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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Magnolia Warbler


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Magnolia Warbler is a handsome and familiar warbler of the northern forests. Though it often forages conspicuously and close to the ground, we have relatively scant information on its nesting behavior.

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Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small songbird.
  • Yellow chest and throat.
  • Black necklace and black stripes down sides.
  • White wingbars or large white patch on wings.
  • Gray crown.
  • Yellow rump.
  • Large white patch in black-tipped tail.

Male Description

Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Black mask, white eyebrow stripe. Conspicuous black band across the upper breast, with heavy black streaks on the sides, wide white wing-panels, and a black back. Rump yellow.
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: Duller with reduced streaking, two white wingbars, and greenish back. Lacks black face mask; face gray with white eyering.

Female Description

Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Gray face, white eyebrow stripe, modest black streaks on the sides, and thin white wingbars.
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: similar to nonbreeding male, with an olive-tinged crown and less streaking.

Immature Description

Similar to nonbreeding adult, but without black streaking on chest. Olive-gray crown and upperparts. Throat, breast and belly yellow, with pale gray band across upper chest. Narrow white wingbars.

Range Map Help

Magnolia Warbler Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Tail pattern is distinctive. Only American Redstart has a similar "T"- shaped pattern, and it has yellow or orange, not white, in the tail, and lacks yellow chest or streaks.
  • Cape May Warbler has thinner streaks on chest, reddish, not black, in the face, and a duller yellow rump.
  • Prairie Warbler has green back and lacks black face mask.
  • Canada Warbler has short black streaks on chest only, is all gray on back, and lacks wingbars.
  • Nashville Warbler similar to immature, but lacks wingbars and tail pattern.