Bay-breasted Warbler Identification

Adult Description

  • Small songbird; large warbler.
  • Breeding male with black face and chestnut head.
  • Two broad white wingbars.
  • Rufous on flanks.

Male Description

Breeding (Alternate) plumage: Crown, throat, and sides deep chestnut brown. Cream colored patch on back of neck. Belly whitish. Back gray with black stripes. Two broad white wingbars on each wing. Undertail coverts buffy. Eye dark. Legs black.
Nonbreeding (Basic) plumage: Crown, nape, and upperparts yellowish olive green, streaked with black. Rump grayish. Flanks striped with chestnut. Indistinct yellow eyestripe. Wings and tail blackish. Two broad white wingbars on each wing. Pale patch on back of neck. Buffy undertail coverts.

Female Description

Breeding (Alternate) plumage: Sides washed with variable amounts of chestnut. Face gray. Creamy patch on back of neck. Throat buffy, tinged with chestnut. Back olive-gray with indistinct black stripes. Rump olive-gray and unstreaked. Wings with two broad white wingbars. White spots near tip of outer two tail feathers.
Nonbreeding (Basic) plumage: Crown, nape, and upperparts yellowish olive green, streaked with black. Rump grayish. Flanks striped with light chestnut or buff. Indistinct yellow eyestripe. Wings and tail blackish. Two broad white wingbars on each wing. Pale patch on back of neck. Buffy undertail coverts.

Immature Description

Similar to fall adult, but with less chestnut, more olive, and finer streaking on back. Still shows two broad wingbars and hint of pale neck patch.
Relative Size

Relative Sizesparrow or smallersparrow-sized or smaller
Measurements
  • Both Sexes
    • Length: 5.5 in (14 cm)
    • Weight: 0.3-0.6 oz (10-17 g)
    • Wingspan: 7.9-8.7 in (20-22 cm)