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Kentucky Warbler

Silhouette WarblersWarblers
Kentucky WarblerGeothlypis formosa
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Parulidae

Basic Description

The Kentucky Warbler’s loud, rolling song rings out from dense forest understories, where these hard-to-see warblers hunt for arthropods on or near the ground. Kentucky Warblers are brilliant yellow below and rich olive above, with a black cap and cheek and bold yellow “spectacles” that don’t quite wrap around the eyes. They spend winters in Mexico and Central America, where they forage near ground level and often follow army ant swarms to catch fleeing insects.

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

Kentucky Warblers are birds of the forest understory, so it’s better to take a short trail into the forest than to stick along roadsides and edges. Try early morning in large tracts of bottomland hardwood forest and seek out gaps where light penetrates. The males’ loud songs will help you locate them, just be aware that Carolina Wrens can sound similar. On wintering grounds, look for them around army ant swarms and listen for their loud chip note.

Other Names

  • Reinita de Kentucky (Spanish)
  • Paruline du Kentucky (French)
  • Cool Facts