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Hermit Warbler

Setophaga occidentalis ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A denizen of tall western coniferous forests, the Hermit Warbler is restricted to California, Oregon, and Washington. Because it lives in the tops of some of the tallest trees on the planet, it is more easily heard than seen.

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Appearance

Warblers
Warblers
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small songbird.
  • Yellow face.
  • Gray or olive back.
  • Two bold white wingbars.
  • Whitish underparts.

Male Description

Head almost entirely yellow. Nape blackish, extending variably up on top of head. Chin, throat, and upper chest black. Underparts white. Upperparts gray with black streaks. Wings gray with two large white wingbars.

Female Description

Similar to male, but duller. Olive green on nape and throat instead of black. Throat may be yellow or have black area. Flanks white or light gray. Dusky face mask, but yellow eyering.

Immature Description

Immature male similar to adult female, but has black streaks down the middle of the feathers in the upper wingbar. Immature female without black on throat, has streaks on wingbar feathers.

Range Map Help

Hermit Warbler Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Adult male distinctive. Female and immatures resemble other closely related species.
  • Black-throated Green Warbler has more olive back and less yellow in face, with dark in the face as line through eye, streaked sides, and some yellow at the vent under the tail.
  • Golden-cheeked Warbler has distinct dark line through eye, dark from nape to forehead, and dusky streaking down sides.
  • Olive Warbler resembles dull immature female Hermit Warblers, but has a more yellowish wash on underparts, a dark ear patch, and a white patch at the base of the primaries.
  • Townsend's Warbler has streaks on sides, dark line through eye, dark crown and forehead, and yellow on the breast.
  • Hybrid Townsend's X hermit can have all intermediate plumages.

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