[CT Birds] Cerulean Warbler Question

Jamie Meyers ctredbird2 at comcast.net
Mon Oct 3 19:38:41 EDT 2011

Perhaps one of the best sources of information on this is the CT Breeding Bird Atlas.  Yes, it's now 15 - 20 years old but the work contained therein was the result of a search for breeders that was as intensive as any ever attempted in CT.  At that time, Ceruleans were definitely found in 9 blocks and suspected in 30 more, for a total of 39 blocks, which is 6.5% of the entire survey.  Acadians were confirmed in 19 and considered possible in 42 more for a total of 61, or 10.2% of all blocks.  It has been my experience in that time that Ceruleans may have increased a slight amount and Acadians have been stable, give or take a little. Even if the breeding bird atlas missed significant populations, I think the numbers presented in the booklet are grossly overstated.  River Road is thought to have, what 30 pairs of Ceruleans?  Are there 200 more River Roads in CT where Ceruleans are flourishing?

If so, let me know where they are too.  I need it for a bunch of town lists in this state.  Ditto for the Acadian.

Jamie Meyers
Canton, CT

----- Original Message -----
From: paul cianfaglione <pcianfaglione at hotmail.com>
To: Ctbirds Ctbirdslists <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Mon, 03 Oct 2011 16:57:44 -0000 (UTC)
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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