Beak of the Week – Nashville Warbler

Nashville Warbler (Leiothlypis ruficapilla)

Family: Parulidae

By Ryan McGinty, Conservation Technician, Houston Audubon

The Nashville Warbler is a small bird with a yellow underside, olive back, and gray head. They also have a white eye-ring and a little spot of chestnut on their crown, although this is often not visible. These birds move between branches, picking insects off leaves. They prefer secondary growth and scrubby habitat.

The name of the Nashville Warbler is somewhat ironic because they can only be found in Tennessee during migration and go to the northern U.S. and Canada to breed. The female will build a nest on or near the ground hidden in the vegetation. The nest is shaped like a cup, and is primarily made up of moss, bark, and grasses. The female is the main incubator and both parents help feed the chicks.

The Nashville Warbler is this year’s patch bird at the Houston Audubon High Island sanctuaries, and can be seen migrating through right now! Come down to see them as well as other migrating birds this spring.

Greg Lavaty
Greg Lavaty
 Visit our Bird Gallery to read about other Texas birds! 

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