Townsend’s Warbler

Townsend Warbler

Townsend’s Warblers are small black and yellow birds. Males are striking with their black crowns, cheeks, and throats. They also have yellow eyebrows, a yellow crescent under the eye, and yellow bellies.

They have black spots on their yellow upper backs. They have black wings with two white wingbars. Their bellies are white. 

Female Townsend’s Warblers are lighter in color but with almost the same patterns. However, females don’t have the distinctive black throat that males do.

Juveniles are even lighter in color. Their backs, crowns, and cheeks are olive-green. They also do not have the black throat of the males, but they do have streaks on the chest, just light-colored. 

  • Setophaga townsendi
  • Length: 4.75 – 5 inches (12 – 13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3 oz (9 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5 – 8 inches (19 – 20 cm)


Townsend’s Warblers breed in western Canada, northwestern US states, and Alaska before migrating to the Pacific Coast, Mexico, and Central America.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Townsend’s Warblers in tall and dense coniferous forests in the coastal belt and in the mountains. They prefer areas with pine, oak, alder, madrones, and laurels. 

Townsend’s Warblers, with their partiality to high and tall trees, naturally forage in them, too. They search among twigs and branches for insects like caterpillars, bugs, beetles, and leafhoppers. They will also hover among foliage just to get their food. 

In winter, Townsend’s Warblers are known to feed on the sugary excretions of scale insects. They will actually set up and defend their territory around these insects. 

Townsend’s Warblers’ Song:


Nests of Townsend’s Warblers are also located high up in the trees, usually placed on top of a branch. They are made of grass stems, mosses, and barks and are lined with feathers and animal hair. 

Attract Townsend’s Warblers

Attract them to your backyard in the winter by preparing mealworms, peanut butter, and suet. They usually drop by backyard feeders when temperatures get too cold.

Fun Fact:

The Townsend’s Warbler got its name from American ornithologist John Kirk Townsend.