The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is working with partners to protect a songbird whose numbers have significantly declined in the state.

The Connecticut warbler’s numbers have dropped nearly 80 percent in Wisconsin and 60 percent across the species’ entire range. The species is one of the most concerning in Wisconsin due to the declines.

The Connecticut warbler is a small gray-hooded bird with a bold white eye ring, yellow chest and belly and olive back. Younger birds and females have more muted colors than males. During summer nesting season, they live in jack pine and black spruce forests primarily in northern Wisconsin but occur in various forest types statewide, although uncommonly, during spring and fall migration.

“Connecticut warblers and other migratory songbirds spend a great deal of time elsewhere in the country, many even spending winter on other continents like South America,” said DNR Conservation Biologist Ryan Brady. “Habitat loss, development, climate change and other threats throughout their annual life cycle make it harder for these birds to survive and reproduce.

The DNR is working with landowners, foresters and other resource managers to protect and enhance the warbler’s habitat of upland jack pine forests in eastern Douglas and western Bayfield counties, as well as discussing habitat management options in the surrounding landscape.

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