Tennessee Warbler – Profile | Facts | Female | Fall | Traits | Range

Tennessee Warbler

The Tennessee Warbler is a plain yellowish-green bird with a light eyebrow and a skinny, darkish line by way of the attention and may simply be confused with its shut relative, the Orange-crowned Warbler—an considerable migrant and summer season resident.

Tennessee Warbler profile

The most evident variations are Tennessee’s shorter tail and white or near-white under tail coverts that distinction with the grayish or greenish breast, and the absence of the Orange-crowned’s streaking on the underparts.

The song, though hardly ever heard in Washington, can also be fairly completely different. Tennessee Warblers in breeding plumage are noticeably grayer (much less greenish) than fall birds. Confusion with vireos can also be possible, however, notice the warbler’s skinny, sharply pointed bill.

This bird is present in Tennessee solely briefly, throughout spring and fall migration; however, there isn’t any level in giving it a more descriptive name, as a result of the bird itself is nondescript.

The male makes up for his plain look with a strident staccato song, surprisingly loud for the size of the bird. Nesting in northern forests, the Tennessee Warbler goes by way of inhabitants cycles: it usually turns into very quite a few throughout inhabitants explosions of the spruce budworm, a popular meal.

Tennessee Warbler Description

Tennessee Warblers are dainty, thin-billed warblers that breed within the boreal forest of Canada. Though they lack the good colors of different warbler species, breeding males are a crisp combination of the grey head, a white stripe over the attention, and greenback.

Females and nonbreeders can look more usually yellowish, inviting confusion with species like Orange-crowned Warblers, however, they at all times present white beneath the tail.

This quite a few species eat largely small caterpillars and advantages from the spruce budworm outbreaks that occur periodically of their breeding habitat.

The Tennessee warbler is 11.5 cm (4.5 in) long, has a 19.69 cm (7.75 in) wingspan, and weighs roughly 10 g (0.35 oz). The breeding male has an olive back, shoulders, rump, and vent.

The flight feathers are brownish-black. It has a slate grey neck, crown, and eye-line. The underside is gray-white. The feminine is just like the male, however is far duller and has a greener tinge to the underside.

The Tennessee warbler has long wings, a brief tale, and a skinny, pointy bill. Juveniles and first-year birds are fairly just like the feminine.

Tennessee warblers resemble feminine black-throated blue warblers. The only distinction is that the black-throated blue has a darker cheek and two white wing spots.

This bird might be confused with the red-eyed vireo, which is bigger, strikes more intentionally, and sings nearly always. The orange-crowned warbler also can look comparable, however lacks the white eyebrow, is greyer-brown above, and has yellow under tail coverts.


The Tennessee warbler breeds from the Adirondack Mountains in New York by way of northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine north and west all through a lot of Canada.

It can also be discovered breeding in northeast Minnesota and the northern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is migratory, wintering in southern Central America, the Caribbean, and northern Colombia and Venezuela, with a number of stragglers going as far south as Ecuador.

It is a really uncommon vagrant to western Europe. This bird was named from a specimen collected in Tennessee, the place it might seem throughout the migration.

Tennessee Warbler Ecology and behavior

The Tennessee warbler feeds primarily on bugs and prefers the spruce budworm. This species fluctuates in inhabitants with the amount of the budworm. It additionally likes flower nectar, fruit, and a few seeds.

This warbler, like most others, is nervous and fast whereas foraging. It creeps alongside branches and is discovered at any respect level. It is solitary whereas nesting, however kinds combined flocks after breeding.

The Tennessee warbler prefers coniferous forests, combined conifer-deciduous forests, early successional woodlands, and boreal bogs. It makes a cup-shaped nest of dried grasses and moss-lined with finer grasses, stems, and hair.

The nest might be positioned on the ground or above a bathroom in moss or within the base of a shrub. The nest is constructed by the feminine, and she or he lays 4–7 white eggs with brown splotches on them.


Deciduous and combined forests; in migration, groves, brush. Breeds in bogs, swamps, and forests. Prefers openings in second-growth balsam-tamarack bogs, or aspen and pine woods, or edges of dense spruce forest.

Nests close to slight depressions of boggy ground. During spring migration, largely high in bushes. During fall migration, usually decrease in saplings, brush, weedy fields.

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Feeding Behavior

Forages within the outer foliage of bushes, typically hanging head downward. Takes bugs in dense patches of weeds. In summer, males could feed largely in treetops, feminine remaining nearer the ground. Forages in flocks of as much as 200 on wintering grounds, usually in coffee plantations.


Mostly bugs, some berries, and nectar. In summer feeds primarily on bugs, together with caterpillars, scale bugs, aphids, beetles, flies, ants, leafhoppers, and others; additionally spiders.

Takes nectar from catkins, and a few juices from grapes. In winter within the tropics, feeds on nectar, berries, and the protein-rich constructions that cecropia bushes produce at the base of leaves.


5-6, typically 4-7. May lay more eggs throughout outbreaks of spruce budworm. Eggs white, with some marks of brown or purple. Rarely parasitized by cowbirds.

Incubation by feminine solely, 11-12 days. Young: Development and care of the younger, and age once they depart the nest, usually are not well-known. Probably 1 brood per year.


Development and care of the younger, and age once they depart the nest, usually are not well-known. Probably 1 brood per year.

Tennessee Warbler Nesting

The Male has a loud repetitious song on breeding territory. In splendid habitat, nests are carefully spaced in unfastened colonies. During courtship, male performs song flight as much as 60′ above the ground.

Nest: Concealed in melancholy on the ground beneath bushes or overhanging grass. The site is often on mossy hummock in a moist space, however will nest on pretty dry ground on steep hillsides.

Nest (constructed by feminine) is an open cup manufactured from skinny grass stems; lined with high-quality dry grass, porcupine quills, or moose hair.

Tennessee Warbler Facts

The Tennessee Warbler is a typical nectar “thief” on its wintering grounds in tropical forests. Most nectar-eating birds, bats, and bugs probe a flower from the front to get the nectar, spreading pollen on their faces within the process.

But Tennessee warblers pierce the flower tube on the base, lapping up the nectar without serving to pollinate the flower.

Despite breeding no nearer to the state of Tennessee than northern Michigan, 600 miles away, the Tennessee Warbler was given its name by Alexander Wilson primarily based on a bird he encountered in Tennessee throughout its migration.

The oldest recorded Tennessee Warbler was Four years, 7 months old when it was recaptured and launched at a banding station within the West Indies. It was initially banned in Pennsylvania.

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