Significance to humans

Too tiny to be much of a source of food or feathers, warblers still play an important role in human existence. Perhaps their greatest significance lies in their aesthetic beauty. Nothing lifts the spirit quite like a common yellowthroat alighting just for a moment on a sun-streaked branch, or the bright, tinkling song of a yellow warbler on a warm, late spring morning in the northern woods. These birds fill the skies during migration, breaking the spell of winter in the north, or dance back home to Central and South America in autumn. No other group of animals could take the place of these bundles of energy in inviting people to come outside and revel in nature's splendor.

1. Kirtland's warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii); 2. Cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea); 3. Yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia); 4. Hooded warbler (Wilsonia citrina); 5. Yellow-breasted chat (Icteria virens); 6. Blue-winged warbler (Vermivora pinus); 7. Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera); 8. Black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia); 9. Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus); 10. Prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea). (Illustration by Gillian Harris)

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