(Sclater & Salvin, 1861)
Dendroica chrysoparia Sclater & Salvin, 1861
The Golden-cheeked Warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia [formerly Dendroica chrysoparia]), also known as the gold finch of Texas, is an endangered species of bird that breeds in Central Texas, from Palo Pinto County southwestward along the eastern and southern edge of the Edwards Plateau to Kinney County. The Golden-cheeked Warbler is the only bird species with a breeding range confined to Texas.
Golden-cheeked Warblers nest in ashe juniper and live oak trees in ravines and canyons. They use ashe juniper bark and spider webs to build their nests. Females lay three to four eggs. Warblers eat insects and spiders and the adult warbler can reach a length of 4.5 inches. They winter in southern Mexico (Chiapas), Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
The warbler is endangered, as many juniper and oak woodlands have been cleared to build houses, roads, and stores or to grow crops or grass for livestock. Other woodlands were flooded when large lakes were constructed.
Susan Wittig Albert uses the golden-cheeked warbler as a plot device in her 1992 novel Thyme of Death.
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