|Conservation status||Has disappeared from areas along Rio Grande where it formerly nested. Presence north of there, in Kingsville region, is a recent discovery. Widespread and common in tropics.|
|Habitat||Oaks, riverside woods. In southern Texas, breeds mainly in groves of low live oaks with much Spanish moss (for nest sites), surrounded by mesquites. Also sometimes in dense native woods near Rio Grande where much Spanish moss hangs in trees. In the tropics, nests in many kinds of woodlands, from dry lowland thorn forest to humid forest in the mountains.|
Forages actively from mid-level to the treetops, frequently along streams. Searches among leaves, and hovers momentarily to take insects from foliage; sometimes flies out to catch flying insects in mid-air.
Usually 3-4 in south Texas, 2 in the tropics. Creamy white with chestnut speckles around larger end. The incubation period and the roles of the parents are not well known. Young: Probably both parents feed the nestlings. Age at which the young leave the nest is not well known.
Probably both parents feed the nestlings. Age at which the young leave the nest is not well known.
Largely insects. Diet not known in detail; undoubtedly feeds mostly on insects. Known to feed on wasps, ants, flies, and others.
Details are not well known. In the tropics, may remain paired on territory throughout the year. In Texas, most apparently depart in winter. After returning in spring, males sing persistently to defend territory. Nest: Placed 8-40' above ground in hanging Spanish moss; sometimes in hollow in orchids or dangling cactus. In Spanish moss, little material may be added. In other sites, nest is cup-shaped and constructed of moss, palmetto bark, grass, roots, and animal hair; lined with plant down and feathers. Nest probably built by female.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Returns to nesting areas in south-central Texas early, often in March. A few stay through winter along lower Rio Grande. Strays have reached Louisiana and Arizona.
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Songs and CallsA buzzy, ascending trill, zzzzzzzzzz-up.
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How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the Tropical Parula
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Climate threats facing the Tropical Parula
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