Living Bird Magazine
Worm-eating WarblerHelmitheros vermivorum
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Parulidae
A small, drab, but elegantly marked bird of the eastern deciduous forests, the Worm-eating Warbler is often found on steep slopes with dense understory. True to its name, it feeds largely on caterpillars ("worms").More ID Info
- Reinita Gusanera (Spanish)
- Paruline vermivore (French)
- Cool Facts
- Late in incubation the female Worm-eating Warbler sits so tight on her nest that only touching her will flush her. Her cryptic coloring makes immobility a safe strategy. If she is flushed, she will flutter across the ground with her wings and tail spread, acting helpless to lure predators away from the nest.
- Young Worm-eating Warblers typically leave their nest 8-10 days after hatching. Chicks as young as five days old have been observed leaving the nest and surviving, although they cannot fly at that age.
- Although the Worm-eating Warbler forages in the understory near the ground and nests on the ground, it does not spend much time on the forest floor. It does not forage there, and when on the ground it hops instead of walking.
- The oldest recorded Worm-eating Warbler was a male, and at least 8 years, 1 month old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Connecticut.