Birds – Mourning Warbler

(Geothlypis Philadelphia) Wood Warbler family Called also : MOURNING GROUND WARBLER

Length—5 to 5.6 inches. About an inch smaller than the English sparrow.

Male—Gray head and throat; the breast gray; the feathers with black edges that make them look crinkled, like crape. The black markings converge into a spot on upper breast. Upper parts, except head, olive. Underneath rich yellow.

Female—Similar, but duller; throat and breast buff and dusky where the male is black. Back olive-green.

Range—” Eastern North America; breeds from eastern Nebraska, northern New York, and Nova Scotia northward, and south-ward along the Alleghanies to Pennsylvania. Winters in the tropics.”—Chapman.

Migrations—May. September. Spring and autumn migrant.

Since Audubon met with but one of these birds in his incessant trampings, and Wilson secured only an immature, imperfectly marked specimen for his collection, the novice may feel no disappointment if he fails to make the acquaintance of this “gay and agreeable widow.” And yet the shy and wary bird is not unknown in Central Park, New York City. Even where its clear, whistled song strikes the ear with a startling novelty that invites to instant pursuit of the singer, you may look long and diligently through the undergrowth without finding it. Dr. Merriam says the whistle resembles the syllables “true, true, true, tru, too, the voice rising on the first three syllables and falling on the last two.” In the nesting season this song is repeated over and over again with a persistency worthy of a Kentucky warbler. It is delivered from a perch within a few feet of the ground, as high as the bird seems ever inclined to ascend.