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Wilson's Warbler


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common warbler of willow thickets in the West and across Canada, the Wilson's Warbler is easily identified by its yellow underparts and black cap.

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At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
3.9–4.7 in
10–12 cm
5.5–6.7 in
14–17 cm
0.2–0.4 oz
5–10 g
Other Names
  • Paruline à calotte noire (French)
  • Chipe coronoa negra, Reinita Gorrinegra, Reinita de Wilson, Chipe Careto, Reinita de Capucha, Chipe Coroninegro (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Wilson's Warbler is found in a large diversity of environments in the winter. It is the only migrant warbler regularly found in tropical high plains (paramo).
  • The Wilson's Warbler trends toward brighter, richer coloration from the eastern part of the range to the west. The Pacific coast populations have the brightest yellow, even orangish, foreheads and faces. Western-central and Alaskan birds are slightly larger than the eastern and Pacific coast populations.



Breeds in shrub thickets of riparian habitats, edges of beaver ponds, lakes, bogs, and overgrown clear-cuts of montane and boreal zone. Winters in tropical evergreen and deciduous forest, cloud forest, pine-oak forest, and forest edge habitat; also found in mangrove undergrowth, secondary growth, thorn-scrub, dry washes, riparian gallery forest, mixed forests, brushy fields, and plantations.



Insects and occasional berries.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–7 eggs
Egg Description
Creamy white with fine reddish spots.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with sparse brown down.
Nest Description

Bowl of vegetation, lined with grass or hair. Usually placed on ground, at base of shrub or under bunches of grass. May be placed low in shrubs.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Picks insects from foliage and twigs, hovers to pick prey from leaves, and flycatches.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

No special status on federal lists, but priority species on several conservation listings of western states due to recent population declines and threats to breeding habitat. Degradation and loss of primary breeding habitat, western riparian woodlands, are likely among the leading causes of declines.


  • Ammon, E. M., and W. M. Gilbert. 1999. Wilson’s Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla). In The Birds of North America, No. 478 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

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