Date of this Version
“Status of the Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea) in Nebraska” from Nebraska Bird Review (September 2005) 73(3).
The Cerulean Warbler is a species of high conservation concern because of apparent long-term declines throughout its breeding range (Hamel 2000a, Hamel et al. 2004, Sauer et al. 2005) and threats to and reduction of breeding and wintering habitat (Hamel et al. 2004, Rick et al. 2004). Nebraska has traditionally been at the western periphery of the species' breeding range, where it is restricted to mature woodlands in the Missouri River Valley (Sharpe et al. 2001, Mollhoff 2001). The Cerulean Warbler is a Tier I "at-risk" species under the Nebraska Natural Legacy Plan because it is a conservation priority (Schneider et al. 2005). In 2004, then Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Nongame Bird Program Manager John Dinan initiated a project to inventory the species' breeding distribution in the state. Here, we review the species' status in Nebraska by reference to previous reports and by summarizing results of the 2004 inventory. We also comment on habitat associations observed in Nebraska and consider possible explanations for the species' limited distribution in the state.