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story + photos by Seth Benz

April harkens the return of the warbler vanguard. On the Schoodic Peninsula, records indicate Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus; left in photo above) is the first to show up, followed about a week later by Palm Warbler (S. palmarum; center), and lastly by Yellow-rumped Warbler (S. coronate; right).


Green bars show relative abundance of Palm, Pine, and Yellow-rumped Warblers in each month from January through December, according to observation records from eBird.


All three are short-distance migrants, meaning the center of the population of each winters from Virginia south through the expanse of the Gulf Coast states. Each is a relatively large, long-tailed warbler with a preferred habitat where they feed on insects. Pine Warbler is closely associated with pine trees. Palm Warbler prefers to nest in bogs. And the Yellow-rumped Warbler, the most common and numerous of the three, prefers the edges of spruce-fir forest here on the peninsula.

April is a migratory month, so most birds will be moving through the Schoodic Point area while only some, especially the Yellow-rumped Warblers, will seek out nesting territories at locations such as Schoodic Woods Campground or Frazer Point.

When do the warblers appear in your neighborhood? Let us know!