Lucy's Warbler

Silhouette WarblersWarblers

Lucy's Warbler

Leiothlypis luciae
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Parulidae
Basic Description

Lucy’s Warbler nests in the driest habitat of any U.S. or Canada warbler: the mesquite bosques and riparian washes of the Desert Southwest. These scattered stands offer shade and insects, and Lucy’s Warbler pairs may nest almost on top of each other when they find good patches of habitat. The species’ gray plumage is highlighted with rich cinnamon on the crown and rump. Lucy’s Warblers nest in tree cavities—one of only two warbler species that do so (the other is the Prothonotary Warbler of the Southeast).

More ID Info
image of range map for Lucy's WarblerRange map provided by Birds of the WorldExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Lucy’s Warblers are most conspicuous in spring, when males sing ceaselessly in the morning in extensive stands of mesquite. They sing as they forage, moving restlessly and quickly, so it may take a few minutes to see one well. In late spring and summer, small family groups forage together but are quiet and can be difficult to detect. You may be able to attract Lucy’s Warblers by “pishing” or squeaking.

Other Names
  • Reinita de Lucy (Spanish)
  • Paruline de Lucy (French)

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 and our All About Birdhouses site. Members of Tucson Audubon have noticed that Lucy's Warblers tend to nest in places with two points of exit (unlike standard nest boxes), and have designed an innovative triangular nest box for this species.

  • Cool Facts