Tennessee Warbler Life History


Habitat ForestsBreeds in boreal forest, in open areas containing grasses, dense shrubs, and young deciduous trees. Winters in open second growth forests and agricultural habitats, such as shade coffee plantationsBack to top


Food InsectsInvertebrates, especially moth caterpillars, fruit, and nectar.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

Open cup of dead grass, weed stems, dried leaves, twigs, or bark strips, lined with fine grass, moss, rootlets, or hair. Placed on ground, often hidden in hummock of sphagnum moss or at base of small shrub or tree.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:5-6 eggs
Number of Broods:1 brood
Egg Length:0.6-0.7 in (1.4-1.7 cm)
Egg Width:0.4-0.5 in (1.1-1.3 cm)
Incubation Period:11-12 days
Nestling Period:11-12 days
Egg Description:White, speckled with reddish brown.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless.
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Behavior Foliage GleanerGleans insects from outer foliage of trees and shrubs. Pecks base of flowers to get nectar.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernTennessee Warbler populations declined in some areas, but remained stable in others, between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 70 million with 100% breeding in Canada, and 14% wintering in Mexico. All Tennessee Warblers migrate through the U.S. The species rates an 8 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Tennessee Warbler is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species, and is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Populations may fluctuate widely, depending on spruce budworm outbreaks.Back to top


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.

Rimmer, Christopher C. and Kent P. McFarland. (2012). Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

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 http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/.

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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