The Cerulean Warbler is a tiny bird at only 4 1/2". Males can be identified by their beautiful sky-blue coloring and white breast with a blue breast band. They frequent open woodlands near streams and rivers throughout much of their range. In North Carolina, these warblers breed in several mountain locations along the Blue Ridge Parkway and national forests, and migrate south to the Tropics to their wintering grounds.
Cerulean Warblers are a species of high conservation concern because of their small total population size and significant declines. This species has also been considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Audubon North Carolina is working to protect and manage conservation efforts within 19 Important Bird Areas (IBA) in the mountain region. These IBAs have been identified because they offer support to migratory land birds with food and habitat as they nest and raise their babies. The Bull Creek and Yellow Creek-Cheoah Mountains IBAs, with their high elevations and tree coverage, serve as home to these warblers during nesting season.
Since 1998, Charlotte Goedsche, a member of the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society, has studied the Cerulean Warblers that breed in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Primarily in the Bull Creek IBA, Charlotte's recordings of male warblers have allowed her to identify up to 20 varying song types and to map breeding territories within the region.
Charlotte was recently interviewed by BirdNote for her research of Cerulean song types. Listen to the interview here.
Through a national climate study, Audubon has identified the Cerulean Warbler as a climate threatened bird. Learn more here.