[CT Birds] Cerulean Warbler Question

David F Provencher david.f.provencher at dom.com
Mon Oct 3 13:14:03 EDT 2011

Wow, that is an interesting set of numbers. Considering CT has roughly 3,000 square miles of forest (as of 2010), and not all forest is ideal for Acadian Flycatchers, those numbers imply a density of more than 3 Acadian Flycatchers per square mile of CT forest. Reports from birders, but mainly my own experience in hiking hundreds of miles per year in CT, do not support such a density. I believe I encountered only three total while hiking many forested locations in CT this past summer. In my twenty plus years of birding in CT I have not encountered that density level over a significant area of forest. I would very much be interested in the bases used for that numeric statement.


-----Original Message-----
From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org [mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of paul cianfaglione
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2011 12:58 PM
To: Ctbirds Ctbirdslists
Subject: [CT Birds] Cerulean Warbler Question

I was reading the 2011 Connecticut State Of The Birds booklet this morning and came across an eye-opening statistic stating that there are 6000 breeding male Cerulean Warbler and 10,000 male Acadian Flycatchers inhabit Connecticut's forests (Dr. Robert Craig, Director of Bird Conservation Research, Inc. , Putnam, CT; State of the Forest Birds, pg. 16). 
Does anyone have any other information or studies to substantiate these statistics? Are they this common? Where is their stronghold in the state? Any comments from the CT conservation community? 
Paul Cianfaglione
Below is a 2000 Cerulean Warbler Status Assessment and a couple excerpts that seem to contradict those stats.  
The numbers of cerulean warblers are declining at rates comparable to the most
precipitous rates documented among North American birds by the cooperative Breeding
Bird Survey.
The species is not in danger of imminent extinction, but it is rare enough to warrant
concern, and its future is not assured. Based upon extensive BBS data, cerulean
warblers have declined sharply over the past 30 years. Should that trend continue
another 30 years, population sizes are predicted to be only 8% of the 1966 levels. It is
unclear whether the species could persist with numbers as low as those.
Summary: Regular migrant and breeding species in small numbers in the state.
BBS: No confident trend estimate is available from the BBS; relative abundance 0.01
BBA: Breeding was confirmed on 9 of 39 blocks where located in the state, in two
populations established in the 1970s, in the Housatonic Valley and at East Haddam.
Occurrence on 6.5% of blocks in the state, representing all counties (Ellison in Bevier
1994, p.322-323).
State Status: The species has no legal status other than that afforded by the Migratory
Bird Treaty Act. The avian selection committee did not feel it met listing criteria in
Connecticut (J. Dickson, Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection, pers. comm.,
12 August 1996).
Natural Heritage Rank: See Table 12. Tracked by the Connecticut Natural Heritage
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