Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Red-faced Warbler

Mature Red-faced Warblers are small birds, 14 cm (5½ inches) long. They are light gray on top with a white rump and a white underside. The face, neck, and upper breast are all bright red, while the crown and sides of the head are black. The spot on the back of the head where the black crown and gray back meet is sometimes speckled gray, or sometimes plain white. They also have a quirky habit of flicking their tail sideways while feeding.

Red-faced Warblers are locally common in mountain forests of conifers, spruce, and oak 2,000-3,000 m (6,500 to 9,000 feet) above sea level. In summer they frequent northern Mexico and range up into the states of Arizona and New Mexico – (the Madrean sky islands). During the winter months they migrate south into southern Mexico and the Central American nations of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. They are permanent residents of the central and southern mountains of western Mexico, the range called Sierra Madre Occidental. Nests are a small cup constructed from leaves, grass, and pine needles. The nest will be hidden amongst the debris on the forest floor, buried in the ground, sheltered under a shrub, log, or rock. The female will lay 3 to 5 eggs, colored white and spotted with brown. Incubation and nestling periods average 12 days each.

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