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Golden-cheeked Warbler Life History


Habitat ForestsBreeds in oak-cedar association. Found in migration in a variety of open woodland, scrub, and thicket habitats. In winter known only from montane pine-oak association.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects and spiders.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Tree

Nest Description

Open cup woven of strips of juniper bark and insect silk, lined with fine grass, hair, or down. Placed in small tree.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:3-5 eggs
Number of Broods:1-2 broods
Egg Length:0.7-0.8 in (1.65-1.93 cm)
Egg Width:0.5-0.6 in (1.29-1.45 cm)
Incubation Period:10-12 days
Nestling Period:9-12 days
Egg Description:White with dark speckles concentrated around the large end.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless.
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Behavior Foliage GleanerForages by gleaning from foliage and branches, sallying, and hovering at ends of branches; less frequently by hawking and hanging to glean from undersides of leaves.Back to top


Conservation Red Watch ListGolden-cheeked Warbler is an Endangered species and is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 21,000, with 100% spending some part of the year in the U.S., and 21% in Mexico. This species rates a 20 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score, is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species, and a Tri-National Concern species. Restricted breeding habitat shrinking and becoming more fragmented. Old-growth and mature second-growth juniper-oak woodlands used for breeding are climax communities in breeding range, and may take decades to recover from disturbance. Some areas may never regenerate after disturbance. Wintering areas are being cut down for timber. Back to top


Ladd, Clifton and Leila Gass. (1999). Golden-cheeked Warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2020. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2020.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.

Stephenson, T. and S. Whittle (2013). The Warbler Guide. Princeton University Press, New Jersey, USA.

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