- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Parulidae
Keeping low to the ground as it rifles through dense tangles of undergrowth, the Worm-eating Warbler might go unnoticed completely were it not for its voice: a loud chip and a sharp, dry, trilling song. A warbler with a unique color palette, this olive and buff species nests in large forest tracts (often on steep slopes) with rich laurel, rhododendron, holly, or dogwood understories. They use their large, sharp bills to hunt for insects and spiders in foliage and clusters of dead leaves.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Worm-eating Warblers mostly stay in the interior of closed-canopy forests with abundant understory plants, often on steep slopes. Their preference for dense understories can make them hard to see, so start by listening for the male’s song, a very rapid trill that can be confused with a Chipping Sparrow’s song. While many warbler species can be seen at forest edges, head into the forest interior to find this species.
- Reinita Gusanera (Spanish)
- Paruline vermivore (French)
- Cool Facts
- Many Neotropical migrants, including Worm-eating Warblers, are territorial on both their breeding and wintering grounds. Amazingly, they often return to the exact same patch of land each summer and winter, year after year.
- Late in incubation, the female Worm-eating Warbler sits incredibly tightly on her nest, relying on her camouflage to keep her nest safe. 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 5 days old may leave the nest and survive, although they cannot fly at that age.
- The oldest recorded Worm-eating Warbler was a male and at least 8 years, 1 month old when he was recaptured and re-released during banding operations in Connecticut.