Birds – Pine Warbler

(Dendroica vigorsii) Wood Warbler family Called also : PINE-CREEPING WARBLER

Length—5.5 to 6 inches. A trifle smaller than the English sparrow.

Male—Yellowish olive above; clear yellow below, shading to grayish white, with obscure dark streaks on side of breast. Two whitish wing-bars; two outer tail feathers partly white.

Female—Duller ; grayish white only faintly tinged with yellow underneath.

Range—North America, east of the Rockies; north to Manitoba, and south to Florida and the Bahamas. Winters from south-ern Illinois southward.

Migrations—March or April. October or later. Common summer resident.

The pine warbler closely presses the myrtle warbler for the first place in the ranks of the family migrants, but as the latter bird often stays north all winter, it is usually given the palm. Here is a warbler, let it be recorded, that is fittingly named, for it is a denizen of pine woods only; most common in the long stretches of pine forests at the south and in New York and New England, and correspondingly uncommon wherever the woods-man’s axe has laid the pine trees low throughout its range. Its “simple, sweet, and drowsy song,” writes Mr. Parkhurst, is always associated “with the smell of pines on a sultry day.” It recalls that of the junco and the social sparrow or chippy.

Creeping over the bark of trees and peering into every crevice like a nuthatch; running along the limbs, not often hopping nervously or flitting like the warblers; darting into the air for a passing insect, or descending to the ground to feed on seeds and berries, the pine warbler has, by a curious combination, the movements that seem to characterize several different birds.

It is one of the largest and hardiest members of its family, but not remarkable for its beauty. It is a sociable traveller, cheerfully escorting other warblers northward, and welcoming to its band both the yellow redpolls and the myrtle warblers. These birds are very often seen together in the pine and other evergreen trees in our lawns and in the large city parks.