Living Bird Magazine
Bay-breasted WarblerSetophaga castanea
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Parulidae
A large warbler of the northern spruce forests, the Bay-breasted Warbler benefits from spruce budworm outbreaks when the caterpillars provide abundant food. Spraying to control the destructive outbreaks may have reduced populations of this warbler.More ID Info
- Reinita Castaña (Spanish)
- Paruline à poitrine baie (French)
- Cool Facts
- The Bay-breasted Warbler is closely related to the Blackpoll Warbler, and hybrids between the two species are known. The Bay-breasted Warbler is known to hybridize also with Yellow-rumped and Blackburnian warblers.
- Adult Bay-breasted Warblers appear to follow a more western migratory route south in the fall than first-year birds. More adults migrate west of the Appalachian Mountains than east of them, while first-year birds are frequent along the coast.
- In contrast to the more stable populations of other warblers, Bay-breasted Warbler numbers go up and down depending on outbreaks of the spruce budworm. It is abundant during infestations, but declines or even disappears from some areas a few years later.
- The oldest known Bay-breasted Warbler was at least 4 years, 11 months old.