Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Warblers migrating through Ijams to nesting grounds
Northern parula (Parula americana) and hooded warbler (Wilsonia citrina) were two of the New World warbler species educator Emily Boves heard along the trails at Ijams yesterday. She was leading a group of excited students on a look and learn field trip.
Both warbler species were just passing through, migrating to their respective nesting grounds.
The hooded warbler can be found nesting in the shrubby understory of the Smokies. Listen for them in rhododendron thickets.
The Northern parula has two distinct breeding populations. The southern population nests primarily in hanging Spanish moss in the deep South, while the northern population uses the similar-looking old man's beard, or Usnea, lichen that hangs from trees in long strands. Parulas can also be found nesting in the Smokies.
- Text by Stephen Lyn Bales, photo by Dan Pancamo