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Kentucky Warbler

These small birds are common across Central America and the eastern side of the United States.

The Kentucky Warbler is a ground-nesting warbler of moist, eastern forests. Its loud, rich song is similar to that of the Carolina Wren. Kentucky Warblers have declined, and it is thought to be due to tropical deforestation.

Kentucky Warblers maintain territories in winter as well as summer, and they tend to return to the same territories each year on both their breeding and wintering grounds. Nests are commonly parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds, though the warblers sometimes lay extra eggs when that happens.


Description of the Kentucky Warbler


The Kentucky Warbler has greenish upperparts, a yellow throat and underparts, and a black patch below yellow spectacles.

Males have a more extensive black patch on the face and neck.  Length: 5 in.  Wingspan: 8 in.

kentucky warbler


Females have less black on the face and neck.

Seasonal change in appearance

Fall birds have less black on the face and neck.


Fall immatures have little or no black on the face and neck.


Kentucky Warblers inhabit moist woodlands with undergrowth.


Kentucky Warblers eat insects.

Kentucky Warbler

Female Kentucky Warbler


Kentucky Warblers forage on the ground among leaf litter.


Kentucky Warblers breed across much of the eastern U.S. They winter in Mexico, Central America, and South America. The population has declined in recent decades.

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Kentucky Warbler.

Fun Facts

Kentucky Warblers have a loud song, but are somewhat shy and hard to see. Early in the breeding season, they sing persistently.

Kentucky Warblers are territorial on their wintering grounds as well as their breeding grounds.

The song of the Kentucky Warbler can be confused with that of the Carolina Wren.


The song is a series of rapid, two-note phrases.  A “chuk” call is also given.


Similar Species

Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroats have a bold, black mask on the face surrounding the eye. Females somewhat resemble female Kentucky.

Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler has more yellow in the face.


The Kentucky Warbler’s nest is a cup of leaves, grass stems, and weeds and is lined with finer materials. It is placed on or near the ground near a shrub or grass clump.

Number: Usually lay 4-5 eggs.
Color: Whitish with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 11-13 days and fledge at about 8-10 days, though remaining dependent on the adults for some time.


Bent Life History of the Kentucky Warbler

Published by the Smithsonian Institution between the 1920s and the 1950s, the Bent life history series of monographs provide an often colorful description of the birds of North America. Arthur Cleveland Bent was the lead author for the series. The Bent series is a great resource and often includes quotes from early American Ornithologists, including Audubon, Townsend, Wilson, Sutton and many others.

Bent Life History for the Kentucky Warbler – the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written.



Wilson (1832) discovered this handsome warbler and named it for the State in which he found it most abundant. The name is not inappropriate, for Kentucky is not far from the center of its abundance in the breeding season. Its summer range covers most of the eastern half of the United States, chiefly in the Mississippi Valley, but it extends northward to southern Minnesota, southern Ontario, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and southward to the Gulf States. Eastward, it breeds locally from the lower Hudson Valley, New York, to North Carolina, but it is rare east of the Alleghenies in the southeastern States.

The Kentucky warbler is a woodland bird, a lover of deep shade and dense, damp thickets. Ridgway (1889) says that it “is one of the most abundant of birds in the rich woods of southern Illinois. As far north as Wabash, Lawrence, and Richland counties, it is even more abundant than the Golden-crowned Thrush, though the two usually inhabit different locations, the latter preferring, as a rule, the dryer upland woods, while the present species is most abundant in the rich woods of the bottom-lands.”

Franklin L. Burns wrote to Dr. Chapman (1907) from Berwyn, Pennsylvania: “It is here an inhabitant of the overgrown clearings, swampy thickets, and the borders of woodland; a bird of the south, loving the luxuriant undergrowths of spicewood, ferns, mandrake, skunk cabbage, and other shade-loving plants of rank growth.”

Andrew Allison wrote to Dr. Chapman (1907) that, in Mississippi, this warbler inhabits “undergrowth in damp, or, at least, heavily shaded, woods. It may frequent the thickets of rose-bay (Illicium) and the tangle of bamboo briars on the Gulf coast, the varied tangled growth along the creeks and rivers of the higher regions, or the brakes of switch-cane; but it always selects a low, thick growth, where it feeds almost entirely on the ground.”

In the central Allegheny Mountain region, according to Prof. Maurice Brooks (1940), “the birds seem at home in a number of forest types, southern mixed hardwoods, scrub and pitch pine mixtures, oak-hickory, and northern hardwoods. * * * As with many other sylvan birds, ravines seem especially to attract them.”

Spring: From its winter home, from southern Mexico to Colombia, the Kentucky warbler moves northward mainly in April. While a few individuals may cross from Yucat~in and Cuba to Florida, it is evidently rather rare on that side of the Gulf of Mexico. The main migration route of the great bulk of these birds is northward and northeastward through Texas to the Mississippi Valley, where its center of abundance in summer is in the bottom-land forests of the great rivers, mainly west of the Alleghenies and east of the great plains. M. A. Frazar (1881) saw “large numbers” of Kentucky warblers migrating across the Gulf of Mexico, when his ship was about 30 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River; they had apparently come from Yucatan and were flying due north.

Nesting: Dr. Alexander F. Skutch writes to me: “A nest found near Baltimore, Md., on May 31, 1934, was concealed among a vigorous stand of AS’anicula m4rilandica in low and moist but not swampy ground in light woods. The bottom of the nest was about 2 inches above the ground. In form, the structure was a bulky, open cup. The very thick outer layer contained about 200 dead leaves which were whole or nearly whole, chiefly medium-sized leaves of oak, beech, and red maple. The inner lining, very thin in comparison with the bulky outer wall, consisted of fine rootlets and other fibrous material. The nest contained two proper eggs and one of the cowbird.

“The female, if she happened to be incubating or, later, brooding the nestlings at the time of my visits, would sit bravely facing me while I looked down at her with my head scarcely more than a foot distant from her. When I tried to touch her, she jumped abruptly from the nest and walked slowly over the ground with the tips of her wings dragging, chirping excitedly.

“I have another record of a nest found near Baltimore on June 22, 1934. It was in weedy open woods, on the ground at the foot of a bush. It contained four newly laid eggs.”

F. L. Burns (Chapman, 1907) says:

The nest is often placed in the most unexpected places: It may be on top of the ground at the foot of a beech, spice-bush, dog-wood, sweet birch, or black haw sprout; under a fallen bough, or perhaps just off the wet earth between the ground forks of a bunch of spice-wood, winter fern, Spanish needles or other weeds; or less frequently, In the midst of a patch of wild sarsaparilla, mandrake or other annuals, with nothing to turn aside the crushing foot of man or beast. It is usually well concealed by the surrounding vegetation while in a comparatively open spot, and if not directly in an abandoned cartroad, not far from some woodland footpath, public road, or the edge of the woods.

A rather bulky and loosely constructed nest, outwardly of somewhat ragged dead leaves of the chestnut, beech, cherry, maple, white, black and chestnut oak, a few weed or grass stems, an occasional strip of wild grapevine bark, and, once, many green leaves of the dogwood, and, in another example, several oak blossoms; usually followed by an inner layer of bright, clean dead leaves of the beech, lined with black rootlets and in fully half of the nests examined, a few long black horse-hairs. In one instance the lining was of light-colored rootlets. Another nest, so well bidden In a patch of woodplants that I accidentally trod upon It while actually searching for It, was a most frail affair built exclusively of grasses, lined with black rootlets, however.

During the nest building period the birds are so extremely Jealous and watchful, deserting the site rather than he spied upon, that I have been unable so far to follow this interesting period to a finish. The male unquestionably aids his mate.

Charles F. De Garis (1936) has published an interesting paper describing six nests of the Kentucky warbler, among which was one peculiar nest in an unusual situation. It was placed in a fence corner of a garden in an open situation.

There was no trace of logs or lichens, ferns or vines, no shelter of any kind, in fact nothing hut a heap of clods and leaves raked from the garden. * * *

With the purpose of offering her a choice of artificial materials, I worked till dark assembling bits of plain and colored string, thread, cotton and wool, and such fragments of ribbon and rayon as I could find. When the female came, the next morning,, she “made several trips for grass before taking any notice of my bargain counter display. Finally she became interested in a bit of brown sweater wool, which she promptly conveyed to the nest. Tben followed wbite string, green string, yellow ribbon and the like, taken with little or no deliberation. A piece of pale blue rayon gave her pause, but after shredding it a while she took it on to the nest. However, she eschewed all materials of carmine, scarlet and purple.

The only nest of the Kentucky warbler that I have ever found was in a typical situation in a large tract of heavy, deciduous, upland woods in Delaware County, Pa., on June 8, 1896. I had been hunting carefully and thoroughly over a limited area in whi~h the male had been singing and flitting about in an apparently unconcerned manner, when I flushed the female from her nest almost at my feet; she fluttered along the ground as if with a broken wing. The nest was only partially concealed beneath the leaves of two very small spice-wood saplings. It was built up some 4 or 5 inches above the ground between the two saplings with a great mass of beech and other hardwood leaves; the inner nest was made of weed stems and rootlets and was lined with finer rootlets and a little cowhair. It held five half-incubated eggs.

Eggs: The Kentucky warbler lays from 3 to 6 eggs to a set; sets of 3 are perhaps incomplete and sets of 6 are rare. In a typical series of 30 sets there are 13 sets of four, 10 sets of 5, and only 2 sets of 6. The shape varies from short ovate to elongated ovate, and they are only slightly lustrous. The white or creamy white ground color is speckled, spotted, and sometimes blotched with shades of “bay,” “auburn,” or “chestnut,” with undertones of “Quaker drab” or “light mouse gray.” Although some eggs are rather boldly marked with blotches, the majority seem to be speckled or finely spotted. On some the speckles are very dense, on others they may be sparsely scattered over the entire surface or concentrated at the large end. The measurements of 50 eggs average 18.6 by 14.3 millimeters; the eggs showing the four extremes measure 20.4 by 15.7, 16.8 by 13.7, and 17.8 by 12.7 millimeters (Harris).

Young: At a nestful of eggs, marked and carefully watched, Mr. De Garis (1936) found that “after twelve days’ incubation all four eggs hatched, and after ten days of nest-feeding the vigorous brood of four was brought off. * * * I found that each egg was turned on its long axis once, sometimes twice, every twenty-four hours, and that the relative position of the eggs to each other was variously altered from time to time.~~ Evidently, all the incubating and brooding was performed by the female, and “the burden of feeding the young was assumed very unequally by male and female. The male continued to devote most of his waking hours to musical exercise, and only rarely passed on a small moth or fly to his mate.” When the time came for the young to leave the nest, the female came near the nest with tempting food, but would not feed the crying young until she had persuaded them to leave. After that they were fed by both parents for as much as 17 days. At other nests, he found incubation to last 13 days, and the young were nest-fed ~½ days.

Mr. Burns (Chapman, 1907) says that “the eyes of the young are opened on the fifth day and in two instances birds left the nest orf the eighth day. If the too inquisitive observer is noticed lurking around, the female will frequently drive the young from the nest prematurely. The male, while protesting vigorously, seldom approaches as closely as the female.”

Dr. Skutch (MS.) relates the following interesting experience: “At about noon on June 16, 1934, while following up a small rivulet flowing through an extensive woodland in Baltimore County, Md., I entered a low, swampy area surrounding the channel, almost devoid of trees, but overgrown with spice-bush and skunk cabbage. As I came into this natural clearing, a pair of Kentucky warblers flitted nervously about, uttering loud, full chirps. I suspected they had a nest in the low ground, and stood quietly at one side, hoping that they would eventually reveal its location to me. After a period of excited chirping, one of them found a larva and flew with it to the far side of the opening. After hesitating a minute or so, it flew down and disappeared among the herbage with its burden. I crossed the swamp and began to search among the skunk cabbages and sedges in the spot where the parent had disappeared. When I had gone beyond the area where I expected to find the nest: the parents meanwhile flitting excitedly around me: I was brought suddenly to a halt by a loud explosion of small bird voices that seemed to arise from my very feet. Looking downward, I beheld three or four little olive birds hopping rapidly away in as many directions, while the parents were driven to renewed chirping and excitement. Not two inches from my right foot was the nest, now entirely deserted, a bulky open cup of dead leaves lined with fibrous material. It rested upon the ground at the base of a skunk cabbage plant at the edge of the swamp.

“I pursued one of the little birds, who tried to escape by hopping, and finally capturing it, found that it bore little resemblance to its parents. * * * Meanwhile one of the parents, probably the mother, crept slowly and painfully over the ground at a safe distance from me, dragging her relaxed wings and her tail; while the other flitted about holding in his bill a larva which he was too excited to deliver to a youngster.”

Plumages: Dr. Dwight (1900) describes the juvenal plumage of the Kentucky warbler, in which the sexes are alike, as “above, including sides of head rich olive-brown. Wings and tail rather darker, edged with deep olive-green, the wing coverts with wood-brown. Below, pale raw umber-brown, Naples-yellow on the abdomen and crissum.

A partial postjuvenal molt in July, involving the contour plumage and the wing coverts but not the rest of the wings or the tail, produces the first winter plumages, in which the sexes are recognizable. In this plumage, the young male is “above, olive-green including the wing coverts. Below, including superciliary stripe, bright canaryyellow. The forehead, crown, lores and auriculars are partly black much veiled by smoke-gray edgings.” The first nuptial plumage is acquired by a partial prenuptial molt “which involves a part of the head, chin and throat, but no other areas. The black crown with plumbeous edgings, the black lores, auriculars and a short extension on the sides of the neck are assumed, together with the yellow feathers of the chin and superciliary stripe. Young and old become indistinguishable.”

A complete molt in July produces the adult winter plumage, which “differs from first winter in the crown being grayer, the black areas more defined and the edgings clear plumbeous gray, veiling the black much less.” He says that the adult nuptial plumage is “acquired apparently by a partial prenuptial moult, as in the young bird, although wear alone may modify the winter plumage after the first year.” Females differ from males in all the later plumages, the black markings being duller and more restricted.

Food: No extensive study of the food of the Kentucky warbler is available. Forbush (1929) says: “The food of this bird consists in part of grasshoppers and locusts, caterpillars and the larvae of other insects, moths, plant-lice, grubs, spiders and other animal food that it finds chiefly on or near the ground, or in bushes, vines or the lower parts of trees. In summer it takes some berries.” A. H. Howell (1924) reports that the stomachs of two birds, taken in Alabama, contained remains of bugs, beetles, ants, and other Hymenoptera.

Behavior: The Kentucky warbler is essentially a ground warbler, and, like others of similar habits, it walks gracefully along rather than hopping; it shares to some extent with the waterthrushes the habit of bobbing its tail, though this habit is no more pronounced than it is with the ovenbird. John Burroughs (1871) classes him with the ground warblers and says that “his range is very low, indeed lower than that of any other species with which I am acquainted. He is on the ground nearly all the time, moving rapidly along, taking spiders and bugs, overturning leaves, peeping under sticks and into crevices and every now and then leaping up eight or ten inches, to take his game from beneath some overhanging leaf or branch. Thus each species has its range more or less marked. Draw a line three feet from the ground, and you mark the usual limit of the Kentucky warbler’s quest for food.” Ridgway (1889) writes:

In its manners It is almost a counterpart of the Golden-crowned Thrush, but is altogether a more conspicuous bird, both on account of its brilliant plumage and the fact that it is more active, the males being, during the breeding season, very pugnacious, and continually chasing one another about the woods. S * * Considering its great abundance, the nest of this species is extraordinarily difficult to find; at least this has been the writer’s experience, and he has come to the conclusion that the female must slyly leave the nest at the approach of the Intruder and run beneath the herbage until a considerable distance from the nest, when Joined by her mate, the pair by their evident anxiety mislead the collector as to its location. However this may be, the writer has never found a nest of this species except by accident, although he has repeatedly searched every square foot of ground within a radius of many yards of the spot where a pair showed most uneasiness at his presence.

Other observers have commented on this same trait. And Amos W. Butler (1898) refers to its resemblance to the ovenbird in its actions, saying: “It carries its body evenly balanced, apparently, and the equilibrium is only maintained with much difficulty by using its tail as a balance, causing that appendage to bob up and down. Hopping about a steep, springy bank, it reminds one of the Worm-eating Warbler, as it climbs over roots, sticks and logs, now disappearing from. view in a hole beneath t.he roots, then behind a log, here stopping to peck at an insect, and there turning over the leaves.~~

Voice: Dr. Chapman (1912) writes:

His song Is entirely unlike that of any other Warbler. It is a loud, clearly whistled performance of five, six, or seven notes: tur-die, tar-die, tar-die: resembling in tone some of the calls of the Carolina Wren. Even in the woods it may be heard at a distance of about one hundred and fifty yards. In the height of the breeding season this Warbler is a most persistent singer. On one occasion, at Englewood, N. J., I watched a male for three hours. During this period, with the exception of five interruptions of less than forty-five seconds each, he sang wIth the greatest regularity once every twelve seconds. Thus, allowing for the brief intervals of silence, he sang about 875 times, or some 5,250 notes. 1 found him singing, and when I departed he showed no signs of ceasing.

F. L. Burns wrote to Dr. Chapman (1907):

The song is a loud, clear and sweetly whistled peer-ry, repeated rapidly four or five times. Often, though less frequently, a che che che jcer-ry peer-r~j peer-ri,. When first heard it is suggestive of the song of the Cardinal or Carolina Wren. During the nesting season It is an incessant singer from the lower branches of the sapling in which it is constantly moving or as often from the ground where it is at its best, walking about with an air and dignity not often attained by small birds. The song continues from arrival until June 27: June 23, and one was heard August 7, (1902). ~ * * A flight song is sometimes delivered about dusk during the height of the breeding period. It is indescribable. The alarm note is a metallic chip, check, or chuck, more or less rapidly repeated, and to a critical ear easIly recognizable.”

A. D. Du Bois tells me that the song reminds him of the pe-to note of the tufted titmouse; Francis H. Allen gives me his impression of it as sounding like wittly wittly wittly wittly wittly ‘wittly; other recorded renderings are similar, but those I have cited are sufficient to give a good idea of the striking and characteristic song of the Kentucky warbler.

Field marks: The olive-green upper parts, with no white in wings or tail, the under parts wholly bright yellow, and the black markings on the crown and sides of the head and neck are all distinctive field marks. In females and fall birds the colors are duller, and the black markings are more restricted and veiled but they show similar patterns.

Enemies: This warbler is a common victim of the cowbird. Dr. Friedmann (1929) had 65 records, and says: “In Greene County, Pennsylvania, the Kentucky Warbler seems to be the commonest victim of the Cowbird. Jacobs found eggs of the parasite in 47 nests of this warbler, as follows: 39 nests with 1 Cowbird egg each; 7 nests with 2 Cowbird eggs each; 1 nest with 3 Cowbird eggs.”

Snakes and prowling predators have been known to rob the nests of this and other ground-nesting species. Harold S. Peters (1936) recorded only one external parasite as found on this warbler, a tick (Haemaphysalia leporis-palustri.~).

Winter: Dr. Skutch contributes the following: “Of all the wood warblers, resident or migratory, the Kentucky warbler is the species most often seen in the undergrowth of the heavy lowland forests of Central America. The one member of the family that breeds among the loftier forests of the lowlands, the buff-rumped warbler, haunts the rocky streambeds, and is rarely found among the undergrowth at a distance from water. The migrant warblers that winter in some abundance in these forests, as the chestnut-sided warbler and the American redstart, are birds of the tree-tops. ‘rhis leaves the Kentucky warbler, with occasionally a worm-eating warbler, to represent its family in the company of antbirds, manakins, wood-wrens, and wintering russet-backed thrushes in the underwood.

“Not that the Kentucky warbler is abundant in these forests, even at the height of the northern winter. I have rarely seen as many as two, and still more rarely three, in a day’s wandering through the forest. Nor is it restricted to the forest; for it haunts also the heavier, more humid second-growth. But in either habitat, it is always seen moving restlessly through the vegetation near the ground, often clinging to slender upright stems, ant-bird-fashion. It is always alone, unless in chance company with small birds of other kinds; it shows no true sociability at this season. It is silent, save for its reiterated, sharp call note.

“Arriving in September, the Kentucky warbler spreads over the length of Central America, including the lowlands of both coasts, wherever suitably humid conditions prevail, and winters at altitudes up to 3,500 or perhaps 4,000 feet above sea-level. It appears to depart early; until the present year I had only two records as late as April, one for the third and the other for the twelfth of the month. But this year, 1943, it was for a brief period in late March and early April rather abundant in the forests of this region of southern Costa Rica; and I saw it repeatedly until April 9.

“Early dates of fall arrival in Central America are: Guatemala: Chimoxan (Griscom), September 13. Honduras: Tela, September 11, 1930. Costa Rica: San Jose (Cherrie), October 7; Rio Sicsola (Carriker), September 21; Basin of El General, October 8, 1936, and October 12, 1942.

“Late dates of spring departure are: Panama: Barro Colorado Island, Canal Zone, March 28, 1935. Costa Rica: Basin of El General, April 3, 1936, February 26, 1937, March 11, 1939, April 12, 1940, February 23, 1942, April 9, 1943.”

Range: Central and eastern United States, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.

Breeding range: The Kentucky warbler breeds north to southeastern Nebraska (Lincoln and Omaha) ; eastern Iowa (Grinnell and Waukon Junction); southwestern and central southern Wisconsin (Wyalusing, Mazomaine, and Janesville); northeastern Illinois (rarely Chicago area) ; central Indiana (Rockville, Crawfordsville, and Indianapolis); southern and eastern Ohio (Oxford, Wilmington, Columbus, Corning, Wooster, Hartville, and Youngstown); and southeastern New York (rarely Ossining and Bronx). East to New York (Bronx); north-central New Jersey (probably Princeton and Elizabeth); southeastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) ; Delaware (Wilmington); southeastern Maryland (Plummers Island and Easton) ; eastern Virginia (Lawrenceville, Petersburg, and Ashland); central North Carolina (Charlotte and Raleigh) ; central South Carolina (Aiken and Summertown); central Georgia (Macon, Round Oak, and Carmichaels Pond); and northwestern Florida (Chipley). South to northwestern Florida (Chipley and Pensacola); southern Alabama (Mobile, Castleberry, and Dothan) ; southern Mississippi (Saucier, Gulfport, and Woolmarket) ; southern Louisiana (Sulphur, Iowa, Lottie, and Thibodaux); and southeastern Texas (Orange, Houston, Matagorda County). West to central Texas (Matagorda County, San Antonio, Kerrville, Waco, and Rhome); eastern Oklahoma (Copan, Stillwater, Fort Reno, Moore, and Kiowa Agency); eastern Kansas (Blue Rapids, Fort Riley, Emporia, and Burlington) ; and southeastern Nebraska (Lincoln).

Winter range: The Kentucky warbler winters in southern Mexico; (Isthmus of Tehuantepec, probably); Campeche (Apazote and Pacaytiin); south through Central America to Panam& (Santa Fe, Paracote, Gatiin, and Chepo); and northern Colombia (Rio Frio, Bonda, and Don Diego).

Migration: Late dates of spring departure are: PanamA: Loma del Le6n, March 29. Costa Rica: San Isidro del General, April 19. British honduras: Mountain Cow, April 13. Guatemala: Peten, April 15. Veracruz: Tres Zaptoes, April 8. Sonora: Rancho Santa Barbara, June 12.

Early dates of spring arrival are: Florida: Dry Tortugas Island and Pensacola, March 29. Alabama: Birmingham, April 5 (average for 10 years, April 7). Georgia: Macon, March 27; Atlanta and Kirkwood, April 1. South Carolina: Columbia, April 10. North Carolina: Old Fort, April 14; Raleigh, April 15 (average of 17 years, April 30). Virginia: Cape Henry, April 3. West Virginia: Kayford, April 21; French Creek, April 25 (average of 16 years, May 1). District of Columbia: Washington, April 25 (average of 30 years, May 2). Maryland: St. Marys City, April 19. Delaware: Kent and Sussex Counties, March 30 (average of 19 years, April 8). Pennsylvania: Swarthmore, April 28. New Jersey: New Brunswick, May 3. New York: Ossining, May 2; Orient, May 4. Connecticut: Kent, May 5. Massachusetts: Cambridge, April 28. Louisiana: Baton Rogue region, March 19. Mississippi: Bay St. Louis, April 1. Arkansas: Saline County, March 24. Tennessee: Nashville, April 15 (average of 12 years, April 17). Kentucky: Eubank, April 15. Missouri: southeastern, April 9. Illinois: Anna, April 12; Beecher, April 24. Indiana: Bloomington, April 17. Ohio: Columbus, April 17 (average, May 4). Michigan: Petersburg, May 4. Ontario: Hamilton, May 3. lowa: Keokuk, April 26. Wisconsin: Winneconne, Madison, and Milwaukee, May 7. Texas: Corpus Christi, April 7; Houston, April 11. Oklahoma: Copan, April 19. Kansas-Manhattan, April 25. Nebraska: Omaha, May 7.

Late dates of fall departure are: Kansas-Lawrence, September 14. Oklahoma: Tulsa, September 19. Texas-Rockport, October 28. Wisconsin: Eau Claire, September 17. Iowa: Polk County, Septernber 13. Ontario: Lynn Valley, September 9. Ohio: Buckeye Lake, September 29 (average, September 20). Indiana: Richmond, September 9. Illinois: Mount Carmel, October 15. Missouri: Columbia, September 18. Kentucky: Bardstown, September 28. Tennessee: Elizabethton, October 2. Arkansas: Saline County, October 5. Mississippi: Guif coast, October 6. Louisiana: New Orleans, October 19. Nova Scotia: Sable Island, September 1 (only record). Massachusetts: Northampton, September 21. Connecticut: Hartford, September 26. New York: Belmont Lake, Long Island, October 2; Buffalo, October 1. New Jersey: Elizabeth, September 21. Pennsylvania: Jeffersonville, September 18. Delaware: Kent and Sussex Counties, September 18 (average of 19 years, September 5). Maryland: Baltimore County, October 11. Cumberland, September 28. District of Columbia: Washington, September 5. West Virginia: Bluefield, August 26. Virginia: Cape Henry, August 31. North Carolina: Raleigh, October 13 (average of 9 years, August 29). South Carolina: October 24. Georgia: Fitzgerald, September 28. Alabama: Birmingham, September 29. Florida: Pensacola, September 29; Chokoloskee, October 25.

Early dates of fall arrival are: Texas: Cove, July 17. Mississippi: Deer Island, July 31. South Carolina: Mount Pleasant, July 31. Georgia: Savannah, August 6. Florida: Jefferson County, Au gust 6; Key West, August 24. Tamaulipas: Matamoros, August 26. Guatemala: Chimoxan, September 13. Honduras: Lancetilla, Sep tember 1. Salvador: Lake Olomega, September 1. Costa Rica: Rio Sicsola, September 21. Panama: Changuinola, Almirante Bay Re gion, October 4. Colombia: Bonda, Santa Marta region, October 7.

Egg dates: Missouri: 6 records, May 10 to June 6.

Pennsylvania: 32 records, May 15 to June 28; 20 records, May 24 to June 2, indicating the height of the season.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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