The Magnolia Warbler in breeding plumage has black or black and green upperparts, a gray head with a white eyeline, a yellow throat and underparts, and heavy black streaking on the sides. A white bar across the center of a black tail can be seen in flight.
Males have blacker upperparts and a blacker face.
FemaleFemales have greener upperparts and a grayish-black face.
Seasonal change in appearanceFall birds have less black in the face and lack the white eyeline.
Immatures are similar to fall adults, but have duller black streaking below. Face pattern less distinct.
HabitatMagnolia Warblers inhabit conifers, though in migration they occur in a variety of woodlands.
DietMagnolia Warblers eat insects.
BehaviorMagnolia Warblers forage actively among the branches of trees, gleaning prey from leaves and twigs.
Magnolia Warblers breed in southern Canada, the northeastern U.S., the Great Lakes Region, and the Appalachians. They winter from Mexico to Central America, as well as the Caribbean. The population is stable to increasing.
Bent Life History
Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Magnolia Warbler.
Magnolia Warblers are sometimes nicknamed Spruce Warbler because of one of their preferred breeding habitats.
This boldly-patterned warbler often sings from within cover.
VocalizationsThe song is a weak 3-note series of "sweeter sweeter sweetest" notes. A high-pitched flight call is also given.
The Magnolia Warbler’s nest is a flimsy cup of twigs, grasses, and weeds lined with finer materials. It is placed on a horizontal branch of a conifer.
EggsNumber: Usually lay 4 eggs.
Color: Whitish with darker markings.
Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 11-13 days and fledge at about 9-10 days, though remaining dependent on the adults for some time.