Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea)

Cerulean Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Dendroica cerulea | [UK] Cerulean Warbler | [FR] Sylvette atzree | [DE] Pappel-Waldsanger | [ES] Reinita Cerulea | [NL] Azuurzanger


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Male: Blue above, white below. Note the narrow black ring across the chest. Female: Blue-gray and olive green above, wh
itish below; two white wing bars, whitish eyebrow.

Listen to the sound of Cerulean Warbler

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/C/Cerulean Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 18 cm wingspan max.: 22 cm
size min.: 11 cm size max.: 12 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 12 days
fledging min.: 10 days fledging max.: 11 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 4  


North America : Central, East USA. Breeds locally in SE Canada (SE Ontario, extreme S Quebec) S in E USA to N Alabama and Virginia (absent coastal Atlantic and Gulf lowlands). Migrates to W South America from N Colombia and Venezuela S to S Peru and W Bolivia.


Deciduous forests, especially in river valleys. Breeds in mature hardwoods either in uplands or along stre
ams. Prefers elm, soft maple, oak, birch, hickory, beech, basswood, linden, sycamore, or black ash. Nests only in tall forest with clear understory. In winter in tropics, found mostly in forest and woodland borders in foothills and lower slopes.


Males arrive on breeding grounds near the middle of May. Nesting behavior has been little studied, as nests are difficult to observe.
Nest: Placed on horizontal branch of hardwood, far from trunk and usually high, 15-90′ up in tree. Favors oak, maple, basswood, elm, hickory, sycamore, beech, or tuli
p trees. Nest is a small, shallow open cup (probably built by female), made of bark strips, grasses, weeds, spider silk, and lichen; lined with moss and hair.
Eggs: 3-5, usually 4. Gray or creamy off-white, with spots of brown. Incubation is by female only, probably 12-
13 days. Apparently does not often host cowbird eggs where it nests in unbroken mature forest, but may be parasitized more frequently in forest fragments.
Young: Both parents feed the nestlings. Age at which the young leave the nest is not well known.

Feeding habits

Probably entirely insects. The diet is not well known. Undoubtedly feeds mostly or entirely on insects, as most warblers do. Has been observed feeding on caterpillars.
Behavior: Forages mostly high in trees, moving rapidly from limb to limb, searchin
g among foliage and twigs for insects. Also flies out to catch flying insects in midair. In winter in the tropics, scattered individuals forage with mixed flocks, ranging from low to high in the trees.


This species is listed as Vulnerable, because its population is estimated to have undergone a rapid decline owing to continuing habitat loss and fragmentation on its breeding and wintering grounds.
The land use changes brought about by increasing human population in the breeding, migratory, and winter range of this species are the underlying cause of the population decline of the bird in this century. Humans occupy habitats in which the birds have occurred, clear the habitats for other land uses, and replace mature and old-growth stands with shorter rotation stands
Cerulean Warbler status Vulnerable


Eastern United States; winters Colombia to Bolivia. In the West, an accidental stray. Migration:
Moves south relatively early in fall. Spring migrants coming north from South America may make a regular stopover in Belize before continuing north across the Gulf of Mexico to southeastern United States. A very rare stray anywhere in West.

Distribution map

Cerulean Warbler distribution range map

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