Warbler family (Parulidae)
Medium-sized warbler, 4 ½” long. Bright yellow throat, breast, and belly; olive-green back; bold yellow “spectacles”. Male (shown in image) – black on crown, under eye area, and on sides of neck. Female (not shown) – no black on head.
Mature deciduous forest with dense understory vegetation.
Nest is an open cup built on the ground in dense understory vegetation at the base of a shrub or tree. Eggs are creamy white with brown marks. Clutch size – 3 to 6 eggs.
Song is a rich and rolling series of two-syllable notes, like “chur-ree chur-ree chur-ree”. Song is like the Carolina Wren’s but the Kentucky Warbler puts emphasis on the second syllable – “chur-ree chur-ree – whereas the Carolina Wren puts emphasis on the first syllable – “tee-kettle tee-kettle” or “tee-kle tee-kle”. Call is a low rich “chuck”.
Oporornis: opera, Greek for “end of summer” or “autumn”; ornis, Greek for “bird”; formosus, Latin for “beautiful”; literally, “beautiful bird of the late summer”. “Kentucky” for the state where it was observed to be the most abundant by early ornithologists.
In the Nature Park:
Neotropical migrant, arrives in mid to late April. Pairs of nesting Kentucky Warblers have been observed in the deep woods of the Nature Park, far from the trails and buildings. The breeding pairs seem to return to the exact same territories each year.