Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia) rear second broods in some years at Delta Marsh, Manitoba


  • Spencer G. Sealy Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2



double broods, Yellow Warbler, Setophaga petechia, Delta Marsh, Manitoba


Twenty cases of double brooding by colour-marked Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia) were recorded in 5 of 11 years (1975–1986, no data collected in 1977) during studies of breeding ecology in the dune-ridge forest at Delta Marsh, Manitoba (1 pair in 1975, 3 pairs in 1976, 3 pairs in 1984, 9 pairs in 1985, and 4 pairs in 1986). At least one member of each of the 20 pairs was marked. Eleven pairs re-used their first nest for the second attempt, whereas 9 females built a new nest, in 5 cases because the original nests had disintegrated. Four of the second nests (3 in 1985 and 1 in 1986) were parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater). All 20 first nests produced at least one young, a condition for double brooding, and 13 second nests, including 3 that were parasitized, were successful. Failure of about 60% of annual nesting attempts at Delta Marsh may contribute to the low number of pairs with double broods recorded in some years and the absence of double brooding in years of comparable phenology. This is the first published evidence of double brooding in the Yellow Warbler.