How Did the Woodwarbler Get Its Name?
The warbler is a small songbird. It eats insects and is found in gardens, woodlands, and marshes. There are two groups of warblers: the Old World warblers and the New World warblers, which are also called woodwarblers. Although these birds are closely related to the New World tanagers, they take their name from their superficial resemblance in form, structure, and habits to the distantly related Old World warblers. Many European warblers have been given special names, such as the blackcap, whitethroat, and chiffchaff.
The New World warblers, or woodwarblers, of the family Parulidae comprise about 120 species of small songbirds. They are small birds, ranging up to 18 cm (7 inches) in length, and are more brightly coloured than Old World warblers. Many woodwarblers have weak, quiet songs, but a few have loud voices. Their feeding and nesting habits resemble those of Old World warblers. The warblers’ nests are usually placed in trees, bushes, grass, or hidden in the ground. They usually lay from two to five eggs, which are speckled. Both parents care for the young.
Old World warblers are found mainly from Europe and Asia to Australia and Africa. Very few of these birds live in the Americas. The New World warblers, or woodwarblers, are mainly found in North and Central America and live in forest, brush, or swampy grass country. The best-known New World warbler is the yellow warbler. It is found from Alaska and Newfoundland to the West Indies, Peru, and the Galápagos Islands. It is sometimes mistakenly called the wild canary.
Old World warblers are rather drab. They are generally green, olive, brown, buff, or black. They are mostly small birds, from 31/2 to 10 inches (9 to 25 centimeters) in length. Their slender bills are adapted for capturing insects from plants and shrubs.