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Orange-crowned Warbler Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    Orange-crowned Warblers are small songbirds. Compared with other warblers, they have noticeably thin, sharply pointed bills. They have short wings and short, square tails.

    Relative Size

    Slightly larger than a Ruby-crowned Kinglet; slightly smaller than a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

    Relative Sizesparrow or smallersparrow-sized or smaller

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)
      • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (7-11 g)
      • Wingspan: 7.5 in (19 cm)

Regional Differences

Orange-crowned Warblers of the Pacific slope are quite bright, even yellowish, and can be readily confused with Yellow Warblers (see Similar Species). The stripe over the eye (superciliary) is always yellow, as are their underparts, and the blurry olive streaks contrast more strongly than in other forms of the species. In the Interior West, Orange-crowned Warblers usually have gray heads. Though some may have yellow-green heads, they still usually contrast fairly obviously with a brighter olive back. These birds may have white or yellow superciliaries. The largest subspecies, sordida, occurs only on the Channel Islands of California.