Northern Parula

Silhouette WarblersWarblers

Northern Parula

Setophaga americana
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Parulidae
Basic Description

A small warbler of the upper canopy, the Northern Parula flutters at the edges of branches plucking insects. This bluish gray warbler with yellow highlights breeds in forests laden with Spanish moss or beard lichens, from Florida to the boreal forest, and it's sure to give you "warbler neck." It hops through branches bursting with a rising buzzy trill that pinches off at the end. Its white eye crescents, chestnut breast band, and yellow-green patch on the back set it apart from other warblers.

More ID Info
image of range map for Northern ParulaRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

The key to finding a Northern Parula during the breeding season is to look for forests draped with long, wispy plants like Spanish moss and "old man's beard." Northern Parulas tend to stick to the canopy, which means you may end up with a bit of "warbler neck." Luckily during migration they also forage lower in the forest giving your neck a break. Parulas sing a lot during migration—so listen up for their distinctive buzzy trill.

Other Names
  • Parula Norteña (Spanish)
  • Paruline à collier (French)

Backyard Tips

Northern Parulas do not visit feeders, but you can provide habitat for them in your yard by landscaping with native trees and shrubs. Creating a bird-friendly backyard for Northern Parulas even if they are not breeding in your area may help them out during migration. Head on over to Habitat Network to learn about which native species are good matches for your yard and more.

  • Cool Facts