Red-faced Warbler (Cardellina rubrifrons)

Red-faced Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Cardellina rubrifrons | [UK] Red-faced Warbler | [FR] Sylvette a face rouge | [DE] Dreifarben-Waldsanger | [ES] Gorjeador cora roja | [NL] Roodmaskerzanger


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Ergaticus rubrifrons
Cardellina rubrifrons NA, MA sw USA and nw Mexico MA

Physical charateristics

The only United States warbler with a bright red face. It has a gray back, a black patch on the head, and a white nape.

Listen to the sound of Red-faced Warbler

[audio: Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 19 cm wingspan max.: 21 cm
size min.: 14 cm size max.: 15 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 11 days fledging max.: 13 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


North America, Middle America : Southwest USA and Northwest Mexico


Open pine-oak forests in high mountains. In our area, breeds mostly in mountain f
orests of Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, and ponderosa pine, mainly where small groves of deciduous trees such as oak, maple, or aspen grow among the conifers. In winter in the tropics, found in forests of pine, oak, alder, and other trees, at upper eleva
tions in mountains.


Males do not appear to defend territories, as singing males regularly cross near each other’s nest sites, and even congregate in loose singing groups to attract females.
Nest: On the ground, well hidden at base of shrub, rock, grass tuft
, tree trunk, or under log. Usually placed in leaf litter on slope or steep bank. Open cup, built by female, on mass of dry leaves and conifer needles; constructed of grasses, weeds, and bark, lined with plant fibers and hair.
Eggs: Usually 3-4. Pinkish white, flecked with brown. Incubated by female only, 15-17 days.
Young: Fed by both parents. Leave the nest 13 days after hatching. Parents split the fledglings, each adult attending half the brood for up to 4-5 weeks. All fledglings leave nesting territori
es by early August in Arizona, though adults remain. Probably 1 brood per year.

Feeding habits

Probably mostly insects. Diet is not known in detail, but undoubtedly feeds mostly on insects. Caterpillars may be important in diet; nestlings are fed many small green caterpillars.
Behavior: Prefers to forage in trees
with dense foliage. Searches actively on outer parts of branches and twigs, and hovers to take insects from foliage. At times, does much of its foraging by flying out to take insects in midair. When not nesting, typically forages in mixed flocks with othe
r 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very 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.
Red-faced Warbler status Least Concern


Southwestern United States to Durango, Mexico. Winters Mexico, Guatemala. Migration: In our area, migrants arrive in April, and most depart before mid-September. Migrants very rarely seen in the lowlands.

Distribution map

Red-faced Warbler distribution range map

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