• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Tennessee Warbler


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A dainty warbler of the Canadian boreal forest, the Tennessee Warbler specializes in eating the spruce budworm. Consequently its population goes up and down with fluctuations in the populations of the budworm.


Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small songbird.
  • Drably colored with few distinct field marks.
  • Back green.
  • Underparts whitish.
  • Crown and nape gray.
  • Thin white line over eyes.

Male Description

Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Forehead, crown and nape pale bluish gray. Sides of face and neck pale gray. White eyestripe above a dark line through eyes. Back, wings, and rump bright olive-green. Dull whitish from chin to undertail. May have slight yellowish wash across breast or on flanks. Wing feathers and tail dark gray.
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: Plumage duller, with head and nape gray-green, similar to rest of upperparts. Variable yellowish wash on throat and breast. Belly and undertail whitish.

Female Description

Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Forehead, crown, and nape olive-gray. Sides of face and eyestripe grayish white tinged with yellow. Dusky line through eyes. Back, wings, and rump olive-green. Dull whitish from chin to undertail, with variable yellowish wash across breast and flanks. Wing feathers and tail dark gray.
Nonbreeding(Basic) Plumage: Plumage duller, with more yellow on underparts, especially belly and flanks.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to nonbreeding female, but duller and darker green, with only indistinct pale eyeline and dusky eyestripe. Underparts pale yellow, darker on upper belly and flanks. Two faint wingbars on each wing.

Range Map Help

Tennessee Warbler Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Orange-crowned Warbler can be very similar to juvenile or fall female, but is duller green on the back, has yellow undertail, faint blurred streaks on the sides of the breast, and a thin, split eyering.
  • Vireos are slightly larger, more robustly built, have more distinct eyelines, duller green backs, thicker and less pointed bills, and are less active foragers.



    Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
    bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

    The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.