|Conservation status||Still abundant and widespread.|
|Habitat||Conifer forests. In winter, varied; open woods, brush, thickets, gardens, even beaches. In the North, breeds in coniferous and mixed forests, preferring more open stands and edges in pine, fir, spruce, aspen; also spruce-tamarack bogs. In West, breeds up to 12,000' in mountain conifer forests. In winter, common in many lowland habitats, especially coastal bayberry thickets in East and streamside woods in West.|
Versatile in its feeding. Searches among twigs and leaves, and will hover while taking insects from foliage. Often flies out to catch flying insects. Will forage on ground, and will cling to tree trunks and branches. Males tend to forage higher than females during the breeding season. In winter, usually forages in flocks.
4-5, sometimes only 3. Creamy white with brown and gray marks. Incubated usually by female, 12-13 days. Occasionally the male will cover the eggs. Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave nest after 10-12 days, can fly short distances 2-3 days later. First brood probably fed mostly by male after fledging. Normally 2 broods per year.
Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave nest after 10-12 days, can fly short distances 2-3 days later. First brood probably fed mostly by male after fledging. Normally 2 broods per year.
Insects and berries. Feeds on caterpillars, wasps, grasshoppers, gnats, aphids, beetles, and many other insects; also spiders. Feeds in winter on berries of bayberry, juniper, wax myrtle, poison ivy, and others. Can winter farther north than most warblers because it can digest the wax in berry coatings.
During courtship, male accompanies female everywhere, fluffs his side feathers, raises his wings and his colorful crown feathers, calls and flutters. Nest: Placed 4-50' above ground, usually on horizontal branch away from trunk of conifer, sometimes in deciduous tree; or sometimes in fork where branch meets trunk. Nest (built by female) is open cup made of bark fibers, weeds, twigs, roots; lined with hair and feathers in such a way as to curve over and partly cover the eggs.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Migrates earlier in spring and later in fall than other warblers. The "Myrtle" form, mostly eastern, also winters commonly in streamside trees near coast in Pacific states. "Audubon's" is a very rare stray in the East.
- 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 CallsA colorless buzzy warble; a sharp chek!
Learn more about this sound collection.