Warblers In Canada (ID, Song, Season Guide)

Black-throated Green warbler (Setophaga virens)

This guide will help you identify all the species of warbler that are regularly occurring in Canada with photo ID and descriptions, audio recordings of their songs, and fun facts, plus more.

Warblers are small migratory songbirds that travel long distances from as far as South America up to breeding grounds as far as Canada. They are active and often bright birds that rush through from breeding to wintering grounds in a flash of yellow and green and with a marvelous variety of songs.

North American warblers are known as wood-warblers as they can be found mainly in woodland and forests. You may also get what is known as warbler neck, which is a painful neck stiffness and tingling from looking up into the trees with your binoculars trying to spot them.

Warblers mainly eat insects, but they will often come to backyard feeders for seeds or mealworms.

This guide will help you identify the types of warblers spotted in Canada that are classed as regularly occurring according to avibase and uses data collected from bird watchers on ebird to give real information about when these birds can be spotted.

For all of the warblers in this guide, you can hear their songs and get a guide to different song types of warblers, but you can check out this guide to 13 easy to recognize warbler songs to help.

Warblers In Canada By Season

Warblers in Canada in summer: Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Northern Parula, Northern Waterthrush, Wilson’s Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Palm Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Pine Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Canada Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Cerulean Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush

36 Species of Warbler In Canada:

1. Yellow-rumped Warbler

yellow rumped warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler ‘Audubon’
Yellow rumped Warbler Myrtle
Yellow-rumped Warbler Myrtle

Yellow-rumped Warblers are more frequently spotted in Canada during summer, but their numbers increase during migration and are seen in the south of the state. They appear in 20% of summer checklists and up to 34% of checklists during migration submitted by bird watchers for the state.

Yellow-rumped Warblers are gray with flashes of yellow on the face, sides, and rump and white in the wings. Females may be slightly brown, and winter birds are paler brown with bright yellow rumps and sides turning bright yellow and gray again in spring.

There are two subspecies, the Myrtle Warbler of the eastern US and boreal forests of Canada, which lacks the yellow throat, and Audubon’s Warbler of the west, which also has more white in the wings.

  • Setophaga coronata
  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz (12-13 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

Yellow-rumped Warblers breed predominantly in Canada and parts of the Rockies and the Appalachian mountains.

During migration, they can be seen in the Midwest before overwintering in southern and southwestern US states and the Pacific Coast and into Mexico and Central America.

You can find Yellow-rumped Warblers in coniferous forests, especially during the breeding season. During winter, they can be found in open areas with fruiting shrubs. In summer, they eat mostly insects and on migration, and in winter, they eat mostly fruit, including bayberry and wax myrtle. 

Yellow-rumped Warbler Song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC602699. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/602699.

Nests of Yellow-rumped Warblers are made by females in conifer trees from twigs, pine needles, and grass and lined with soft grass, moss, and hair. They lay up to six eggs which take around two weeks to hatch and a further two weeks to leave the nest.

Attract Yellow-rumped Warblers to your backyard with sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter.

Fun Fact: Yellow-rumped Warblers form flocks numbering thousands in the winter, and they can be aggressive to any other species getting too close.

2. Yellow Warbler

yellow warbler

Yellow Warblers are frequently spotted in Canada during summer and appear in 27% of checklists at this time. They arrive in April and start to migrate in October.

Yellow Warblers are small bright yellow birds with a yellow-green back, and the males have chestnut streaks on the breast. Females and juveniles are not as bright as males and lack the streaks.

  • Setophaga petechia
  • Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (9-11 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.9 in (16-20 cm)

Yellow Warblers migrate a long distance to breed in Canada and the US, except for southeastern states, before heading back into Central and South America for winter. However, they can be seen during migration in southeastern US states.

You can find Yellow Warblers along streams and wetlands in thickets and along the edges of fields foraging for insects, including caterpillars, midges, beetles, bugs, and wasps.

Yellow Warbler Song:

Credit: Richard E. Webster, XC662546. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/662546.

Nests of Yellow Warblers are in small trees or shrubs and made from bark, grass, and plant material woven together and secured with spider webs to form a cup. It is then lined with softer material such as hair, feathers, and plant down.

They lay up to seven eggs which take around twelve days to hatch and an additional ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Yellow Warblers to your backyard with suet, oranges, peanut butter, and plants with berries. Also, plant native plants that attract insects without pesticides or being too tidy! Also, try birdbaths with fountains near secluded planting to provide protection.

Fun Fact: Cowbirds often lay their eggs in Yellow Warblers’ nests, and if detected, the Yellow Warblers build a new nest on top of the old nest and eggs and start again – up to six times!

3. Common Yellowthroat

common yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat Male
Common Yellowthroat female
Common Yellowthroat Female

Common Yellowthroats spend the breeding season in Canada and are mainly spotted here from April to October. They occur in 21% of summer checklists.

Common Yellowthroats are small songbirds that are brownish on the back and bright yellow underneath, with long tails. The males have black masks across their faces. The brightness of the yellow can vary geographically, and they may be more olive in parts underneath.

  • Geothlypis trichas
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz (9-10 g)
  • Wingspan: 5.9-7.5 in (15-19 cm)

Common Yellowthroats spend the summer breeding over most of North America, except Alaska and northern Canada. Some remain all year along the Gulf Coast and Pacific Southwest. Then, they migrate south for winter.

You can find Common Yellowthroats often in marshy or wetland areas and brushy fields living in thick, tangled vegetation. 

Common Yellowthroat Song:

Credit: Paul Marvin, XC629250. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/629250.

Nests of Common Yellowthroats are built by females near the ground in marshy areas and supported by reeds. The nest is made from grass and sedges supported on a platform of leaves and grass. They lay up to six eggs which take around twelve days to hatch and the same for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Common Yellowthroats to large backyards with dense vegetation and native plants to attract insects.

Fun Fact: The black mask of Common Yellowthroats is a sign to courting males that that bird is male, and they attack when fake birds are used, but they do not attack when the bird has no mask.

4. American Redstart

American redstart
Male
Female American redstart
Female

American Redstarts are spotted in Canada mainly from April to October, but some stay until December. They appear in 14% of summer checklists.

American Redstarts are mostly black with bright orange patches and a white belly. Females are olive-gray instead of black and have yellow patches.

  • Setophaga ruticilla
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (6-9 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.5 in (16-19 cm)

American Redstarts breed in eastern US states and Canada and into northwestern US states. They may also be seen during migration in central and western US states.

You can find American Redstarts in deciduous woodlands eating insects and also in backyards and thickets eating berries such as serviceberry and magnolia.

American Redstart song: Their song drops in pitch at the end.

Credit: Nick Kiehl, XC522368. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/522368.

Nests of American Redstarts are close to the trunk in trees or large shrubs and are made from bark, grass, and other plant material. They lay up to five eggs which take just under two weeks to hatch and a week or two for the young to leave the nest.

Attract American Redstarts to your backyard with berry plants such as magnolia and serviceberry.

Fun Fact: American Redstart parents only feed certain chicks each rather than feeding them all.

5. Ovenbird

Ovenbird

Ovenbirds spend summer in Canada and appear in 11% of checklists at this time. They are usually spotted from May to September, but a few hang around all year.

Ovenbirds look drab compared to other warblers with their olive-green backs and black-and-white spotted underside.

  • Seiurus aurocapilla
  • Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-1.0 oz (16-28 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-10.2 in (19-26 cm)

Ovenbirds breed in northeastern US states and Canada, the Midwest, and up into northwest Canada. They can be seen during migration in eastern US states. They spend the winter in Florida, Mexico, Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean.

You can find Ovenbirds on the ground rummaging through leaf litter in forests, looking for insects.

Ovenbird Song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC602036. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/602036.

Nests of Ovenbirds are usually on the ground, and the female creates a domed nest from leaves, grass, bark, and other plant material. The nest has a side entrance and is lined with animal hair. They lay around five eggs which take up to two weeks to hatch and up to ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Fun Fact: Ovenbirds get their name from the unusually shaped nest they build, which resembles the shape of a dutch oven.

6. Black-and-white Warbler

Black and white Warbler male
Male
Black and white warbler famle
Female

Black-and-white Warblers spend the breeding season in Canada and occur in 9% of summer checklists. They arrive in April and start to migrate in October.

Black-and-white Warblers are quite distinctive and so more easy to identify with their stiped appearance. Males have a large black patch across the eye and cheek and are a darker black than females.

  • Mniotilta varia
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (8-15 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 in (18-22 cm)

Black-and-white Warblers breed in the eastern United States and Canada. They spend the winter in Florida, along the Gulf Coast, and down through Mexico, Baja California, the Caribbean, and northern South America. They can be seen during migration in central US states.

You can spot Black-and-white Warblers hopping up and down on tree trunks and branches in forests, looking for insects.

Black-and-white Warbler song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC600300. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/600300.

Nests of Black-and-white Warblers are hidden close to or on the ground, often under a log or shrub. The nest is made from bark, grass, and pine needles woven into a cup. They lay around five eggs which take about eleven days to hatch and an additional ten days for the young to leave the nest.

7. Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warblers live in Canada during the breeding season and arrive from April and start to migrate in October. They occur in 8% of summer checklists.

Magnolia Warblers males are black on the back and yellow underneath. They have black streaking forming a ‘necklace’ on their necks and down over their bellies. Females are grayer on the back and lack the distinctive streaking down the belly.

  • Setophaga magnolia
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.5 oz (6-15 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.9 in (16-20 cm)

Magnolia Warblers breed across Canada and northeastern US states. They can be seen during migration in the eastern US. They spend the winter in Central America and the Caribbean.

You can find Magnolia Warblers on low branches in forests or parks, so it’s easier to spot them during migration. Their diet is insects and spiders.

Magnolia Warbler song:

Credit: Peter Ward and Ken Hall, XC512264. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/512264.

Nests of Magnolia Warblers are a loose construction of grass and weeds built close to the trunk of conifer trees. They lay around four eggs that take about twelve days to hatch and a further nine days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Magnolia Warblers to your backyard with native shrubs and trees for them to rest in during migration.

Fun Fact: Magnolia Warblers show off the white spots on their tails to attract females and to warn off rivals.

8. Nashville Warbler

nashville warbler

Nashville Warblers are mainly spotted in summer in southern Canada from May to October and occur in 8% of checklists at this time.

Nashville Warblers are mostly yellow underneath but with white lower bellies. They have a greenish yellow back and gray head with a white eyering. Females and juveniles are less bright than males.

  • Leiothlypis ruficapilla
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.5 oz (6.7-13.9 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.7-7.9 in (17-20 cm)

Nashville Warblers breed in northeastern US states and Canada, and there is a smaller population in northwestern US states and into British Columbia. They can also be seen during migration in most US states. They spend the winter mainly in Mexico.

You can find Nashville Warblers in scrubby habitats and low deciduous forests hunting for insects.

Nashville Warbler song:

Credit: Peter Ward and Ken Hall, XC512262. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/512262.

Nests of Nashville Warblers are hidden in shrubs close to the ground. The nest is built from bark, grass, and moss woven into a cup lined with softer material. They lay around four eggs which take about twelve days to hatch and ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Nashville Warblers to your backyard in winter in southern US states with suet.

Fun Fact: Nashville Warbles migrate along the Atlantic Coast in their first year but only migrate inland after that.

9. Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Green warbler (Setophaga virens)

Black-throated Green Warblers are spotted in southern Canada mainly during the breeding season from April to October, but a few remain until December. They occur in 8% of summer checklists.

Black-throated Green Warblers are small yellow songbirds with a yellow face and head and olive-yellow back. They have black streaking on the sides and wings and are whitish underneath. Males have large black patches on their throats, but on females and juveniles, this is smaller.

  • Setophaga virens
  • Length: 4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (7-11 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.7-7.9 in (17-20 cm)

Black-throated Green Warblers can mostly be seen during their long migration over the eastern US up to their breeding grounds in northeastern US states and Canada. Their winter grounds are in Mexico, northern South America, and the Caribbean.

You can find Black-throated Green Warblers high up in forests eating insects, and their black throat is an easier way to tell them apart from other small yellow birds.

Black-throated Green Warblers song:

Credit: Paul Driver, XC187636. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/187636.

Nests of Black-throated Green Warblers are in small trees and close to the truck. The nest is made from twigs and bark woven together with spiders’ webs and lined with animal hair, moss, and feathers. They lay around four eggs, which take twelve days to hatch and a further ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Black-throated Green Warblers to your backyard with mature trees.

Fun Fact: Male Black-throated Green Warblers can sing over 400 times in an hour and perform a ‘gloating’ flight when they have chased off rivals.

10. Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut sided warbler male
Male
chestnut sided warbler female
Female (winter)

Chestnut-sided Warblers are found in Canada during summer from mid-April to mid-November. They occur in 8% of checklists at this time.

Chestnut-sided Warbler males have bright yellow crowns and black masks and are gray underneath with chestnut down the sides. In winter, males molt into green and white coloring and look similar to breeding females.

Females are paler than males and do not have black on their faces. They still have the chestnut sides and yellow crown during the breeding season, but in winter, they lack the chestnut sides, and the crown is brighter. Juveniles are similar to winter females.

  • Setophaga pensylvanica
  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz (10.7-14.3 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.3 in (19-21 cm)

Chestnut-sided Warblers breed in northeastern US states and southeastern Canada and can also be seen during migration over eastern US states.

You can find Chestnut-sided Warblers on forest edges or thickets, mainly looking for insects. They especially like forests that have been damaged and are regenerating after fires, logging, or floods.

Chestnut-sided Warbler song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC600739. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/600739.

Nests of Chestnut-sided Warblers are low to the ground in trees and shrubs and made from grass, weeds, and bark woven into a cup shape and lined with softer material. They lay up to five eggs which take twelve days to hatch and around eleven days for the young to leave the nest.

Fun Fact: Chestnut-sided Warblers only like forests regenerating forests, and once they are restored after about ten years, they find other forests to breed in.

11. Orange-crowned Warbler

orange-crowned-warbler

Orange-crowned Warblers migrate into Canada for summer, from April to mid-November, and appear in 4% of checklists at this time.

Orange-crowned Warblers are not as brightly colored as other warblers with their yellow-olive coloring, which is more yellow on the Pacific Coast. Their orange crown is rarely seen. Males and females look the same, but juveniles are grayer.

  • Leiothlypis celata
  • Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (7-11 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5 in (19 cm)

Orange-crowned Warblers breed in Canada and western US states before migrating to the Pacific, East and Gulf Coasts, and Mexico. They can also be seen during migration in all US states, except the northeastern.

You can find Orange-crowned Warblers in shrubs and low vegetation, but they breed in open woodland. Their diet consists mainly of spiders and insects such as caterpillars and flies. They will also eat fruit, berries, and seeds and regularly visit backyard feeders.

Orange-crowned Warbler Song:

Credit: Paul Marvin, XC671865. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/671865.

Nests of Orange-crowned Warblers are near to or on the ground and made from dead leaves, twigs, and stems and then lined with soft grass and animal hair. They lay up to six eggs.

Attract Orange-crowned Warblers to your yard with suet and peanut butter or hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water nectar.

Fun Fact: Orange-crowned Warblers will drink from the sapwells of sapsuckers and woodpeckers.

12. Tennessee Warbler

Tennessee Warbler

Credit: Jerry Oldenettel

Tennessee Warblers are spotted in Canada during the breeding season, mainly from May to October, and occur in 5% of summer checklists.

Tennessee Warblers males have gray heads, green backs, and are pale whitish underneath. Females are greener with yellow underneath and with green heads. Males have a white eyestripe, and females have a yellow eyestripe. They have white under their tails.

  • Leiothlypis peregrina
  • Length: 3.9-5.1 in (10-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz (8-10 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-7.9 in (19-20 cm)

Tennessee Warblers fly a long way from Central America up to Canada. They can be seen during migration across eastern US states.

You can find Tennessee Warblers eating and hunting mostly for caterpillars on trees and shrubs in woodlands.

Tennessee Warblers’ song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC444969. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/444969.

Nests of Tennessee Warblers are hidden in moss or the roots of trees and made from grass and weeds. They lay around six eggs which take about twelve days to hatch, and the same again for the young to leave the nest.

Fun Fact: Although called a Tenessee warbler, they do not breed or spend much time in Tenessee! They were so named as this was the first place they were spotted and were given this name.

13. Northern Parula

Northern Parulas spend the breeding season in southeastern Canada and occur in 5% of summer checklists. They arrive in April and start to migrate in October.

Northern Warblers are a colorful contrast of blueish-gray and yellow. They are bluish-gray on the back with a yellow patch on the back and with two white wingbars.

Males have a chestnut band that separates the yellow throat and chest that adorns both males and females. Females are paler than males and lack the chestnut band. Juveniles are paler.

  • Setophaga americana
  • Length: 4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.4 oz (5-11 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)

Northern Parulas breed in the eastern US states and southeastern Canada before heading to Central America and the Caribbean for winter. They may remain for winter in southern Florida.

You can find Northern Parulas feeding on insects high up in deciduous forests.

Northern Parula Song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC599828. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/599828.

Nests of Northern Parula are made in long clumps of lichen and moss that drape from the branches. The best way to spot them is by looking up at large clumps of hanging moss in the summer.

Attract Northern Parula to your backyard with native trees and shrubs, especially those with berries, and leave brush piles for insect-friendly areas.

Fun Fact: Northern Parula females do the rearing of young, including incubation of the eggs and feeding them. Males sing and remove fecal sacs!

14. Northern Waterthrush

Northern Waterthrushes

Northern Waterthrushes can be found during summer in Canada and are mainly spotted from May to September. They appear in 5% of checklists at this time.

Northern Waterthrushes are large, thrush-like birds whose males and females bear similar traits. They both have brown heads with thick, white eyebrows, dark brown backs, and white bellies with dark, heavy streaking from their throats all the way to their rumps. 

  • Parkesia noveboracensis
  • Length: 5.75 inches (15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8 oz (23 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.75 inches (22 cm)

Northern Waterthrushes breed in Canada, Alaska, and northeastern US states before migrating to Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Some may remain all year in Central and South America.

You can find Northern Waterthrushes in dark, woody swamps, thickets, and bogs. If there is any still or sluggish water in the forests, you’ll probably find a Northern Waterthrush around it. In winter, in the tropics, you will usually find them among mangroves. 

The Northern Waterthrushes are aquatic and terrestrial foragers. With their long legs, they are able to walk on shallow water in search of water beetles, mosquitoes, slugs, crustaceans, snails, and sometimes, small fish. They also eat caterpillars, moths, and ants, which they find under leaves. 

Northern Waterthrushes’ song:

Credit: Jeff Dyck, XC416169. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/416169.

Nests of Northern Waterthrushes are usually located in hollows or crevices near water. They can be in a moss-covered stump or under a jutting bank, but the nests are usually hidden among ferns. Females build them from moss, twigs, pine needles, bark strips, and roots, where she lays three to six eggs. She alone incubates the eggs for about two weeks. 

Fun Fact: Northern Waterthrushes usually walk on the ground rather than hop. When walking, they bob their tails, making them appear out of balance. 

15. Wilson’s Warbler

wilsons warbler
Male
Wilson Warbler female
Female

Wilson’s Warblers appear in 4% of summer checklists for Canada and are usually spotted from May to September.

Wilson’s Warblers are tiny round yellow warblers with a large black cap in the males and a smaller black cap in females.

  • Cardellina pusilla
  • Length: 3.9-4.7 in (10-12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (5-10 g)
  • Wingspan: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)

Wilson’s Warblers breed in Canada, Alaska, and northwestern US states but can also be seen across all US states during migration. They winter in Mexico and Central America.

You can find Wilson’s Warblers along streams in thickets and near forest edges foraging for insects and their larvae and spiders.

Wilson’s Warblers song:

Credit: Thomas G. Graves, XC561438. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/561438.

Nests of Wilson’s Warblers are well hidden on the ground near trees or shrubs and made from leaves and sedges for the base. Grass, bark, moss, and plant material are woven into a cup shape and lined with soft grass and animal hair. They lay around five eggs which take about eleven days to hatch and an additional ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Wilson’s Warblers to your backyard with native trees and shrubs, but they do not visit feeders.

Fun Fact: Wilson’s Warblers distract potential nest predators by pretending to have a broken wing and drawing the predator away before flying off.

16. Black-throated Blue Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warblers spend the breeding season in Canada and are mainly spotted in the southeast of the country from May to mid-October. They are recorded in 4% of summer checklists.

Male Black-throated Blue Warblers are a lovely rich blue color on the back and white underneath. They are unusual amongst the predominantly yellow warblers. Females are very plain in comparison and are grayish-olive.

  • Setophaga caerulescens
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-12 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-7.9 in (19-20 cm)

Black-throated Blue Warblers breed in northeastern US states and Canada. They can also be seen during migration over eastern US states before wintering in Central America and the Caribbean.

You can find Black-throated Blue Warblers in lower areas of deciduous forests, shrubby areas, and sometimes backyards looking for spiders, flies, and caterpillars.

Black-throated Blue Warblers song:

Credit: Étienne Leroy, XC415422. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/415422.

Nests of Black-throated Blue Warblers are hidden in dense shrubs and made from bark held together with spiders’ webs and saliva. The nest is lined with animal hair and pine needles. They lay up to five eggs which take about two weeks to hatch and ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Fun Fact: Black-throated Blue Warblers listen out for males singing after the breeding season as this shows areas where males were successful as unsuccessful males do not sing.

17. Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warblers spend summer in Canada and occur in 4% of checklists at this time. They are mainly spotted from mid-April to September, but a few stay until November.

Blackburnian Warbler males are black and orange birds with orange throats and face marking, black backs and wings, and white with black streaks on the belly. Females are yellower. They have distinctive dark triangles on each side of their face, by their eyes.

  • Setophaga fusca
  • Length: 4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8.9-12.6 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 in (20-23 cm)

Blackburnian Warblers, like many warblers in North America, can be seen during migration in eastern US states. They breed in Canada and northeastern US states, and some may breed as far south as Virginia or North Carolina. They spend winters in South America.

You can find Blackburnian Warblers in woods and forests hunting for caterpillars, but they are difficult to spot as they are often up at the top of trees hidden from view by leaves.

Blackburnian Warblers’ song:

Credit: Hal Mitchell, XC317904. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/317904.

Nests of Blackburnian Warblers are high up in conifer trees and made from twigs, bark with plant material, and secured to the branch with spider silk. The nest is lined with softer moss, grass, hair, and needles. They lay around four eggs, which take just under two weeks to hatch.

Fun Fact: Blackburian Warbler males are acrobatic in their territory defense and will chase rivals by flying in loops and decent at great speed in a whirling motion and raise and spread their tails.

18. Palm Warbler

palm warbler

Palm Warblers are often spotted in Canada during summer from mid-April to October and appear in 3% of checklists at this time.

The palm warbler has a rusty red patch on the top of its head and is a browny-olive color over the rest of its body. Birds in the west have whiter bellies. Males and females look the same in the breeding season, and non-breeding birds’ crowns are duller.

  • Setophaga palmarum
  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (7-13 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-8.3 in (20-21 cm)

Palm Warblers breed predominantly in Canada and can be seen during migration in eastern US states. Some winter in Florida and along the southeastern coast.

You can spot Palm Warblers mainly during the spring and fall migration in weedy fields, forest edges, and scrubby areas. They are often found foraging along the ground for insects, mixed in with other birds such as Sparrows, Juncos, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Palm Warbler song:

Credit: Richard E. Webster, XC189604. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/189604.

Nests of Palm Warblers are in bogs and boreal forests on the ground and are made from grass, sedge, and ferns woven into a cup shape and lined with soft grass, feathers, and animal hair. They lay around five eggs.

Attract Palm Warblers to your backyard by planting native plants that attract insects and also plant bayberry or hawthorn for their berries.

Fun Fact: Unlike most warblers, Palm Warblers usually walk on the ground bobbing their tails while looking for insects.

19. Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler
Male
Blackpoll Warbler non breeding
Non Breeding

Blackpoll Warblers are near-threatened species in Canada and occur in 2% of summer checklists. They arrive in April and start to migrate in October.

Blackpoll Warblers males are streaked black-and-white with a black cap and white cheeks. Females are also black-and-white but without a black cap and white cheeks.

They look very different in late summer and molt into yellow with darker streaking on the back.

  • Setophaga striata
  • Length: 5.5 in (14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz (12-13 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm)

Blackpoll Warblers breed in Canada and can be seen during spring migration in the eastern United States. In fall, they migrate to their winter grounds in South America and the Caribbean.

You can find Blackpoll Warblers in forests feeding mostly on spiders and insects, but they will also eat fruit such as honeysuckle and pokeberry in the fall.

Blackpoll Warbler song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC598813. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/598813.

Nests of Blackpoll Warblers are usually near the trunks of fir trees and made from twigs and lichen by the female. They lay up to five eggs which take around twelve days to hatch and ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Fun Fact: Blackpoll Warblers fly non-stop over the Atlantic Ocean in fall from their breeding grounds to South America. However, in spring, they stop in the Caribbean and fly over the land.

20. Pine Warbler

Pine Warblers spend the breeding season in Canada, usually from April to September, and appear in 2% of summer checklists. They are mainly spotted in the southeastern provinces.

Pine Warblers are small plump yellow birds with olive backs, white lower bellies, and gray wingbars. Females can appear browner and have more white on the belly.

  • Setophaga pinus
  • Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-15 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

Pine Warblers breed in northeastern US states before heading to southeastern US states. Some remain all year in southeastern US states.

You can find Pine Warblers in pine forests, as their name would suggest, often high up in the trees. They eat caterpillars, beetles, spiders, and other insects and larvae, and when the weather is colder, they will eat fruit and seeds.

Pine Warbler Song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC602052. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/602052.

Nests of Pine Warblers are, as you would expect, in pine trees! They are made from twigs, bark, pine needles, and grass, bound with spider silk and lined with feathers and animal hair. They lay up to five eggs which take up to two weeks to hatch and another ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Pine Warblers to your yard with tube feeders and platform feeders with millet, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and suet. Also, plant native fruits and vines such as bayberry, grape, sumac, and Virginia creeper.

Fun Fact: Pine Warblers are one of the only warblers to eat seeds mainly, and so you are more likely to see them at backyard feeders.

21. Bay-breasted Warbler

bay-breasted warbler

Bay-breasted Warblers can be spotted during summer in Canada and are mainly spotted from mid-April to September, but a few stay until January,

Bay-breasted Warbler males are gray and black-streaked on the back and have reddish-brown crowns and breasts. They are white underneath and have black faces with a white patch behind their faces.

However, they are different colors during the breeding season than after the fall molt, and they look similar to Blackpoll Warblers in the fall.

Female Bay-breasted Warblers are similar but with less reddish-brown coloring and no black on the face when in breeding plumage. Non-breeding females and juveniles have yellowish-green heads, necks, and upper backs.

  • Setophaga castanea
  • Length: 5.5 in (14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.6 oz (10-17 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-8.7 in (20-22 cm)

Bay-breasted Warblers breed in Canada and can be seen over eastern US states during the migration. They spend the winter in South America.

You can find Bay-breasted Warblers mostly in spruce and fir forests in the breeding season, eating spruce budworm, but they can be seen in any forest type during migration. In winter, they also eat berries.

Bay-breasted Warblers’ song:

Credit: Paul Driver, XC184374. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/184374.

Nests of Bay-breasted Warblers are built mainly by females on lower branches of spruce or fir trees. They use twigs and bark with dried grass, woven in and held together with spider silk. They lay up to seven eggs.

Fun Fact: Bay-breasted Warblers can consume over 10,000 budworms per hectare in around 40 days, and there are more nests in budworm outbreak areas.

22. Cape May Warbler

Male Cape May warbler

Cape May Warblers spend summer in Canada from May to September and occur in 2% of checklists at this time.

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 Warblers 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.

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 budworm in summer, but in winter, they will eat fruit and nectar, and they will use hummingbird feeders.

Cape May Warbler song:

Credit: Andrew Spencer, XC103509. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/103509.

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 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.

23. Mourning Warbler

Mourning warbler

Mourning Warblers are spotted in Canada from May to October. They spend the breeding season here, but they can also be spotted migrating across the country.

The Mourning Warbler is very similar in appearance to MacGillivray’s Warbler, making it hard to distinguish them. Their main difference is their eyering – Mourning Warblers have no visible eyering, while MacGillivray’s Warbler has white, crescent-shaped eyerings.

Male Mourning Warblers have dark gray heads, necks, and distinguishing black chests. Females have a light gray head and no black chest patch. They both have olive backs, wings, and yellow bellies. 

  • Geothlypis philadelphia
  • Length: 5.25 inches (13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.5 oz (14 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.25 inches (21 cm)

Mourning Warblers breed in northeastern US states, around the Great Lakes, and southern Canada before migrating over eastern US states to Central America and northwestern South America.

You can find Mourning Warblers in dense thickets where the forests were disturbed by fires, storms, or logging activities. They are also seen amid blackberry shrubs or in places with a thick understory or covered canopies.

Mourning warblers forage on the ground and on branches for insect larvae, caterpillars, beetles, and spiders. They may also eat fruit from the Cecropia tree.

Mourning Warblers’ song:

Credit: Paul Driver, XC659255. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/659255.

Nests of Mourning Warblers are often in a concealed ground location within dense shrubs and thickets. The nests are made of leaves, weeds, and grasses lined with animal hair. Females lay three to five eggs which they incubate for about twelve days.  

Fun Fact: The Mourning Warbler is so named because their gray hood and black chest make them seem like they’re in mourning. 

24. Canada Warbler

canada warbler

Canada Warblers are spotted in Canada during summer and occur in 2% of checklists at this time. They are seen from late April and start to migrate in September.

Canada Warblers are similar in appearance to the Magnolia Warbler and have a similar range. However, they are grayish-black on the back, and the black ‘necklace’ in the males, does not extend over the belly, only over the chest. They have yellow chests, bellies, and throats.

Females and immatures are similar but paler on the back and with a less prominent ‘necklace.’

  • Cardellina canadensis
  • Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-13 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.7-8.7 in (17-22 cm)

Canada Warblers breed in Canada and northeastern US states, but they can also be seen during migration across the eastern half of the US. They winter in western South America.

You can find Canada Warblers in rhododendron-filled conifer forests or aspen and poplar forests, foraging for insects and spiders. They are difficult to find as their numbers have been declining.

Canada Warbler song:

Credit: Peter Ward and Ken Hall, XC512275. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/512275.

Nests of Canada Warblers are built near the ground in shrubs or ferns and woven into a cup from grass, bark, leaves, and other plant material. They lay up to six eggs, which take about twelve days to hatch and a further eight days for the young to leave the nest.

Fun Fact: Canada Warblers are flying machines that travel over 3000 miles each way from their winter to summer grounds.

25. Townsend’s Warbler

Townsend Warbler

Townsend’s Warblers are spotted in western Canada mostly from mid-April to September and occur in 1% of summer checklists.

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 the 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.

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:

Credit: Paul Marvin, XC710935. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/710935.

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 lined with feathers and animal hair. 

Attract Townsend’s Warblers 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.

26. MacGillivray’s Warbler

MacGillivray's Warbler
Credit: Maggie.Smith

MacGillivray’s Warblers spend the breeding season in Canada and are mainly seen in the west of the country from April to mid-September, but a few hang around until November. They appear in 1% of summer checklists.

MacGillivray’s Warblers are small but chunky birds. Males have slate gray heads, black bands across the eyes, and grayish spots that darken to black from under the bill to the throat. Females have a light-gray head and throat, with no black markings. They both have olive-gray backs, yellow bellies, and white, crescent-shaped partial eyerings. 

  • Geothlypis tolmiei
  • Length:5.25 inches (13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.25 inches (21 cm)

MacGillivray’s Warblers breed mainly in northwestern US states and western Canada before migrating to Mexico and Central America.

You can find MacGillivray’s Warblers in areas with dense shrubbery or vegetation. They also abound in shady thickets near streams, in logged forests with fallen trees, or in burned areas with dead trees. 

MacGillivray’s Warblers spend their time foraging on the ground, either hopping or flying low, in search of insects, like beetles and caterpillars. 

MacGillivray’s Warblers’ song:

Credit: Bobby Wilcox, XC667171. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/667171.

Nests of MacGillivray’s Warblers are concealed in thick shrubs, around one to five feet above the ground. They are placed in upright forks of scrub oaks or fir saplings. There are also some nests that are placed on the ground within tall weeds and ferns. 

They are usually constructed out of weed stems, barks, and dry grass. The female lays three to six eggs which she alone incubates for about eleven days. 

Fun Fact: MacGillivray’s Warblers were named after Dr. W. MacGillivray, who was a friend of John James Audubon. However, John Kirk Townsend had already given the species a name, “Tolmie’s Warbler”, in honor of Dr. W. T. Tolmie. Thus, the scientific name “tolmiei” was the compromise. 

27. Black-throated Gray Warbler

Black-throated_Gray_Warbler

Black-throated Gray Warblers are usually spotted in southern Canada during summer and are mainly seen from April to September, but a few remain until January.

Black-throated Gray Warblers are black-and-white streaked warblers with a gray back and yellow spot in front of the eyes. Males have more black on their throats than females.

  • Setophaga nigrescens
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz (7-10 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-7.8 in (19-19.7 cm)

Black-throated Gray Warblers breed in western and south-central US states and the coast of British Columbia before migrating to Mexico for winter. 

You can find Black-throated Gray Warblers searching for insects on trees in woodlands and on shrubs.

Black-throated Gray Warblers song:

Credit: Paul Marvin, XC648117. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/648117.

Nests of Black-throated Gray Warblers are in trees and made by the female from bark, grass, and moss. They lay up to five eggs.

Fun Fact: Although Black-throated Gray Warblers are easy to observe, can be found at lower levels in trees, and are not shy birds, very little is known about them.

28. Blue-winged Warbler

Blue Winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warblers spend summer in southern Canada from mid-April until November, but they are most common in May and June.

Blue-winged Warblers are named for the bluish-gray color of their wings. Adults are yellow-green on top, with a black eye line extending from their long bill across the eye, making them look angry. 

Their breast and belly are mostly bright yellow, with females having a slightly paler shade but, more often, indistinguishable from the males. Adults have two white wing bars while juveniles have them too, but they’re so thin, they’re almost invisible.  

  • Vermivora cyanoptera
  • Length: 4.75 inches (12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3 oz (9 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.75 – 7.5 inches (17 – 19 cm)

Blue-winged Warblers breed in the midwest and central US states and can be seen during migration in southern states on their way to wintering grounds in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

You can find Blue-winged warblers in abandoned, brushy fields and pastures, forest edges, and thickets. They usually settle in higher elevation areas with a lot of grass and canopy cover. 

Blue-winged Warblers favor insects and spiders they find in various plants and trees. They will even hang upside down from tree branches to check under leaves for insect larvae to feed their young. 

Blue-winged Warblers’ song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC598819. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/598819.

Nests of Blue-winged Warblers are often found on the ground, in thick bushes, or in the undergrowth. Nests are cup-shaped and made of dead leaves. The female lays four to seven eggs and takes about 12 days to incubate. 

Fun Fact: Blue-winged Warblers often hybridize with Golden-winged Warblers to produce Brewster’s and Lawrence’s Warblers. 

29. Golden-winged Warbler

Golden-winged Warbler
Credit: Dennis Cooke

Golden-winged Warblers are near-threatened species in Canada, but they can be spotted during summer, mainly in the southeast of the country.

Golden-winged Warblers are small, striking, and attractive birds. Males have a yellow crown, black bill and throat, a black mask that extends from the bill to behind the eyes, and a white head. Their bodies are whitish-gray overall, with no patterns. They have yellow wing patches.

Female Gold-winged-warblers are similarly patterned, except that they have a duller coloring. Instead of white heads, like the males, theirs are grayish. Even their eye masks are gray instead of black. Although juvenile males have white heads like adult males, they share a dull color with females. 

  • Vermivora chrysoptera
  • Length: 4.75 – 5 inches (12 – 13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3 oz (9 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.75 – 8.25 inches (20 – 21 cm)

Golden-winged Warblers breed in the Midwest and east to the Atlantic Coast. They can be seen migrating across eastern US states to Mexico, Central and South America.

You can find Golden-winged Warblers in “early successional habitats”, like abandoned fields and pastures. Scrubby, shrubby areas of evergreen forests are also breeding grounds for them. 

Golden-winged Warblers tend to forage in hanging dead leaves that are common in regenerating forest communities. They feed on insects, spiders, and caterpillars they find under dead leaves and may sometimes hang upside down from branches to feast on larvae or pupae.

Golden-winged Warblers’ song:

Credit: Paul Driver, XC658548. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/658548.

Nests of Gold-winged Warblers are often concealed low in a bush or in a concealed cup nest on the ground. Sometimes, they may also be hidden near the base of a tree. Females make the nests using bark and grass and then line them with animal fur. Females lay four to seven eggs, and they incubate them for about ten days. 

Fun Fact: Golden-winged Warbler parents use decoy feeding grounds to protect their young by confusing humans. 

30. Hooded Warbler

Hooded warbler

Hooded Warblers have been spotted in Canada from April to mid-January, but they are mainly seen in May.

Male Hooded Warblers have a bright yellow face with a distinctive black hood and throat. They are yellow underneath and olive-green above. They are white under their tail, which is visible when they flick their tails up.

Females and immature are more yellow and without the black face markings.

  • Setophaga citrina
  • Length: 5.1 in (13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (9-12 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.9 in (17.5 cm)

Hooded Warblers breed in eastern US states before heading south into Central America and the Caribbean for winter.

You can find Hooded Warblers in forests with dense understories to hunt for insects and spiders.

Hooded Warbler song:

Credit: Matt Wistrand, XC425019. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/425019.

Nests of Hooded Warblers are near forests and clearings and built in shrubs from bark, grass, and plant material woven into a cup. They lay around four eggs, which take twelve days to hatch and a further nine days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Hooded Warblers to your backyard with native shrubs and plants that attract insects and provide protection.

Fun Fact: Hooded Warblers have white spots on their tails which is thought to startle insects so they can catch them more easily.

31. Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warblers are not very common in Canada, but they can be spotted here during summer from April to November, mainly in the south of the country.

Prothonotary Warblers are bright yellow with blue-gray wings and tails. They are large for Warblers and have thick black beaks, and are white under their tails. Females are less bright than males.

  • Protonotaria citrea
  • Length: 5.1 in (13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.44 oz (12.5 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.75 in (22 cm)

Prothonotary Warblers breed in eastern US states, and they spend the winter in Mexico and down to northern South America.

You can find Prothonotary Warblers near streams and wet woodlands foraging for spiders, insects, and snails. In winter, they will also eat fruit and seeds.

Prothonotary Warblers song:

Credit: Matt Wistrand, XC565451. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/565451.

Nests of Prothonotary Warblers use abandoned woodpecker nest holes in trees that are near water. Males place moss in the hole, and then the female makes a cup-shaped nest from grass and leaves, and other plant material.

They lay up to seven eggs which take about two weeks to hatch and an additional ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Prothonotary Warblers to your backyard with a nest box if you live near wet areas.

Fun Fact: Prothonotaries are the bright yellow robes worn by members of the Roman Catholic church, and that is how the Prothonotary Warblers got their name.

32. Yellow-breasted Chat

Yellow Breasted Chat

Yellow-breasted Chats can be spotted in the south of Canada mostly during summer, but they are not very common here.

Yellow-breasted Chats have bright yellow breasts and long tails. They are olive-gray on the back and have gray heads with white eye and chin markings. Their lower bellies are white.

  • Icteria virens
  • Length: 7.1 in (18 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-1.1 oz (23-31 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.8 in (25 cm)

Yellow-breasted Chats breed over most US states and just into southern Canada. They spend the winter in Central America and coastal Mexico.

You can spot Yellow-breasted Chats in blackberry bushes, fields, and forest edges feeding on spiders, insects, and berries.

Yellow-breasted Chat song:

Credit: Peter Ward and Ken Hall, XC512276. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/512276.

Nests of Yellow-breasted Chats are hidden in shrubs and made from grass, leaves, and plant material woven into a cup. Brown-headed Cowbirds often lay their eggs in their nests to raise their chicks.

They lay up to six eggs which take about eleven days to hatch, and up to ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Fun Fact: Male Yellow-breasted Chats fight by grappling with their feet, and they also make a dramatic flight display while singing and dropping towards the ground, finishing with a thump of their wings.

33. Cerulean Warbler

Cerulean warbler

Cerulean Warblers are near-threatened species in Canada, and although not very common, they can be seen in the southeastern provinces during summer.

Male Cerulean Warblers are small songbirds with rich blue heads with a black band around their neck. Their backs and sides are blue with black streaks. Their throats, breasts, and bellies are white. On their wings are two white bars. 

Females are bluish-green and have yellow eyebrows and a yellowish tinge underneath. They also have no streaks on their backs. Juveniles are more olive than blue with the same eyebrows as females. They also have prominent streaks on their sides but with the same white double wing bars.  

  • Setophaga cerulea
  • Length: 4.5 – 5 inches (11 – 13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3 oz. (9 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5 inches (19 cm)

Cerulean Warblers breed in the Midwest and across to the east coast but can be seen during migration in southeastern states on their way to winter grounds in South America.

You can find Cerulean Warblers in mature forests with deciduous trees with large leaves. When migrating, they head for forested mountains. 

Cerulean Warblers mostly forage in trees. They may catch insects in flight or search for insects, like caterpillars, among leaves and branches. 

Cerulean Warblers’ song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC600735. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/600735.

Nests of Cerulean Warblers are cup-shaped and naturally located in the higher, horizontal branches of trees. They are often made out of bark strips, spider silk, and grass made soft with moss and fur. The female lays three to five eggs that she has to incubate for about thirteen days. 

Fun Fact: Females, when they exit their nests, tumble to the ground like a falling leaf but immediately release their wings and fly near the ground.

34. Connecticut Warbler

Connecticut Warbler
Credit: Tom Benson

Although not commonly seen, Connecticut Warblers are usually spotted in Canada during summer from May to October.

Male Connecticut Warblers have gray heads and throats, white eye-rings, olive-green backs and wings, and yellow bellies. Females have lighter coloring, with olive-brown heads and backs, a whitish throat, and a yellow belly. Juveniles are generally yellowish-olive. 

  • Oporornis agilis
  • Length: 5.5 inches (14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.5 oz (14 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.75 in (22 cm)

Connecticut Warblers breed in southern Canada and the northern Great Lakes and can be seen migrating across the Midwest and down to Florida on their way to South America for winter.

You can find Connecticut Warblers in remote areas, such as bogs with deciduous woods with poplar, spruce, tamarack, or aspen. When migrating, they select low, wet woods and damp thickets. 

Connecticut Warblers are skulkers. They spend their time foraging under dense or low leafy vegetation. They usually search for spiders, snails, and caterpillars, picking among dead leaves and hopping between branches.

Connecticut Warblers’ song: 

Credit: Paul Driver, XC658532. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/658532.

Nests of Connecticut Warblers are made of grass and often hidden in thick clumps of moss. The female lays three to five eggs that take around twelve days to hatch. 

Fun Fact: Connecticut Warblers are elusive birds and have different migratory routes, which makes it hard for scientists to learn more about them.

35. Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor)
Male
Prairie warbler female
Female

Prairie Warblers are not very common in Canada, but they have been spotted mainly in the southwestern provinces during summer.

Prairie Warblers are small songbirds that are olive green on the back and yellow on the throat and belly. They have black streaks on the sides and a dark semicircle under the eye. Female Prairie Warblers are duller in color and may have grayer heads.

  • Setophaga discolor
  • Length: 4.3 in (11 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (6.4-8.8 g)

Prairie Warblers breed in eastern and southeastern US states and spend the winter in Florida and the Caribbean, and some coastal areas in Central America.

Some remain all year in Florida and are considered separate subspecies, but they are slightly larger.

Although they are called prairie warblers, they actually live in fields and forests where they eat insects, spiders, and snails. You can spot them bobbing their tails while moving along branches looking for food.

Prairie Warbler Song: They have a distinctive rising song.

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC602057. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/602057.

Nests of Prairie Warblers are hidden in trees and shrubs and made from plant material and leaves and lined with soft feathers and fur. They lay up to five eggs, which take about two weeks to hatch and around ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Fun Fact: Male Prairie Warblers sing two songs, one that is to attract females and one that is to scare off other males.

36. Louisiana Waterthrush

Louisiana Waterthrush

Credit: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

Louisiana Waterthrushes are not often seen in Canada, but you might get lucky and spot them during summer in the southeastern provinces.

Louisiana Waterthrushes are drab in comparison to other warblers. They are brown on top and pale below. They have a white eyebrow stripe and long pink legs.

  • Parkesia motacilla
  • Length: 5.9-6.1 in (15-15.5 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz (18.2-22.9 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.4-10.6 in (24-27 cm)

Louisiana Waterthrush breed in eastern US states and can be seen in the southeast during migration. They spend the winter in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, arriving back in spring early in the year.

You can find Louisiana Waterthrush along streams and moving water in woodlands hunting for insects, vertebrates, and larvae.

Louisiana Waterthrushes’ song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC691609. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/691609.

Nests of Louisiana Waterthrush are along the bank of a stream and hidden in roots or under logs. The nest is made from leaves, pine needles, and other plant material and is held together with mud. This is then lined with softer material such as moss and hair. They lay up to six eggs, which take up to two weeks to hatch.

Fun Fact: You can tell Louisiana and Northern Waterthrushes apart by the larger bill of Louisiana and its preference for running water, but Northern Waterthrushes prefer still water.

How Frequently Warblers Are Spotted In Canada In Summer And Winter

Checklists are a great resource to find out which birds are commonly spotted in your state. These lists show which warblers are most frequently recorded on checklists on ebird in summer and winter in Canada.

Warblers in Canada in summer:

Yellow Warbler 27.6%
Common Yellowthroat 21.1%
Yellow-rumped Warbler 20.9%
American Redstart 14.7%
Ovenbird 11.5%
Black-and-white Warbler 9.4%
Chestnut-sided Warbler 8.6%
Black-throated Green Warbler 8.2%
Nashville Warbler 8.1%
Magnolia Warbler 8.0%
Northern Waterthrush 5.7%
Northern Parula 5.2%
Tennessee Warbler 5.0%
Black-throated Blue Warbler 4.8%
Blackburnian Warbler 4.7%
Wilson’s Warbler 4.4%
Orange-crowned Warbler 4.0%
Palm Warbler 3.4%
Blackpoll Warbler 2.8%
Pine Warbler 2.8%
Mourning Warbler 2.6%
Cape May Warbler 2.5%
Bay-breasted Warbler 2.4%
Canada Warbler 2.2%
Townsend’s Warbler 1.5%
MacGillivray’s Warbler 1.1%
Black-throated Gray Warbler 0.7%
Blue-winged Warbler 0.6%
Golden-winged Warbler 0.4%
Prothonotary Warbler 0.3%
Hooded Warbler 0.3%
Yellow-breasted Chat 0.2%
Cerulean Warbler 0.2%
Connecticut Warbler 0.2%
Prairie Warbler 0.1%
Louisiana Waterthrush 0.1%

Warblers in Canada in winter:

Yellow-rumped Warbler 0.5%
Pine Warbler 0.1%
Orange-crowned Warbler 0.1%
Yellow-breasted Chat 0.1%
Palm Warbler <0.1%
Townsend’s Warbler <0.1%
Common Yellowthroat <0.1%
Nashville Warbler <0.1%
Wilson’s Warbler <0.1%
Cape May Warbler <0.1%
Northern Parula <0.1%
Tennessee Warbler <0.1%
Black-and-white Warbler <0.1%
Black-throated Gray Warbler <0.1%
Hooded Warbler <0.1%
Yellow Warbler <0.1%
Northern Waterthrush <0.1%
Bay-breasted Warbler <0.1%
Ovenbird <0.1%
Prairie Warbler <0.1%
Black-throated Blue Warbler <0.1%
American Redstart <0.1%
Black-throated Green Warbler <0.1%
Blackpoll Warbler <0.1%
Chestnut-sided Warbler <0.1%
MacGillivray’s Warbler <0.1%
Magnolia Warbler <0.1%
Canada Warbler <0.1%
Cerulean Warbler <0.1%

How To Attract Warblers To Your Backyard

Warblers are not as common as other songbirds to backyard feeders, but there are ways you can attract these melodious songbirds to your yard:

  1. Provide trees if your yard is big enough
  2. Leave brush piles and don’t be too tidy to ensure an insect friend habitat
  3. Don’t use pesticides or herbicides to ensure insects are available and birds do not consume any
  4. Provide a clean water source
  5. Offer mealworms, preferably live ones but dried if not
  6. Provide bird feeders with sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and suet