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Mourning Warbler


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Common within its range, the Mourning Warbler is a small songbird of second-growth forests of eastern and central North America. It typically reveals its presence by its distinctive song of rolling phrases, usually remaining hidden in the low, thick vegetation.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
3.9–5.9 in
10–15 cm
7.1 in
18 cm
0.4–0.5 oz
11–13 g
Other Names
  • Paruline triste, Fauvette triste (French)
  • Verderón llorón (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Both male and female Mourning Warblers pretend to have broken wings to distract predators close to their nest.
  • The adult female Mourning Warbler eats the eggshells after the young hatch.
  • The oldest recorded Mourning Warbler was a male, and at least 7 years, 1 month old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Alberta.



Disturbed second-growth forested areas, with moderately closed canopy and thick understory. In winter, wet lowlands with thick vegetation.



Poorly documented. Insects, insect larvae, and spiders during the breeding season. Insects and fruiting bodies on Cecropia tree leaves in winter.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–5 eggs
Egg Description
White, speckled with reddish brown and black spots.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with tufts of dark gray down and red mouth.
Nest Description

Open cup of grass, leaves, and bark, lined with roots, fine grasses, and hair. Usually placed on or near ground.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Gleans insects from branches of shrubs, picking prey with bill. Removes wings and legs of prey before consuming it.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Mourning Warbler populations declined by about 43% between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 17 million with 11% spending some part of the year in the U.S., and 89% breeding in Canada. This species winters in Central and South America. Mourning Warbler rates an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score It is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species, and is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Given their preference for disturbed forests, Mourning Warbler populations may have benefited from various human activities that are detrimental to other birds, such as mining, forest clear-cutting, and road-building.


Range Map Help

Mourning Warbler Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings


Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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