Nashville Warbler

Oreothlypis ruficapilla
A Nashville Warbler specimen on display in the exhibit "Birds of D.C."

A small (4 ¾ inches) wood warbler, the male Nashville Warbler is most easily identified by its dull green wings and body, bright yellow breast, gray face, and white eye-ring. The female is similar to the male, but is duller below and on the head. This species is most easily separated from the similar-looking Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis) by the latter species’ dark gray throat present in both sexes. The Nashville Warbler breeds across much of southern Canada and the northeastern United States. Another population breeds in the west from southern British Columbia south to northern California (locally in the mountains to southern California and Nevada). In winter, the eastern population migrates south to Mexico, Central America, and coastal Texas, while the western population migrates to the coast of California. Nashville Warblers breed in a variety of open forest habitat types, ranging from spruce and tamarack forests in the north to oak and pine forests in California. In winter, this species occurs in semi-open portions of humid tropical forests. Nashville Warblers eat small invertebrates, primarily insects (including caterpillars) and spiders. Due to this species’ preference for heavily vegetated habitats, Nashville Warblers are much more easily heard than seen. Birdwatchers may listen for this species’ “seebit, sebit, sebit, sebit, titititititi” song, or may attempt to observe it foraging for insects in the forest canopy. Nashville Warblers are primarily active during the day, but, like many migratory songbirds, this species migrates at night.

DC Information

Fairly common migrant in May and September, found in swamp and floodplain forests. Breeds west of this area, in cutover spruce bogs, in late May and June. The females have plain crowns.

Specimen Information

Date:  5/11/1888
Collected By:  CW Richmond
Locality:  Washington, DC
Sex:  Female
Catalog ID:  123170

Distribution Map

distribution map for this species

Bird Vocalizations

Sound from xeno-canto. XC16993 Oreothlypis ruficapilla (Nashville Warbler)

Sound from xeno-canto. XC31019 Oreothlypis ruficapilla (Nashville Warbler)

Sound from xeno-canto. XC31317 Oreothlypis ruficapilla (Nashville Warbler)