- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Parulidae
The startlingly pretty Red-faced Warbler is a mix of gray, black, and fire-engine red. Mainly a bird of high-elevation coniferous forests, its core range is in Mexico but it breeds as far north as Arizona and New Mexico. It forages among branches and needles fairly high in the trees, but makes its nest in a depression on the ground. Its narrow range and preference for mature forests makes it vulnerable to logging in the region, and for these reasons it's included on the Partners in Flight Yellow Watch List.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Red-faced Warblers are relatively common in mature forests above about 6,500 feet elevation. Look for undisturbed, fairly open stands and listen for the male’s cheerful-sounding song. Watch patiently at middle and upper levels in the trees to spot these birds foraging among slender branches. Look for flashes of white as foraging birds flick their tails open to scare insects into movement. They are in the U.S. only during the breeding season.
- Reinita carirroja (Spanish)
- Paruline à face rouge (French)
- Cool Facts
- Most warbler species molt twice a year, but the Red-faced Warbler molts just once a year, keeping its bold red tones all through the seasons—there is no difference between "breeding" and "nonbreeding" plumages in this species.
- If you see one adult Red-faced Warbler quivering its wings at another, it may be a mating display. Both sexes do this during the breeding season. The male shows off his white rump patch as much as possible. He'll even move around to keep the patch oriented toward the female while displaying.
- Red-faced Warblers pair up to raise young, but both sexes routinely mate outside the pair as well. More than 45% of all nests in one study contained young unrelated to the male that tended the nest.