Restoring Golden-Winged Warbler Habitat

The golden-winged warbler is a small breeding bird that is at the northern limit of its range in our regions. The species has declined by nearly 80% in Canada over the past 15 years. It is a species designated as threatened in Canada and likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable in Quebec. Biologists are therefore working to protect this species and to conserve its known nesting habitats.

Its habitat is mainly composed of shrub swamps, periodically mowed agricultural fields and shrubby wasteland. Unfortunately, many of these habitats are now being invaded by the invasive exotic buckthorn. This shrub is detrimental to the warbler because its density is too significant, and it quickly closes the wasteland used by the species.

In the Montérégie region, Appalachian Corridor has taken on the restoration of a known warbler nesting habitat over the past seven years by helping to control the invasive buckthorn.

Appalachian Corridor has helped maintain ideal warbler habitat by removing and controlling buckthorn and planting native shrubs and grasses. The good news is that the strategy seems to have worked and buckthorn now appears to be well controlled!

Appalachian Corridor now wants to know if its efforts will be successful and if the warbler will occupy the restored habitat. With binoculars in hand, Appalachian Corridor biologists began searching the site in the spring of 2021 for golden-winged warblers during their nesting season. Let’s hope that this year the golden winged warbler will be there!

Photo: Jean-Paul Milot