|Conservation status||Numbers in Texas vary from year to year, probably always fewer than 200 pairs. More numerous in northern Mexico, but would be vulnerable to loss of habitat.|
|Habitat||Oak-pine canyons. Breeds above 6000' in montane forests of pine, juniper, oak, and madrone; or in oak-maple-Arizona cypress habitats. Key plants in habitat used by nesting birds in Texas include Mexican pinyon, Grave's oak, gray oak, Texas madrone, beargrass, mountain mahogany, silktassel, mountain sage, Chisos prickly-pear, and pinyon-ricegrass. Prefers canyons and slopes. In winter in Mexico, found in humid pine-oak habitat with brushy understory.|
Moves rather deliberately while foraging, more like a vireo than like most active warblers. Typically, warblers in this genus do much probing of buds and flowers. In winter in Mexico, probably defends feeding territories, usually observed foraging alone or in pairs rather than in flocks.
Usually 4. Creamy with wreath of brown spots at larger end. Incubated by both parents, about 12 days. Young: Both parents feed nestlings, but males do less than females, spending more time in defending territory. Young leave the nest 11 days after hatching, are independent of parents by a few days later.
Both parents feed nestlings, but males do less than females, spending more time in defending territory. Young leave the nest 11 days after hatching, are independent of parents by a few days later.
Mostly insects. Diet not known in detail, undoubtedly feeds mostly on insects. Wasp galls from oaks, spiders, crane flies, and other flies are among favorite foods early in the breeding season. Nestlings are fed many small green moth larvae.
Males defend nesting territories by singing and calling; sometimes physically attack territorial intruders. Nest: Placed on ground among rocks on bank of dry wash or at edge of talus slope. Nest (built by both sexes) is well shaded and hidden in dead leaves beneath grass tufts, rocks, or tree roots. Open cup-shaped nest of loosely woven, coarse grass and cedar bark strips, dead leaves, roots, and mosses; often lined with animal hair. Pinyon-ricegrass is a favorite nest material.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
Download Our Bird Guide App
Only a short-distance migrant, wintering in southwestern Mexico. In Texas, arrives in April and departs mostly in August and early September.
See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsSong a musical seedle-seedle-seedle, sweet, sweet, like that of Virginia's Warbler. Call a sharp plisk.
Learn more about this sound collection.