Golden-winged Warbler Geolocation Project

Our Geolocation Project will help us better understand the life cycle of Golden-winged Warblers (GWWA) and Blue-winged Warblers (BWWA) and determine habitat requirements on breeding grounds, during migration, and on wintering areas.  This project will allow us to determine exact migration routes and stopover habitat used along the way.

Beginning in May of 2016, Audubon Vermont's conservation biologists Margaret Fowle and Mark LaBarr started the process of placing geolocators on a total of 40 Blue- and Golden-Winged Warblers.  They had a short window of time to work with.  Golden-winged Warblers stop their breeding-season singing by the end of June and do not respond to decoys and recorded calls used to lure the birds into the mist nets.  These geolocators will be removed when the birds return in the spring of 2017 and data will then be downloaded.

Audubon Vermont is working with Dr. Amber Roth of the University of Maine on this project.  Dr. Roth trained our staff in the intricate placement technique for the geolocators and will interpret the data collected.  Our work in Vermont is part of a collaborative effort also taking place in New York, Nicaragua, and North Carolina.

Get a glimpse of Golden-winged Warbler geotagging by Audubon Vermont at The Nature Conservancy's Buckner Preserve in West Haven, Vermont.  Thank you to The Nature Conservancy Vermont Chapter's Katie Getts for putting together this video.

In June of 2016 Audubon Vermont's teacher/naturalist Gwendolyn Causer tagged along with Mark and Margaret to place geolocators on Golden-winged Warblers in Charlotte, Vermont.  This slideshow documents the early-morning activity.

Audubon Vermont would like to thank our project collaborators:

  • University of Maine
  • Audubon North Carolina
  • Audubon New York
  • Sterling Forest
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
  • Private Landowners
  • Vermont towns/public properties who allowed access for Audubon Vermont to tag birds:
    • Geprags Community Park
    • Charlotte Park and Wildlife Refuge