Townsends Warbler (Dendroica townsendi)

Townsends Warbler

Townsends Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Dendroica townsendi | [UK] Townsends Warbler | [FR] Sylvette de Townsend | [DE] Townsend-Waldsanger | [ES] Chipe negroamarillo | [NL] Townsend Zanger


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Male: Easily distinguished by the black and yellow pattern of the head, with a blackish cheek patch; underparts yellow, with striped sides. Female:
Throat largely yellow, not black; may be known by the well-defined dark cheek patch, bordered by yellow as in the male.

Listen to the sound of Townsends Warbler

[audio: Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 18 cm wingspan max.: 22 cm
size min.: 11 cm size max.: 13 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 12 days
fledging min.: 8 days fledging max.: 10 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America : West


Tall conifers, cool fir forests; in winter, also oaks, madrones, laurels.
Breeds in tall, dense coniferous forest of the Pacific Northwest, both in the humid coastal belt and in the mountains. In winter in the tropics, found mostly in mountain forests of pine, oak, alder and arbutus. Along California coast, winters in oak woods
and in conifers.


Details of breeding behavior have not been well studied. Males arrive on breeding grounds in late May, and establish territories by singing. Pairs begin nesting and the first eggs are laid by late June.
Nest: Placed directly on top of branch, usually toward the ends of horizontal conifer branches, 7-
60′ above the ground. Nest (probably built by both male and female) is a large shallow cup compactly made of grass stems, mosses, cedar bark, and fir twigs, lined with moss, feathers, and hair.
Eggs: At least 3, commonly 4-5. White with brown marks. Details of incubation not well known; may be incubated by both sexes, estimated at about 12 days.
Young: Nestlings are fed by female and possibly by male. Young leave the nest about 8-10 days after hatching.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects. Wh
ile nesting, eats mainly insects: caterpillars, true bugs, beetles, leafhoppers, and many others; also a few spiders, seeds, and plant galls. On tropical wintering grounds, also feeds on some fruit and nectar.
Forages mostly in higher parts of trees. Searches actively among twigs for insects, often hovering briefly to take items from foliage. Sometimes flies out to catch flying insects in the air. Except in nesting season, often feeds in mixed flocks with othe
r warblers and other small birds.


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 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.
Townsends Warbler status Least Concern


Breeds northwestern North America. Winters south to Nicaragua. Migration:
Migration is spread over a long period in both spring and fall. In the Southwest, migrants occur at all elevations, but most common in the mountains. Strays rarely reach Atlantic Coast.

Distribution map

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