Hermit Warbler (Dendroica occidentalis)

Hermit Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Dendroica occidentalis | [UK] Hermit Warbler | [FR] Sylvette a tete jaune | [DE] Einsiedel-Waldsanger | [ES] Chipe cabeza amarilla | [NL] Heremietzanger


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Note the bright yellow face set off by the black throat and nape
and dark gray back. In the female the black of the throat is much reduced or wanting, but the yellow face, gray back, and whitish underparts identify it.

Listen to the sound of Hermit Warbler

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/H/Hermit Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 19 cm wingspan max.: 21 cm
size min.: 13 cm size max.: 15 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 8 days fledging max.: 10 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America : West USA


Conifer forests; in migration, conifers and deciduous woods.
Breeds mostly in moist, dense forests near sea level, especially in forests of Douglas-fir, hemlock, and western redcedar. Also nests in cooler, wetter forests of fir and other trees at higher elevations. In w
inter, found in pine-oak forests of mountains in Mexico, also in oaks and conifers along California coast.


Males arrive on the breeding grounds in early May and establish territories by singing. Pairs begin nesting and the first eggs are laid by the first part of June.
Nest: Typical site is on horizontal branch, well out from trunk and 20-40′ above the ground. Nest is a compact, deep, open cup of fibrous weed stalks, pine needles, twigs, lichen, moss, cobwebs, lined
with soft material including bark, feathers, and animal hair. Female alone builds nest.
Eggs: 4-
5, sometimes 3. Creamy white, with fine brown flecks in wreath at larger end. Incubation is probably by both parents, and probably lasts about 12 days. This species apparently is almost never parasitized by cowbirds.
Young: Fed by female and possibly by male as well. Young leave the nest 8-10 days after hatching.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects. Diet not known in detail, but undoubtedly feeds mainly on insects. Has been observed feeding on caterpillars, tiny beetles, and flying insects; also small spiders.
Behavior: Forages mainly in the canopy of tall trees, sometimes up to 200′ above the ground. Males often forage higher than females. Takes insects from twigs while perching and while hovering, and flies out to
catch insects in midair. Will hang from twigs like a chickadee. During migration and in winter, often forages in flocks with other birds.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Hermit Warbler status Least Concern


Pacific states. Winters Mexico to California.
b Migration: Migrates most commonly north along the Pacific Coast in spring and south through the mountains in fall. Southward migration begins early, with many on the move in August or even late July.

Distribution map

Hermit Warbler distribution range map

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