Lucy's Warbler Life History


Habitat ScrubBreeds in riparian mesquite woodlands.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Cavity

Nest Description

Nest in cavity, well woven of twigs, weed stalks, straw, mesquite leaf stems, lined with fine bark, plant fibers, hair, and feathers. Nest placed behind loose bark of tree or in cavities in trees or cactus. Also in abandoned Verdin nests.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:3-7 eggs
Egg Description:White with fine reddish spots concentrated at large end.
Condition at Hatching:Naked and helpless.
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Behavior Foliage GleanerForages in tops of mesquite trees and at the ends of branches. Catches and shakes caterpillars before swallowing.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernLucy's Warbler populations remained stable between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 3 million, with 80% spending at least part of the year in the U.S., and 98% in Mexico. The species rates a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Lucy's Warbler is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species and is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. The species is threatened by the loss of riparian habitat throughout their range.Back to top

Backyard Tips

Consider putting up a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on our Attract Birds pages. You'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size on our All About Birdhouses site.

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Johnson, R. Roy, Helen K. Yard and Bryan T. Brown. (2012). Lucy's Warbler (Oreothlypis luciae), 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 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

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.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center (2014b). Available from

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

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

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