Status: Fairly common regular spring migrant east, uncommon east-central, rare west-central, rare casual west. Fairly common regular fall migrant east, rare casual central and west.
Documentation: Specimen: UNSM ZM10773, 25 May 1909 Lincoln, Lancaster Co.
Taxonomy: No subspecies are recognized (Pyle 1997).
A hybrid with MacGillivray’s Warbler was reported in Kit Carson Co, Colorado; eBird cites only four overall records of this hybrid (eBird.org, accessed Jul 2023).
Spring: May 6, 7, 7 <<<>>> May 30, 30, 30
Later dates are 1 Jun 2020 Pawnee Co, 3 Jun 2006 Sarpy Co, 5 Jun 1993 Dakota Co, and 7 Jun 2022 Fort Falls, Cherry Co.
Migration takes place during May.
There are ten documented Panhandle records: 10 May 2023 Gering Cemetery, Scotts Bluff Co, a male at Oliver Reservoir, Kimball Co 15 May 2020, a male with no eye-ring at West Lawn Cemetery, Gering, Scotts Bluff Co 17 May 2002; 19 May 1992 Dawes Co (Williams 1983), 23 May 2022 Alliance, Box Butte Co, a specimen, USNM 481623, was collected 27 May 1965 by Short (1966) in Sheridan Co; one at Morrill, Scotts Bluff Co 27 May 1997 was described (Brogie 1998), one was photographed at Crescent Lake NWR, Garden Co 19 May 2008 and singles were there 28 May 2009 and 24 May 2016.
There are several west-central reports, notably in Keith Co: singles with “no hint of an eyering” were banded at Lake Ogallala 16 May 1996, 17 May 1993, and 25 May 1993 (Brown et al 2012), one was at Lake Ogallala 16 May 2008, and a singing male was at Clear Creek WMA 27 May 2004. One was seen by several NOU members and photographed at Valentine City Park, Cherry Co 16-17 May 2015, another was at Fort Falls, Fort Niobrara NWR, Cherry Co 7 Jun 2022, and a dead bird found 22 May 1943 in Lincoln Co was residing in the North Platte High School collection (Tout 1947).
- High counts: 12 at Fontenelle Forest, Sarpy Co 21 May 2013, 10 in Douglas Co 15 May 1996, 7 in southeast Washington Co 25 May 2003, and 6 at Fontenelle Forest 23 May 2008.
- A total of 38 were reported in the period 15-30 May 1996, about 30 during 10-29 May 2008, and 25-30 during 9-29 May 1995.
Fall: Aug 23, 24, 24 <<<>>> Sep 26, 27, 27
An earlier date is 21 Aug 2019 Douglas Co.
Later dates are 2 Oct 2013 Dodge Co, 2 Oct 2020 Douglas Co, and 13 Oct 2007 Douglas Co.
Migration is from late Aug through late Sep.
The only reports from the Panhandle are of an adult male in Kimball Co 29 Aug 1998 (Brogie 1999), and one at Oliver Reservoir, Kimball Co 31 Aug 2021. Singles were westerly at Rock Creek SRA, Dundy Co 29 Aug 2020 (eBird.org), 2 Sep 2019 Lincoln Co (Mlodinow, eBird.org), 3 Sep 2021 Lake McConaughy, Keith Co, 7 Sep 2010 Red Willow Co, and Furnas Co 21 Sep 2014.
- High counts: 4 in Lincoln, Lancaster Co 12 Sep 2013, 3 in Sarpy Co 1 Sep 1995, 3 at Wilderness Park, Lancaster Co 2 Sep 2020, and 3 in Saunders Co 12 Sep 2020.
Comments: Mollhoff (2022) discounted a vague report by Aughey of adults feeding young “in the southeastern part of the state”; the report had been included in subsequent checklists by Bruner et al (1904) and Rapp et al (1958).
NOU: Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union
NWR: National Wildlife Refuge
UNSM: University of Nebraska State Museum
WMA: Wildlife Management Area (State)
Brogie, M.A. 1998. 1997 (Ninth) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 66: 147-159.
Brogie, M.A. 1999. 1998 (Tenth) Report of the NOU Records Committee. NBR 67: 141-152.
Brown, C.R., M.B. Brown, P.A. Johnsgard, J. Kren, and W.C. Scharf. 1996. Birds of the Cedar Point Biological Station area, Keith and Garden Counties, Nebraska: Seasonal occurrence and breeding data. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 23: 91-108.
Bruner, L., R.H. Wolcott, and M.H. Swenk. 1904. A preliminary review of the birds of Nebraska, with synopses. Klopp and Bartlett, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
Mollhoff, W.J. 2022. Nest records of Nebraska birds. Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union Occasional Paper Number 9.
Pyle, P. 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds. Part I, Columbidae to Ploceidae. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, California, USA.
Rapp, W.F. Jr., J.L.C. Rapp, H.E. Baumgarten, and R.A. Moser. 1958. Revised checklist of Nebraska birds. Occasional Papers 5, Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union, Crete, Nebraska, USA.
Short, L.L., Jr. 1966. Some spring migrant and breeding records from northern Nebraska. NBR 34: 18.
Tout, W. 1947. Lincoln County birds. Published by the author, North Platte, Nebraska, USA.
Williams, F. 1983. Southern Great Plains Region. American Birds 37: 886-888.
Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen. 2023. Mourning Warbler (Geothlypis philadelphia). In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org
Birds of Nebraska – Online
Updated 6 Jul 2023