Swainsons Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii)

Swainsons Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Limnothlypis swainsonii | [UK] Swainsons Warbler | [FR] Sylvette de Swainson | [DE] Swainson-Waldsanger | [ES] Reinita de Swainson | [NL] Swainsons Zanger


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Seiurus swainsonii
Limnothlypis swainsonii NA se USA MA, West Indies

Physical charateristics

A skulker, seldom seen. Olive-brown above, plain buffy white below, with a brown crown and light eyebrow stripe. Sexes alike.

Listen to the sound of Swainsons Warbler

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/S/Swainsons Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 22 cm wingspan max.: 24 cm
size min.: 13 cm size max.: 14 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 10 days fledging max.: 12 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America : Southeast USA


Swamps and river floodplain forests. Breeds
both in swamps and bottomlands of the southern coastal plains and in moist Appalachian forests. In swamps, prefers large tract with dense understory and sparse ground cover; found especially in canebrakes. In Appalachians, prefers rhododendron thickets,
or deciduous forest with moderate undergrowth. In winter, found in various wooded habitats in tropical lowlands.


Males normally hold very large territories, but in very good habitat will nest in loose colonies. Sings to hold breeding territory and to attract a mate.
Site is usually at edge of dense growth of cane, vines, or rhododendron. Placed near or over water, or up to 4′ above ground. Open cup nests are inconspicuous and difficult to locate, even though they are the largest above-ground nests of all North Ameri
can warblers. Constructed of leaves, sticks, vines, lined with soft material such as pine needles, Spanish moss, hair, grass, and ferns. Female builds nest alone.
Eggs: 3, sometimes 2-5. Normally unmarked white, sometimes faintly spotted. Incubated by female, 13-15 days. Male feeds female during incubation.
Young: Both parents feed nestlings for 10-12 days. Young then leave nest and follow parents to be fed for another 2-3 weeks. 1 brood per year.

Feeding habits

Mostly adult and larval insects. Feeds on caterpillars, beetles, ants, crickets, grasshoppers, katydids, stinkbugs, flies, other
insects; also spiders and millipedes. Apparently eats no berries or nectar.
Forages at a rapid walk in openings in understory, usually on ground or in leaf litter. Probes under leaves by flipping them over, also probes into ground with long heavy bill, and occasionally gleans from tree trunks or makes short flights to catch flyi
ng insects. Forages alone in winter and with mate in summer.


This species has an extremely 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 increasing, 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 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.
Swainsons Warbler status Least Concern


Southeastern United States. Winters in West Indies, Yucatan Peninsula. Migration:
Apparently migrates mostly at night. Arrives on breeding grounds later in spring than most other southern warblers. Those wintering in Middle America migrate north directly across Gulf of Mexico.

Distribution map

Swainsons Warbler distribution range map

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