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Kirtland's Warbler

Silhouette WarblersWarblers
Kirtland's WarblerSetophaga kirtlandii
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Parulidae

Basic Description

The Kirtland’s Warbler is a neat gray-and-yellow bird and one of the rarest songbirds in North America. A true habitat specialist, it breeds only in young jack pine forests in Michigan and adjacent parts of Wisconsin and Ontario. During the past century, timber rotations and fire suppression proved incompatible with the bird’s needs, and Kirtland’s Warblers spent nearly 50 years on the Endangered Species List. Intensive conservation, including suppression of Brown-headed Cowbirds, allowed the population to increase tenfold, and the species was delisted in 2019.

More ID Info
image of range map for Kirtland's Warbler
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Despite its low numbers, the Kirtland’s Warbler is surprisingly easy to find if you can locate its classic habitat of young, dense jack pine scrublands. During spring and early summer, males sing a curt, warbly song while perched in upper portions of pines, oaks, or dead trees. The species winters in scrubby parts of the Bahamas and is occasionally found at migration hotspots such as Magee Marsh, Ohio.

Other Names

  • Reinita de Kirtland (Spanish)
  • Paruline de Kirtland (French)
  • Cool Facts