• 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!

Mourning Warbler

Geothlypis philadelphia ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Common within its range, the Mourning Warbler is a small songbird of second-growth forests of eastern and central North America. It typically reveals its presence by its distinctive song of rolling phrases, usually remaining hidden in the low, thick vegetation.

Subscribe to Living Bird Magazine
Bird Festivals

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
3.9–5.9 in
10–15 cm
Wingspan
7.1 in
18 cm
Weight
0.4–0.5 oz
11–13 g
Other Names
  • Paruline triste, Fauvette triste (French)
  • Verderón llorón (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Both male and female Mourning Warblers pretend to have broken wings to distract predators close to their nest.
  • The adult female Mourning Warbler eats the eggshells after the young hatch.

Habitat


Forest

Disturbed second-growth forested areas, with moderately closed canopy and thick understory. In winter, wet lowlands with thick vegetation.

Food


Insects

Poorly documented. Insects, insect larvae, and spiders during the breeding season. Insects and fruiting bodies on Cecropia tree leaves in winter.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–5 eggs
Egg Description
White, speckled with reddish brown and black spots.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with tufts of dark gray down and red mouth.
Nest Description

Open cup of grass, leaves, and bark, lined with roots, fine grasses, and hair. Usually placed on or near ground.

Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Foliage Gleaner

Gleans insects from branches of shrubs, picking prey with bill. Removes wings and legs of prey before consuming it.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Populations slightly increasing in New England, stable or slightly decreasing in Canada. Given their preference for disturbed forests, Mourning Warbler populations may have benefited from various human activities that are detrimental to other birds, such as mining, forest clear-cutting, and road-building.

Credits

  • Pitocchelli, J. 1993. Mourning Warbler (Oporornis philadelphia). In The Birds of North America, No. 72 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Range Map Help

Mourning Warbler Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings