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 Blackburnian Warbler

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Blackburnian Warbler.

Use the links below to view the Blackburnian Warbler reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Blackburnian Warbler sightings.
Blackburnian Warbler Archives Reports
Fall 2003 15
Spring 2003 56
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 11
Summer 2002 7
Spring 2002 74
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 21
Summer 2001 8
Spring 2001 24
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 8
Summer 2000 5
Spring 2000 50
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 7
Spring/Summer 1999 9

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Blackburnian Warbler

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Blackburnian Warbler
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Blackburnian Warbler
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Dendroica fusca (Muller)
Blackburnian Warbler

Common transient. Summer resident south to Muskegon and (formerly) Kalamazoo counties.

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 414).

SPRING.-Arrival is reported in the Lower Peninsula in late April or early May and in the Upper Peninsula by mid-May or later.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area L. W. Campbell (1940: 208) reports May 10 to 20 as the average period of greatest abundance. In the Detroit area Swales recorded 2 as early as April 23 (1908), and J. Claire Wood (1911: 23-24) counted 260 on May 16. The species is commonly reported in the region of Ann Arbor in the first week of May; R. E. Morrill saw an individual there on May 3, 1938, and L. D. Case and H. R. Ward saw several on May 4,1934. The species was listed in Berrien County by N. A. Wood (1922: 28) from May 7 to 30, and there are 3 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) collected by B. F. Sykes at Kalamazoo on April 26, 1878. D. W. Douglass recorded 1 on Sand Point, Huron County, on April 29, 1933, and 20 on May 15, 1932; he reported the species common in mid- May. R. L. Patterson saw 1 at Gaylord, Otsego County, on May 7, 1939; William Brewster and Jonathan Dwight collected a series of specimens (M.C.Z.) at Oden, Emmet County, and at Cadillac, Wexford County, between May 10 and 30 (1888).

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens at McMillan, Luce County, and Christofferson at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, have recorded the species by the middle of May; Bryens saw 2 on May 13, 1940, and Christofferson saw 2 on May 14, 1938. N. A. Wood (1914: 71) found several at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on May 18, and S. S. Gregory, Jr., collected 2 specimens in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, on May 20 and 22, 1921. Laurence Dayton saw 1 on Isle Royale, May 25,1937, and N. A. Wood found 1 there on June 4,1930.

SUMMER.-Nesting occurs in June and early July.

Lower Peninsula.-Barrows (1912: 613) mentioned 2 nests found by B. F. Sykes near Kalamazoo: 1 on June 2, 1882, with 3 eggs, and 1 on June 5, ]881, with 4 warbler eggs and 1 Cowbird egg. In the spring of 1880 Gibbs (1885a: Vol. 25, pp. 4-5) observed females carrying nesting material in Montcalm County but found no nests. Since about 1900 the species has not been reported nesting south of Muskegon and Huron counties. Brodkorb saw a female feeding 3 young at Duck Lake, Muskegon County, on July 3, 1923, and N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 300) saw many of these warblers in the vicinity of Sand Point, Huron County, in 1908, and noted several young being fed by adults on July 24. In the Max M. Peet collection there are 3 fledglings that Peet secured near Luzerne, Oscoda County, on August 6, 1919, and several specimens (U.M.M.Z.) have been collected on Beaver and other islands of Charlevoix County in late June and July. Adults feeding young were observed by Widmann (1902: 236) in Emmet County between July 9 and 23; in the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, the species was reported from June 2 to August 25 by Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937).

Upper Peninsula.-Several Blackburnian Warblers were taken on Drummond Island and in its vicinity, Chippewa County, by T. D. Hinshaw and R. A. McMullan in July, 1938, and the species was believed to nest near Vermilion in the same county by N. A. Wood (1914: 71). At McMillan, Luce County, Bryens observed a pair building their nest on June 3, 1928, and saw adults feeding fledglings on June 30, 1935, and August 6, 1933. F. M. Gaige (1914: 88-89) found 3 small young in a nest in Dickinson County on July 17. In Alger County Walkinshaw observed a female feeding fledglings on June 26, 1933, and N. A. Wood (1918: 13) observed adults and young on July 24, 1916, at Whitefish Lake. John L. George and R. L. Patterson recorded at least 5 a day at Golden Lake, Iron County, in the summer of 1938, and N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary (1906: 119) took a fledgling (U.M.M.Z.) on July 14,1904, in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County.

FALL.-Southward movement is reported from late August to mid-September in the north and to late September or occasionally later in the southern counties.

Upper Peninsula.-N. A. Wood collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) on Isle Royale on August 22, 1929, and F. M. and A. M. Baumgartner ob- served 2 of these warblers there in the first week of September. F. M. Gaige (1914: 88-89) noted small flocks in Dickinson County between August 18 and 22 (1909); Bryens at McMillan, Luce County, usually re- corded it into late August-in 1933 as late as September 10.

Lower Peninsula.-Max M. Peet collected 2 specimens at Burt Lake, Cheboygan County, on September 8 and 15 (1940), and Chaney (1910:277) listed the species as fairly common during the latter part of August in Mason County. N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 300) noted it as abundant at Sand Point, Huron County, on August 27, and N. A. "Wood (1911: 107) observed it on Charity Island in the same county from August 26 to September 5. Gibbs (1885: 39) found the species in Kalamazoo County in September and early October, and Swales (1904: 39-40) listed it in the Detroit area throughout September. J. Claire "Wood collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) in Ecorse Township, Wayne County, in October, 1 on October 4, 1908, and 1 on October 9, 1906. L. W. Campbell (1940:194, 208) recorded the species in the Toledo-Erie marsh area as late as October 4 in 1936, but gave August 26 to September 10 as the average period for the main flight.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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