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Hermit Warbler

Setophaga occidentalis ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A denizen of tall western coniferous forests, the Hermit Warbler is restricted to California, Oregon, and Washington. Because it lives in the tops of some of the tallest trees on the planet, it is more easily heard than seen.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.5 in
14 cm
Wingspan
7.9 in
20 cm
Weight
0.3–0.5 oz
9–13 g
Other Names
  • Paruline à tête jaune (French)
  • Chipe cabeza amarilla (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Hermit Warbler hybridizes with the Townsend's Warbler where their ranges overlap in Oregon and Washington. The hybrid zones are rather narrow and appear to be slowly moving, with the more aggressive Townsend's Warbler displacing the Hermit Warbler.
  • Hermit Warbler females have been found to prefer to mate with Townsend's Warbler-type males, but no evidence was found of Townsend's Warbler females mating with Hermit Warbler males.
  • The oldest recorded Hermit Warbler was a female, and at least 9 years, 1 month old when she was recaptured and rereleased in California in 2006.

Habitat


Forest

Tall coniferous forests, especially of Douglas-fir.

Food


Insects

Insects and spiders.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
4–5 eggs
Egg Description
Creamy white with fine dark speckles around large end.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with tufts of down.
Nest Description

Open cup of fine twigs, rootlets, dry moss, bark, pine needles, and spider silk. Lined with fine plant fibers and hair. Placed on top of conifer branches, well concealed from above.

Nest Placement

Tree

Behavior


Foliage Gleaner

Gleans insects of middle and outer portion of tree branches. Often hovers.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Hermit Warbler populations were stable between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 2.5 million, with 100% breeding and migrating through the U.S., and 82% wintering in Mexico. The species rates an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Hermit Warbler is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. It is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species. Because of its specialized habitat and its small range, Hermit Warbler may be vulnerable to habitat alteration. Townsend's Warbler may be displacing the species in parts of its range.

Credits

Range Map Help

Hermit Warbler Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

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eBird Occurrence Maps, Hermit Warbler

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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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