Cape May Warbler

Male Cape May warbler

Male Cape May Warblers have distinctive heads with chestnut cheeks and dark caps and are framed in a ring of yellow around the neck. They are mottled yellow-olive above and yellow with dark streaks below.

The tiger stripes on the Cape May Warbler’s chest and unusual dark crown set this warbler apart from other warblers. Female and immature Cape May Warblers are less bright and lack the head coloring of the males.

  • Setophaga tigrina
  • Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz (10.2-15.2 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-8.7 in (20-22 cm)


Cape May Warblers migrate to breeding grounds in Canada, passing over eastern US states. They spend the winter in the Caribbean and a narrow band of the coast on the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Cape May Warblers in spruce forests in their breeding grounds. However, during migration, they can be spotted in any habitat, especially near the edges of woods and scrub, where they can find the most insects.

They feed mainly on spruce budworms in summer, but in winter, they will eat fruit and nectar, and they will use hummingbird feeders.

Cape May Warbler Song:


Nests of Cape May Warblers are built high up in spruce trees and near the truck. The nest is made from twigs, pine needles, and bark formed into a cup lined with animal hair, feathers, and other soft plant material. They lay up to nine eggs.

Attract Cape May Warblers

Attract them to your backyard with native shrubs and trees that attract insects, and they may come for fruit and hummingbird feeders.

Fun Fact:

Cape May Warblers have specially shaped tongues used for lapping up nectar; it is curled to form a tube shape.