Chestnut-sided Warbler
(Setophaga pensylvanica)

Summary

Picture of bird
© Dan Busby
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Chestnut-sided Warbler is widespread and abundant throughout its breeding range in Canada. The Breeding Bird Survey indicates that the population has shown a moderate decrease since about 1970. However, this species has benefited from the creation of early successional habitats as a result of extensive forest management activities and is likely far more common today than prior to the 1800s (Byers et al. 2013). This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.

Designations

Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaModerate DecreaseMediumBelow Acceptable Level
 

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada5,000,000 - 50,000,000 adults
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Long-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaHigh

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between late May and early June and ends in late July, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.
 

Conservation and management

The Chestnut-sided Warbler is one of the few species that benefit from forest clearing. Its highest densities are in deciduous second-growth and shrubby areas (Byers et al. 2013). Habitat loss on the breeding grounds has occurred as a result of regrowth of cut over areas with fewer shrubby areas for nesting. Sustainable forestry practices that maintain that create and preserve semi-open habitat are important. The Chestnut-sided Warbler winters in southern Mexico, Central America and south as far as Columbia. Collisions with communication structures and buildings during migration are another to the species. Threats on the wintering grounds are poorly understood but may be contributing to the decline.

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Boreal Hardwood TransitionBoreal Hardwood Transition, sub-region and priority type: Ontario and Manitoba -- Stewardship
Boreal Hardwood TransitionBoreal Hardwood Transition, sub-region and priority type: Quebec -- Stewardship
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Ontario -- Stewardship
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern -- Stewardship
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Quebec -- Stewardship
 

References