|Conservation status||Undoubtedly has declined with loss of streamside groves and clearing of mesquite woods in Southwest. Still very common in appropriate habitat.|
|Habitat||Mesquite along desert streams and washes; willows, cottonwoods. Breeds mostly in cottonwood-mesquite woods near desert streams or in open groves of mesquite along dry washes in the Sonoran desert. Also found in sycamore and live oak groves near streams in the lower parts of canyons close to arid lowlands.|
Most common method of foraging is to hop rapidly about in mesquites and other desert trees and bushes, taking insects from the foliage and twigs. Typically, warblers in this genus do much probing of buds and flowers. Sometimes observed flying out to catch insects in mid-air.
4-5, sometimes 3-7. White or creamy, with red-brown spots near large end. Incubation is by female, possibly also by male. Incubation period unknown. Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Age at which young leave the nest is not well known. Probably 2 broods per year.
Both parents feed nestlings. Age at which young leave the nest is not well known. Probably 2 broods per year.
Mostly or entirely insects. Diet is not known in detail; undoubtedly feeds mostly on insects.
Male displays to the female during courtship by fluffing plumage, raising crown feathers and spreading wings and tail. Nest: Placed in natural hollows in mesquites, old woodpecker holes, under loose bark (especially bark peeled from trunk by fire), sometimes in deserted Verdin nest or hole in eroded stream bank. Typically nests 5-40' above ground. Nest (built by both sexes) is loosely and raggedly made of coarse grass and weeds, bark strips, mesquite leaf stems, surrounding a compact cup of fine grasses. Lined with animal hair or feathers.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Migrates very early in both spring and fall, with most arriving in the Southwest in March, and the species becoming hard to find there after mid-August.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsSong reminiscent of that of Yellow Warbler: chit chit chit chit sweeta che-che-che. Call is a soft plenk, often run into a series.
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How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the Lucy's Warbler
Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future.
Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures.
Climate threats facing the Lucy's Warbler
Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.