Finding Swainson’s Warbler required a trip to the southeastern part of Missouri where I was lucky enough to get video and sound from a male along the Eleven Point River during a gentle, early morning rain on May 15, 2007. This is a beautiful area where I also saw and heard Hooded, Cerulean, and Yellow-throated Warblers.
Swainson’s Warbler is one of our less common birds and seems to be declining in numbers in many areas. Throughout most of their breeding range in the Southeastern United States, they breed in areas with stands of cane that grow in swamps and along rivers and small streams. But they also occur in the Appalachian Mountains, where they favor thickets of rhododendrons. Their loud and distinctive song is often the only clue to their presence in a given area.