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Wilson's Warbler


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common warbler of willow thickets in the West and across Canada, the Wilson's Warbler is easily identified by its yellow underparts and black cap.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
3.9–4.7 in
10–12 cm
5.5–6.7 in
14–17 cm
0.2–0.4 oz
5–10 g
Other Names
  • Paruline à calotte noire (French)
  • Chipe coronoa negra, Reinita Gorrinegra, Reinita de Wilson, Chipe Careto, Reinita de Capucha, Chipe Coroninegro (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Wilson's Warbler is found in a large diversity of environments in the winter. It is the only migrant warbler regularly found in tropical high plains (paramo).
  • The Wilson's Warbler trends toward brighter, richer coloration from the eastern part of the range to the west. The Pacific coast populations have the brightest yellow, even orangish, foreheads and faces. Western-central and Alaskan birds are slightly larger than the eastern and Pacific coast populations.
  • The oldest recorded Wilson's Warbler was a male, and at least 8 years, 11 months, when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in California.



Breeds in shrub thickets of riparian habitats, edges of beaver ponds, lakes, bogs, and overgrown clear-cuts of montane and boreal zone. Winters in tropical evergreen and deciduous forest, cloud forest, pine-oak forest, and forest edge habitat; also found in mangrove undergrowth, secondary growth, thorn-scrub, dry washes, riparian gallery forest, mixed forests, brushy fields, and plantations.



Insects and occasional berries.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–7 eggs
Egg Description
Creamy white with fine reddish spots.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with sparse brown down.
Nest Description

Bowl of vegetation, lined with grass or hair. Usually placed on ground, at base of shrub or under bunches of grass. May be placed low in shrubs.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Picks insects from foliage and twigs, hovers to pick prey from leaves, and flycatches.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

Wilson’s Warbler populations declined by almost 2% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 61%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 60 million with 61% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 39% in Canada, and 72% wintering in Mexico. The 2014 State of the Birds Report listed Wilson’s Warbler as a Common Bird in Steep Decline, and they rate a 10 out of 20 on the Partners in Flight Continental Concern Score. Degradation and loss of primary breeding habitat, western riparian woodlands, are likely among the leading causes of declines.


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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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