Species at Risk

Cerulean Warbler

Cerulean Warbler

(Setophaga cerulean, or Dendroica cerulea)

Status in Canada: Endangered

Status in Ontario: Threatened

Status at SWCR: Rare breeding bird

Cerulean Warbler is a small, insectivorous songbird that nests in mature deciduous forests and can be found in the Nursery Tract during the breeding season.

Quick Facts:

  • In Ontario, it breeds primarily in two distinct areas: southeastern Ontario (where the largest concentration occurs) and southwestern Ontario where the species is more widely scattered.
  • Males are sky blue.
  • It was once fairly common and widespread in Ontario, but populations in Norfolk country have been declining. Now the Cerulean warbler is very rare in the region.
  • Cerulean warblers are loosely colonial, and return to the same nesting territory every year.

Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:

Habitat Degradation: from forest destruction and invasive forest pests which cause mature trees to die.

Activities that can damage critical Cerulean warbler habitat include:

  1. Tree removal that eliminates the closed canopy conditions needed by this species.
  2. Activities that can introduce or encourage the growth of invasive plants, such as dumping of garden waste and off-trail ATV use.
  3. Activities that interfere with understory shrubs, unauthorized plant collecting and off-trail ATV use.

St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:

  • Population monitoring
  • Enforcement of unauthorized trail use

What you can do to help:

  • Follow the  code of conduct for recreational activities in the Conservation Reserve and know and respect the current trail-use regulations.
  • Report unauthorized trail use or any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).

More information:

Species At Risk Public Registry Profile

Ontario Species at Risk Profile

Funding for this project was provided through the Species At Risk Stewardship Fund