybrids with Golden-winged Warbler. The commoner, genetically dominant Brewster’s Warbler is gray above and whitish (male) or yellow (female) below. It has a black eye stripe and two white wing bars.
The rarer recessive Lawrence’s Warbler has a male plumage which is green and yellow above and yellow below, with white wing bars and the same face pattern as male Golden-winged. The female is gray above and whitish below with two yellow wing bars and the same face pattern as female Golden-winged.
Breeding / Nesting
The breeding habitat is open scrubby areas. Blue-winged Warblers nest on the ground or low in a bush, laying 4-7 eggs in a cup nest.
Diet / Feeding
These birds feed on insects, and spiders.
Calls / Vocalization
The song is a series of buzzing notes. The call is a sharp chip.