The spectacularly hued magnolia warbler is among the Top 10 most banded species in the 50-year history of the museum’s banding station. These birds quickly adapt to new environments, which has helped them to avoid population declines when forest habitats are lost. Magnolia warblers prefer breeding in lowlands among conifers; in western Pennsylvania they are particularly fond of hemlock thickets.
The name “magnolia” was assigned mostly in error. The bird was first discovered in a magnolia tree in Mississippi, but the discovery occurred during migration season when birds forage wherever they can. Not only do these birds generally prefer a different type of tree, they do not tend to reside in the southern states.
More than 900 magnolia warblers were banded at the museum's station in 2010—a record year for this species.
Photo: David Speiser, lilibirds.com