• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer
Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Lucy's Warbler


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

One of the smallest warblers, the Lucy's Warbler is a bird of the hot Sonoran desert. It occupies the driest habitat of all the warblers breeding in that area.

BNA ML combo package
Festival adSponsored Ad

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
3.5–4.7 in
9–12 cm
0.2–0.3 oz
5–8 g
Other Names
  • Paruline de Lucy (French)
  • Chipe rabadilla rufa, Gusanero de Lucy, Chipe rabadillicastño (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Lucy's Warbler is one of only two warblers that breeds in cavities. (The Prothonotary Warbler is the other.) If using a woodpecker hole, the warbler may fill the cavity nearly to the top with debris and put the nest on top so the bird can see out.
  • The Lucy's Warbler nests in some of the densest aggregations of any warbler: up to 12.5 pairs/ha (5 pairs/acre). In the highest density areas the close proximity of singing males makes censusing them nearly impossible because their songs overlap so much.


Open Woodland

Breeds in riparian mesquite woodlands.





Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–7 eggs
Egg Description
White with fine reddish spots concentrated at large end.
Condition at Hatching
Naked and helpless.
Nest Description

Nest in cavity, well woven of twigs, weed stalks, straw, mesquite leaf stems, lined with fine bark, plant fibers, hair, and feathers. Nest placed behind loose bark of tree or in cavities in trees or cactus. Also in abandoned Verdin nests. Does not use nest boxes.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Forages in tops of mesquite trees and at the ends of branches. Catches and shakes caterpillars before swallowing.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Loss of riparian habitat responsible for the extirpation of some populations and the overall decrease across the breeding range.


  • Johnson, R. R., H. K. Yard, and B. T. Brown. 1997. Lucy's Warbler (Vermivora luciae). In The Birds of North America, No. 318 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Range Map Help

View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Backyard Tips

Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.