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Palm Warbler - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Setophaga palmarum)
Photo by Chaiyan
Ames, Iowa, USA, May 2002
Setophaga palmarum

Dendroica palmarum


14 cm (5½ in)
Two colour forms:
Western birds are brown with light underparts, dark streaked breasts, grey-brown upperparts.
Eastern birds have brown-olive upperparts, yellow underparts, rusty streaked breasts and flanks.
Both have dark legs, and the bill is thin and pointed.
Adults have a rust coloured cap.


Juvenile, Western form
Photo by bobsofpa
Fort deSoto Park, Florida, USA, May 2015

Breeds from southern Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan east across boreal Canada to Newfoundland; In the United States, northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan, Adirondacks on New York and Maine.
In migration found throughout the northeastern United States east of Texas. Winters in southeastern United States, Mexico and islands in the Caribbean.
Casual vagrant in the western United States.


S. p. palmarum
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Redwood City, California, USA, 11 February 2021

Formerly placed in genus Dendroica.


Flight - Catching a spider
Photo © by syncrasy
Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2 May 2021

There are 2 subspecies1:

  • S. p. hypochrysea (Eastern):
  • Breeds south-eastern Canada and north-eastern US; winters to central Florida and northern Gulf Coast
  • S. p. palmarum (Western):


Bog edges in boreal regions. In migration often found in weedy fields.


Wags tail constantly.


Their nests are open cups, which are usually situated on, or near, the ground.


The diet consists of insects, berries, seeds and nectar. The forage on or close to the ground.


It is known that the nominate subspecies has two song types; this may or may not apply to subspecies hypochrysea (current data isn't clear)
Song a rather dull, uneven, buzzy trill zzizzizzizzizzizzi slightly changing in pitch and volume but overall steady; rather weak and infrequently heard.
Call a sharp, husky chik; closest to Prairie Warbler but stronger and deeper


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Dunn, Jon; Garrett, Kimball. 1997. A Field Guide to Warblers of North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 9780395783214
  3. Avianweb
  4. Wilson Jr., W. H. (2020). Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.palwar.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.