Kirtland's Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii)
Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND
The Kirtland's warbler, an endangered species, is a songbird that nests in young jack pine stands. Until 1995 Kirtlandís warblers had only been known to nest in the northern part of Michiganís Lower Peninsula. Today, they also nest in the Upper Peninsula, and since 2007, have nested in Wisconsin and Canada. They migrate from their nesting grounds to the southeastern coast of the United States on their way to wintering grounds in the Bahamas. The male Kirtland's warblers' summer plumage is composed of a distinctive bright yellow colored breast streaked in black and bluish gray back feathers, a dark mask over its face with white eye rings, and bobbing tail. The female's plumage coloration is less bright; her facial area is devoid of a mask. Overall length of the bird is less than six inches.
- States/US Territories in which the Kirtland's Warbler, Entire is known to or is believed to occur: Florida , Michigan , South Carolina , Wisconsin
- US Counties in which the Kirtland's Warbler, Entire is known to or is believed to occur: View All
- USFWS Refuges in which the Kirtland's Warbler, Entire is known to occur:
Kirtlands Warbler Wildlife Management Area, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
- Countries in which the the Kirtland's Warbler, Entire is known to occur: Canada
- Additional species information
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|03/11/1967||Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region (Region 3)||Entire|
» Federal Register Documents
|11/14/2013||78 FR 68370 68372||Technical Corrections for Kirtland's Warbler|
|06/29/2012||77 FR 38762 38764||5-Year Status Reviews of Seven Listed Species; Notice of initiation of reviews and request for information|
|03/11/1967||32 FR 4001||Endangered Species List - 1967|
|07/27/2007||72 FR 41348 41350||Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of Three Wildlife Species and Two Plant Species in the Midwest Region|
|04/14/1970||35 FR 6069||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Endangered Species Conservation); 35 FR 6069|
|06/02/1970||35 FR 8491 8498||Part 17 - Conservation of Endangered Species and Other Fish or Wildlife (First List of Endangered Foreign Fish and Wildlife as Appendix A)|
|Date||Title||Plan Action Status||Plan Status|
|09/30/1985||Kirtland's Warbler Recovery Plan, Updated||View Implementation Progress||Final Revision 1|
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type|
|07/27/2007||72 FR 41348 41350||Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of Three Wildlife Species and Two Plant Species in the Midwest Region||
|06/29/2012||77 FR 38762 38764||5-Year Status Reviews of Seven Listed Species; Notice of initiation of reviews and request for information||
|08/21/2012||Kirtland's warbler 5-Year Review|
» Critical Habitat
No critical habitat rules have been published for the Kirtland's Warbler.
» Conservation Plans
No conservation plans have been created for Kirtland's Warbler.
» Life History
The Kirtland's warbler nests only in young jack pine forests growing on a special type of sandy soil. The warblers prefer to nest in forests that are about 80 acres (roughly 60 football fields) or larger with numerous small, grassy openings. Kirtland's warblers prefer to nest in groups. They build their nests only on the ground among grass or other plants like blueberry bushes. The jack pine trees in its nesting area must be just the right height (about 5 to 16 feet tall) and the trees must be spaced to let sunlight through to the ground. The sunlight helps keep the lower branches alive and bushy, hiding the Kirtland's warbler nest beneath them. When the trees grow larger their upper branches block the sun, causing the lower branches to die. Grasses and other plants also become less dense. The warblers then must find another nesting area. When a stand of jack pines reaches about 5 feet high (around 8 years old), Kirtland's warblers begin nesting in the area. They will continue to use the area until the needles on the lower branches start dying. This usually happens when the trees are about 16 feet high (around 20 years old). For more about habitat requirements and management, see http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/birds/Kirtland/kiwamgmt.html
Primarily insect eaters, Kirtlandís warblers forage for insects and larvae near the ground and in lower parts of pines and oaks. They also eat blueberries.
Movement / Home Range
A pair of Kirtlandís warblers requires at least eight acres of dense young jack pine forest to nest, but often 30 to 40 acres is needed to raise their young. Until 1995 Kirtlandís warblers had only been known to nest in the northern part of Michiganís Lower Peninsula. Today, they also nest in the Upper Peninsula, and since 2007, have nested in Wisconsin and Canada. They migrate from their nesting grounds to the southeastern coast of the United States on their way to wintering grounds in the Bahamas.
Kirtlandís warblers nest only on the ground near the lower branches and in large stands of young jack pines that are 5 to 20 feet tall and 6 to 22 years old. The treeís age is crucial, although biologists are not sure why. It is possible that the birds need low branches near the ground to help conceal their nests. Before the trees are six years old, the lower branches are not large enough to hide the nest. After 15 years, these lower branches begin to die. Concealed by branches, overhanging grass and low shrubs, the warblerís cup-shaped nest is made of grasses. While being fed by their mates, females incubate four to five eggs for about 14 days. After hatching, the chicks remain in the nest for another nine or ten days before fledging, or leaving the nest. For more see the Kirtland's Warbler Fact Sheet - http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/birds/Kirtland/kiwafctsht.html
» Other Resources
NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.
ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.