Photo: Garth McElroy/Vireo

Priority Bird

Canada Warbler

Cardellina canadensis

Known by its necklace of short stripes, the Canada Warbler is a summer resident of moist, shady woods in the East. It usually stays in the understory, feeding in the bushes or on the ground. Sometimes hard to see in this dense cover, it is not especially shy, and a patient observer can usually get good looks. Although it does breed in Canada, it also nests in the higher Appalachians as far south as Georgia.
Conservation status Favoring shady forest undergrowth in summer and winter, this warbler could be vulnerable to loss of habitat with clearing of forest.
Family Wood Warblers
Habitat Forest undergrowth, shady thickets. Breeds in mature mixed hardwoods of extensive forests and streamside thickets. Prefers to nest in moist habitat: in luxuriant undergrowth, near swamps, on stream banks, in rhododendron thickets, in deep, rocky ravines and in moist deciduous second-growth. Winters in a variety of habitats in South America, from forest undergrowth to scrub.
Known by its necklace of short stripes, the Canada Warbler is a summer resident of moist, shady woods in the East. It usually stays in the understory, feeding in the bushes or on the ground. Sometimes hard to see in this dense cover, it is not especially shy, and a patient observer can usually get good looks. Although it does breed in Canada, it also nests in the higher Appalachians as far south as Georgia.
Canada Warbler around Connecticut

Audubon Connecticut’s priority bird species are birds of significant conservation need, for which our actions, over time, can lead to measurable improvements in status.  Some of these species are listed as vulnerable or near threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Redlist.  Others are species of conservation concern on the National Audubon Society’s Watchlist or identified as priorities by Partners in Flight.  Many priority species are also listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern  in Connecticut and are included in Connecticut’s Wildlife Action Plan. The breadth of this list reflects the dramatic loss of habitat and the pervasive threats that confront birds and other wildlife.

Photo Gallery
  • adult male, breeding
  • immature male (1st winter), nonbreeding
  • adult female
  • adult male, breeding
  • immature male (1st spring)
  • immature female (1st winter)
  • adult female
Feeding Behavior

Very active in foraging, does more flycatching than most warblers. Typically flushes insects from foliage while foraging on twigs and leaves, then frequently darts out catch escaping insects on the wing. Also searches on the ground among fallen leaves. In winter in the tropics, forages in mixed flocks with other birds, usually 3-30' above ground in denser foliage.


Eggs

4, sometimes 3-5. Creamy white with brown spots. Incubation is probably by female, possibly with help from male; length of the incubation period is not well known. Young: Both parents care for nestlings. Age at which young leave the nest is not well known.


Young

Both parents care for nestlings. Age at which young leave the nest is not well known.

Diet

Largely insects. Feeds on many kinds of insects, including beetles, mosquitoes, flies, moths, and smooth caterpillars such as cankerworms; also spiders.


Nesting

Males arrive on breeding grounds during the first two weeks of May. Sometimes pairs may arrive together, as migrants have been seen traveling in pairs in Central America. Nest: Placed on or within 6" of the ground, on sphagnum hummocks, in hollows in streambanks, on moss-covered logs, or in cavities among the upturned roots of fallen trees. Nest (built by female) is bulky open cup, loosely constructed of dead leaves or leaf skeletons, bark strips, grasses, weeds, ferns; lined with fern roots, horsehair, and plant fibers.

Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
Learn more about these drawings.

Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

Migration

Migrates late in spring and early in fall; peak passage in many areas during May and August. In spring, most apparently move north through Central America and Mexico, then around west side of Gulf of Mexico rather than flying across it.

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Migration

Migrates late in spring and early in fall; peak passage in many areas during May and August. In spring, most apparently move north through Central America and Mexico, then around west side of Gulf of Mexico rather than flying across it.

  • All Seasons - Common
  • All Seasons - Uncommon
  • Breeding - Common
  • Breeding - Uncommon
  • Winter - Common
  • Winter - Uncommon
  • Migration - Common
  • Migration - Uncommon
Songs and Calls
A rapid, sputtering warble.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
Learn more about this sound collection.

How climate change could affect this bird's range

In the broadest and most detailed study of its kind, Audubon scientists have used hundreds of thousands of citizen-science observations and sophisticated climate models to predict how birds in the U.S. and Canada will react to climate change.

Learn more

Read more: climate.audubon.org
Wood Warblers Perching Birds

Canada Warbler

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.

Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
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