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Hermit Warbler

Silhouette WarblersWarblers
Hermit WarblerSetophaga occidentalis
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Parulidae

Basic Description

The Hermit Warbler's golden face shines like a beacon as it flits through Pacific Northwest mountain forests. This natty gray-and-white warbler hunts insects high in pine, Douglas-fir, spruce, and other conifers. In summer, its buzzy song drifts down to the forest floor. On wintering grounds, in the cool pine-oak forests of Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, Hermit Warblers forage among flocks of warblers and other birds, often just above eye level. Hermit Warblers are close relatives of Townsend's Warblers and the two species hybridize where their ranges come together.

More ID Info
image of range map for Hermit Warbler
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Listen for the buzzy, rising songs of Hermit Warblers in springtime on calm mornings. These small birds can be hard to see some 80­–100 feet up in a tree, so try walking along a road that descends along the flank of a mountain. That will put the treetops nearer to eye level and make these birds much easier to see. Be aware that Hermit/Townsend's Warbler hybrids can sound similar to pure Hermit Warblers, so try to see the singer to confirm your identification.

Other Names

  • Reinita Cabecigualda (Spanish)
  • Paruline à tête jaune (French)
  • Cool Facts