A small bird of the deciduous forest treetops, the sky-blue Cerulean Warbler is hard to see. It nests and forages higher in the canopy than most other warblers.
On the wintering grounds in South America the Cerulean Warbler usually is found in mixed-species foraging flocks, associating with tropical tanagers and other resident species.
When renesting after a failed first nest, the female often uses spider web from the old nest to start construction on the new nest. Fresh lining is gathered for the new nest, but spider web may be too valuable and time-consuming to waste.
The female Cerulean Warbler has an unusual way of leaving a nest after sitting on it a while. Some people call it "bungee-jumping." She drops from the side of the nest, keeping her wings folded to her sides, and opens her wings to fly only when she is well below
Breeds in forests with tall deciduous trees and open understory, such as wet bottomlands and dry slopes.
Winters in broad-leaved, evergreen forests.
For detailed atlasing effort, go to Cerulean Warbler Atlas Project
Primarily insects, with some plant material taken in winter.
Grayish to greenish white, speckled with brown.
Condition at Hatching
Nest an open cup of bark fibers, grass stems, and hair bound together with spider web, placed on a lateral limb of a deciduous tree in mid- to upper-canopy. Usually concealed from above by leaves or twigs on the nest branch.
Cerulean Warbler is one of the species of highest concern in the eastern United States because of a small total population size and significant declines throughout its range. Under consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Listed on the Audubon Watchlist
Hamel, P. B. 2000. Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea). In The Birds of North America, No. 557 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
Fishways at dams are added to protect watershed species
Professor Diba Khan-Bureau
Date of Speaker: Wednesday, April 2 2014
“Lessons from the Eightmile Wild and Scenic River Designation”
Anthony Irving was the speaker for our eighth seminar class. This class was very interesting because we learned about how unique the Eight Mile River in Connecticut is, and why it is important to try and protect it. To start the seminar off, we were informed about Anthony Irving’s educational past. I found it quite interesting that before he became involved with environmental studies, he went to school for Literature and Philosophy, and then obtained his bachelors degree in that study. After that, he worked for over ten years in the publishing business in New york City. Mr. Irving then decided to leave his publishing job in New York and pursue a Masters of Environmental Studies degree from the Yale school of Forestry and Environmental studies. This is where he specialized in biology and ecology. His field of study had to do with the relationship between land use practices and environmental Impacts. With a passion for wanting sustainable environments, he ended up being the president of the Lyme Land trust. Recently, Anthony Irving became the chair of the Eight Mile coordinating committee in which he is a part of the Wild and Scenic River study and designation for the protection of the Eight Mile River watershed.
So exactly what is the Eight Mile River, and why is it so important? What makes it unique? These were a few things that were addressed during this seminar. The Eight Mile river watershed is 64 square miles, 40 square acres big, and is called the Eight Mile River because it is exactly eight miles upstream from the mouth of the Connecticut river at Long Island sound. The Eight Mile River is so important because it is in excellent shape compared to many other rivers. Some characteristics of this river that explain why it is such an extraordinary natural resource include 63 miles of undeveloped rural land, over 150 miles of rivers and streams in its original, unspoiled condition, and a watershed that houses large areas of unfragmented, many rare and diverse habitats, and unimpeded stream flow. Other characteristics that make the Eight Mile River so unique and special is that it is covered mostly, about 80%, of forests, with unique species that nest in these forests, such as Neotropical songbirds like cerulean warbler. The cerulean warbler is the fastest declining neotropical songbird, with numbers decreasing faster than any other warbler species in the USA (wiki). Also mammals such as the river otter live in the Eight Mile River happily and undisturbed, along with bobcats who can roam freely and also undisturbed. The Eight Mile River is of national significance, known for it’s high water quality, with an ecosystem very healthy and intact throughout. “Native trout, freshwater mussels, diverse migratory and resident fish are indicator species of the watershed’s health” (The Nature Conservancy).
In recognition of all the characteristics that the Eight mile River possesses, the United States Congress has designated the Eight Mile River as a Wild and Scenic River. The National Wild & Scenic River System was “established by Congress in 1968 to protect certain outstanding rivers from the harmful effects of new federal projects such as dams and hydroelectric facilities. Since then over 160 rivers or river segments totaling over 11,000 miles have been protected nationwide” (WSP). It is very satisfying to see that action is taking place to protect this river. With this designation that the Eight Mile River has, it is permanently protected from water projects that may have an adverse affect on the Eight Mile River's free flowing waters, and all of its special resources. However, in order to be considered a Wild and Scenic river it has to possess particular qualities, such as 1) has to be free flowing, and 2) possess at least one “outstandingly remarkable” resource value such as exceptional scenery, fisheries and wildlife, water quality, or cultural resources. Anthony Irving, the Nature Conservancy, local community from towns of East Haddam, Lyme, Salem, also East Haddam Land trust, Lyme Land conservation trust, Salem Land Trust, State of Connecticut department of Environmental Protection, and U.S department of the Interior, found six outstandingly remarkable resource values of the Eight Mile River, making this river, if any thing, OVER QUALIFIED for this designation! Committee members of the Wild and Scenic program responsibilities include “implementing the Eight mile River watershed management plan, Monitoring of the outstanding resource values with respect to the degree they are protected, degraded or enhanced during implementation of the plan, address river related issues, Review and update the Eightmile River watershed and management plan- for expected changes to the plan, recommended to be updated every five years, and prepare periodic status reports - to inform the general public the conditions of the watershed” (WSP). With all this being said, Anthony Irving concluded this seminar by saying, “communication is the skill set that makes our committee successful”. It is very important to educate neighboring towns of the potential threats the Eight Mile River could face if there is no protection for it. Keeping the public involved with this project is extremely important because without community efforts, the Eight Mile River would probably not be as remarkable as it is today.