Monthly Archives: January 2016

Golden-winged Warbler – The diminishing bird species that is set to make a turn around

Since 1966 Sixty six percent reduction in population has been experienced by the Golden-winged Warbler, the amazingly hyperactive humming bird that dares to migrate miles across from north eastern America, the breeding ground, to the cold and wintry areas of South and Central America. The alarming rate of population decline has drawn the attention of bird conservationists who have given utmost priority in restoring the number of the species that have suffered heavily due to loss of habitat.

There are other reasons too that have contributed to the decline of the species – the hybridization with its compatriot the Blue winged Warbler. The parasitic behavior of cowbirds that lay its eggs in the nest of the endangered species has further worsened the survival possibilities. All these issues are being addressed by bird conservationists and there are reasons to become optimistic about significant improvement in the population within the next fifty years.

Golden-winged Warbler - The diminishing bird species that is set to make a turn around

Identifying the species

The slim frame of the Golden-winged Warbler is easy to be identified by its silvery grey color with golden streaks on the wings and head . The color pattern distinguishes it from its peer the Blue winged Warbler with whom it produces the offspring of a new hybrid species that comes in golden or grey hues. The short tail is just right for the slim body that supports a small head with yellow crown and a thin, black and a pointed bill that is sharp. Had it not been for its distinct color, there was every possibility of confusing it with a chickadee.

Behavior and living

Insects like spiders, moths, caterpillars are the staple food of these birds that forage among shrubs and bushes, often dangling from the edges and hopping along the branches while inspecting closely for food. During the first 3 to 4 weeks of the breeding season the male golden wings get highly vocal and bold and get engaged in bouts of loud singing to express their exuberance. During courtship, males chase the females and flick their tails and raise their crowns when approaching a prospective mate. They make their intentions clear by performing flight displays at a casual pace with slow flapping of wings. Monogamy is prevalent among the males of this species.

Setting up a nest

The female Golden-winged Warbler is responsible for setting up the nest and selecting the site for it. The edge of a field that is shaded and located near a forest border is the preferred site for setting up the nest or it can also be on the ground that is open and grassy. The nest is usually completed within 1 to 3 days.

Early successional or young forests are the ideal places for breeding of the golden wings while the most preferred foraging areas are the matured forests. Minnesota can be considered to be the place where there is heavy concentration of population of this bird species. Tennessee, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the other places where these birds can be found.

For spotting these birds, May and June are the best months.

How to Manage the Weight of Your Dog

Dogs can become companions that you treasure in your heart. One of your major responsibilities as a pet owner is to maintain the correct weight for your dog so that they remain healthy and active for many years. Being overweight will put stress on their body, increase their chances of getting diabetes, and elevate the risk for joint pain and liver problems. If your dog is eating more food than the amount that is burnt off with exercise, they may become obese; if your dog is old or a member of a certain breed, they may be more susceptible to gaining weight, so watching their diet is important. How can you manage the weight of your dog? Look at some of the ways listed below that can help your dog shed extra weight and be trim and fit throughout their life.


  • The experts at recommend that you work with your veterinarian to determine the number of calories that your dog needs to be healthy. There are suitable food choices on the market that are designed for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs that require a diet that is easier on their digestive tract. Your dog’s diet must contain fibre and fat so that their skin and coat will remain shiny and healthy.
  • Next, increase the amount of exercise that your dog gets each day. With regular exercise, more calories will be burned, their appetite will be reduced, and your dog’s metabolic rate will be increased. This is also a good method for you to get exercise yourself as you stroll through the park or walk around the garden at your home.
  • Another step that you can take to help manage your dog’s weight more effectively is to modify your own behaviour. If you are giving them an excessive amount of treats or feeding from your table, you are contributing to their weight problems. It’s essential that you make a commitment to helping your dog control their weight by removing your dog from your dining area. You can also give them several smaller meals during the day instead of a large one in the evening. Decrease the number of snacks and treats that you give your dog during the day; and remember to put food in their bowl only.
  • Finally, you should try to find a food for your dog that is lower in caloric content so that they can still feel full but have fewer calories in their meals. Read the labels and consult your vet if you have questions about which food will be best for your dog. You should buy only a small bag at first to make sure that your dog will eat the food; this is also a good idea because the food will remain fresh and tasty for your dog. Buying large bags presents the risk that the food will become stale and your dog will then refuse to eat it.

With the right kind of food, plenty of exercise, and some changes in your family’s behaviour, your dog will be well on their way to controlling their weight.