University of Wisconsin-Madison
Our study is primarily focused on habitat associations of Golden-winged and Blue-winged warblers in an area where ranges of the two species overlap. We conducted point-count surveys to determine abundance of both species in the area, mapped areas used by males during the breeding season, and sampled vegetation to try and understand what habitat characteristics each species is using, looking in particular for any meaningful differences that may help in developing management strategies in this area. Work was centered on 3 different habitat types that are fairly common in this area: alder and willow swamps, young aspen stands regenerating after clear-cutting, and young hardwood stands regenerating after clear-cutting.
GWWA are still fairly common in this area, while BWWA are at much lower densities and hybrids (both Brewsters and Lawrences) have been documented. We are also collaborating with the Golden-winged warbler Genetic Atlas Project, and have provided blood and feather samples for genetic screening and stable isotope analysis. In 2009, we banded and collected samples from 57 GWWA and 12 BWWA. Funding for the project has been provided by the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Fish & Wildlife Federation.