Palm Warbler – Profile | Facts | Female | Song | Traits | Food | Fly

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler is a largely brownish bird, with distinctive, yellow undertail covert. They have small white corners on their tails which might be seen in flight.

Palm Warbler profile

Eastern birds are vibrant yellow under with rufous streaks on their breasts; western birds are frivolously streaked and drabber in shade. They have a darkish eye-line by way of every eye. Adults in breeding plumage have rufous crowns and yellow throats.

The Palm Warbler is one in all Washington’s “Winter Warblers.” In late fall and winter, with numbers vary significantly every year, Palm Warblers migrate south alongside the Pacific Coast by way of Washington, Oregon, and California.

In the latest years, Palm Warblers have been seen in Ocean Shores and on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. They are early spring and late fall migrants primarily as a result of they’re one of many two most northerly breeding warblers. The difference is the Blackpoll Warbler.

Palm Warbler Overview

A bird of thickets and open areas, normally seen low or on the ground. Birds from the easternmost part of the range (“Yellow Palm Warblers”) are moderately colorful, however, most others are fairly drab; nonetheless, they are often acknowledged by the fixed bobbing of their tails.

Many Palm Warblers spend the winter within the southeastern United States, particularly in Florida, the place they could be seen close to palm groves however not up within the palms themselves.

The Palm Warbler is usually simply identifiable. It stands out for its behavior of steady up and down tail pumping. The motion additionally attracts attention to its vibrant yellow undertail coverts, which at all times distinction with its white or pale yellow stomach (Dunn and Garrett).

It is a moderately plain, brownish streaked bird with a long white supercilium stripe over black eyeliner. Its “ground foraging habits and drab streaked plumage may recall sparrows or pipits”.

Palm Warbler Distribution

Palm warblers breed in open coniferous bogs and edge east of the Continental Divide, throughout Canada and the northeastern United States.

These birds migrate to the southeastern United States, the Yucatán Peninsula, islands of the Caribbean, and eastern Nicaragua south to Panama in winter.

They are one of many earlier migrants to return to their breeding grounds within the spring, typically finishing their migration virtually two months before most different warblers.

Unlike most Setophaga species, the Palm warbler’s winter range consists of a lot of the Atlantic coast of North America, extending as far north as southern Nova Scotia.

Every year since 1900 the Palm warbler has been noticed throughout Christmas Bird Count activities in Massachusetts, and persistently since 1958 in Nova Scotia. For the interval, 1966-2015 the Palm warbler inhabitants elevated all through a lot of its northernmost breeding range.

Palm warbler has been recorded as a vagrant to Iceland.

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Palm Warbler Description

Only 5 inches long, the adult palm warbler in spring has an olive back, yellow or yellow-white underparts with brown streaking, and a rusty cap edged with a yellow eye line.

The sexes are alike, however, immatures (in addition to fall and winter adults) are a lot duller—mainly olive and cream with brown streaks, like little sharp-billed sparrows.

Despite these variations in plumage, the palm warbler is straightforward to establish: All have a vibrant yellow patch beneath the bottom of the tail, and have a behavior of bobbing the tail continuously up and down.

In fall or winter, when identification might sound tough, no different bird combines these two traits.


Palm Warblers are small songbirds, however, they’re on the bigger aspect for a warbler and have a fuller trying stomach.

Their posture is more upright than a typical warbler and more like a pipit—particularly noticeable when they’re on the ground. Their tails and legs are longer than most warblers contributing to the pipitlike form.

Palm Warbler Behavior

Palm warbler nests take the type of an open cup, normally located on or close to the ground in an open space.

Palm warblers forage on the ground a lot more than different warblers, generally flying to catch bugs. These birds primarily eat bugs and berries.

Their fixed tail bobbing is a figuring-out attribute. Kirtland’s, prairie, and palm warblers are the one Setophaga species that incessantly bob their tails.

Wooded borders of muskeg (summer season). In migration, low timber, bushes, ground. Breeds in sphagnum bogs with scattered cedar, tamarack, and spruce timber.

The western race additionally breeds in dry pine barrens of boreal forests with a ground cover of blueberry, bearberry, and candy fern. In migration, frequents old hedgerows, edges of streams and ponds, overgrown fields, and open pastures.

The song of this bird is a monotonous buzzy trill. The call is a pointy chek.


During migration and winter, Palm Warblers use weedy fields, forest edges, fence rows, and different areas with scattered timber and shrubs. They breed within the boreal forest of the far north, the place they use bogs with scattered evergreen timber and thick ground cover.


Palm Warblers are boring brownish-olive above with yellow beneath the tail and throat. The outdoor corners of their tails flash white in flight. In eastern birds, the stomach is yellow, whereas in western birds the stomach is white.

Sexes are related, and in the course of the breeding season, they have got a rusty cap and a few rusty streaking on the stomach. Nonbreeding birds have paler yellow undertails and a boring brown crown.


Palm warblers sing a weak trill: tre-tre-tre-tre-tre-tre! Call notice is a crisp tchit!, which sounds more metallic and sharper than a yellow-rumped warbler’s chip.

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This is one bird the place behavior—this bird’s near-constant tail-wagging—may help affirm its identification. They primarily forage on open ground or in low vegetation, moderately than in forest cover as many warblers do (though they do sing from high perches in timber and shrubs).


Insects and berries. Feeds totally on small beetles, mosquitoes, flies, caterpillars, aphids, grasshoppers, ants, bees, and spiders. Eats additionally a substantial quantity of vegetable matter, together with raspberries, bayberries, and seeds.

Feeding Behavior

Beetles, mosquitos, gnats, aphids, and different small bugs are the standard fare of the palm warbler, a lot of them picked up from the ground and others gleaned from leaves and even caught in mid-flight. This adaptive bird additionally consumes small berries when out there and can take seeds every so often.

In winter, does a lot of foraging by strolling and hopping on the ground. During the breeding season, gleans bugs from foliage whereas perching or whereas hovering momentarily in black spruce, tamarack, and cedars.

Also flies out to catch flying bugs in mid-air. In fall, might be a part of flocks with different warblers, chickadees, juncos, and sparrows.

Palm Warbler Eggs

Usually 4-5. Creamy white with brown marks. Incubated probably by each parent, 12 days. Rarely a number to cowbird eggs; defends towards parasitism by protecting cowbird eggs over, constructing a brand new layer on the backside of the nest.

Young: Fed by each parent. Young go away from the nest at about 12 days and are in a position to fly quick distances within 1-2 days after fledging. Probably 2 broods per year.


Fed by each parent. Young go away from the nest at about 12 days and are in a position to fly quick distances within 1-2 days after fledging. Probably 2 broods per year.

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Palm Warbler Nesting

Some males have more than one mate. An early nester; birds arrive on breeding grounds in early April and start nests by early May. Nest: Placed on or close to the ground in a stunted spruce tree, near the trunk.

The open cup nest is steadily hidden beneath a clump of grass and on top of a hummock of sphagnum moss. Constructed by the feminine of superb, dry grass stems and bark shreds; lined with feathers.

Where to seek out Palm Warbler

Many birds have been misnamed by early ornithologists, and that is one. Except for the truth that it winters in heat climates, the palm warbler actually has nothing in any respect to do with palm timber.

The palm warbler nests in far northern bogs. In the summer season the palm warbler lives in muskeg areas in Canada and the intense northern United States, however, in migration and winter, it’s discovered broadly.

It spends loads of time on the ground, in open areas resembling giant lawns, sod farms, and pastures, in addition to alongside seashores, and in shrubby edge habitat of all types. Outside the breeding season, they typically travel in flocks.


The inhabitants of Palm Warblers appear to be stable with some elevated numbers in Christmas Bird Count information in Florida the place many Palm Warblers winter.

There aren’t any particular conservation measures in place. However, there may be some concern for the inhabitants as more of the peat bogs within the boreal forest are mined for fossil fuels.

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