Since 1987, conservation action has successfully increased the population of this species. Numbers exceeded 500 singing males in 1994 following doubling of suitably aged habitat between 1987 and 1990. Numbers continue to increase, but its population and range remain small, hence its classification as Near Threatened.
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
14.5 cm. Large grey-and-yellow warbler. Male, blue-grey above with diffuse black streaking on the mantle. Black lores and split white eye-ring. Yellow underparts with black streaking on flanks. Female, similar but paler with brown tinge to mantle and lacks black lores. Immature has greyish streaking and spots on throat. Voice Song an emphatic chip-chip-che-way-o.
Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix I. Management replicating the effects of natural fires has expanded potential breeding habitat to c.516 km2 (Richter 1996, Sykes 1997). Since 1972, a cowbird trapping programme has reduced parasitism from 70% to 3% (Anon. 1996). Education and ecotourism initiatives in Michigan include an annual Kirtland's Warbler Festival (Richter 1996). Surveys have been undertaken in the Bahamas, most recently in 1998 (Haney et al. 1998, D. Ewert in litt. 1999). There is a project in progress to establish the principal wintering habitat (G. Hilton in litt. 2000). Virtually the entire population breeds within the 140,000-acre Kirtland's Warbler Management Area which includes the Huron National Forest, the Kirtland's Warbler National Wildlife Refuge and various Michigan state forests.
Related state of the world's birds case studies
Anon. 1996. Forest fire helps Kirtland's Warbler. Canadian Wildlife: 43.
Anon. 2008. Seeing Kirtland's Warbler in Michigan. Birding World 21(5): 211-213.
Austen, M. J. W.; Cadman, M. D.; James, R. D. 1994. Ontario birds at risk. Federation of Ontario Naturalists and Long Point Bird Observatory, Ontario.
Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; MadroÃ±o Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.
Curson, J.; Quinn, D.; Beadle, D. 1994. New World warblers. A&C Black/Christopher Helm, London.
Eskelsen, J. 2007. Kirtland's Warblers found nesting outside Michigan. Birder's World 21(5): 14-16.
Haney, J. C.; Lee, D. S.; Walsh-McGehee, M. 1998. A quantitative analysis of winter distribution and habitats of Kirtland's Warblers in the Bahamas. Condor 100: 201-217.
Line, L. 2008. Bouncing back [Kirtland's Warblers]. Audubon 110(2): 28.
Mayfield, H. F. 1992. Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandi). In: Poole, A.; Gill, F. (ed.), The birds of North America, No. 19, pp. 1-16. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia and The American Ornithologists' Union, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
McCormac, J. 2011. Kirtland's Warbler: seeking the Jack Pine Firebird. Bird Watcher's Digest 33(5): 24-31.
Nelson, M. D.; Buech, R. R. 1996. A test of three models of Kirtland's Warbler habitat suitability. Wildlife Society Bulletin 24: 89-97.
Probst, J. R.; Donner, D. M.; Bocetti, C. I.; Sjogren, S. 2003. Population increase in Kirtland's warbler and summer range expansion to Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, USA. Oryx 37: 365-373.
Richter, J. 1996. New friends for the Kirtland's Warbler. Endangered Species Bulletin 11: 12.
Sykes, P. W. 1997. A closer look: Kirtland's Warbler. Birding 29: 220-227.
Sykes, P. W.; Clench, M. H. 1998. Winter habitat of Kirtland's Warbler: an endangered Neartic/Neotropical migrant. Wilson Bulletin 110: 244-261.
Wunderle, J. M., Jr.; Currie, D.; Helmer, E. H.; Ewert, D. N.; White, J. D.; Ruzycki, T. S.; Parresol, B.; Kwit, C. 2010. Kirtland's Warblers in anthropogenically disturbed early-successional habitats on Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Condor 112(1): 123-137.
Wunderle, J. M.; Currie, D.; Ewert, D. N. 2006. The response of wintering Kirtland's Warblers to food patch dynamics as the dry season proceeds in the Bahamas. Wings without borders: IV North American Ornithological Conference, October 3-7, 2006, Veracruz, Mexico, pp. 366. American Ornithologists' Union, Waco, TX, USA.
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Harding, M., Khwaja, N., Pople, R.
Ewert, D., Hilton, G., Rustem, R.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Dendroica kirtlandii. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2015.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
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Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Near Threatened|
|Family||Parulidae (New World warblers)|
|Species name author||(Baird, 1852)|
|Population size||2300-2400 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||13,900 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|