- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Parulidae
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
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.
- Reinita de Kentucky (Spanish)
- Paruline du Kentucky (French)
- Cool Facts
- The pioneering Scottish naturalist Alexander Wilson was in Kentucky when he first collected this species, in 1811—and the name stuck.
- Unlike most songbirds, a male Kentucky Warbler appears to sing only one song type. He will sing the same song throughout his life.
- The oldest recorded Kentucky Warbler was a male and at least 8 years old when he was recaptured and re-released during banding operations in Alabama.