Kentucky Warbler

Geothlypis formosa




Wood-Warblers (Parulidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White with brown flecks and splotches

Number of Eggs:

3 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 13

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground near base of a tree or in shrub.

Nest Material:

Grasses, stems, vines, and leaves.





Kentucky Warbler: Medium-sized, ground-dwelling warbler with bright olive-green upperparts and yellow underparts. Head has black mask and sideburns and thick yellow eyebrows. Female and juvenile are duller with reduced sideburns. Walks on the ground and wags tail while foraging for insects.

Range and Habitat

Kentucky Warbler: Breeds from southern Iowa and eastern Kansas east to New Jersey, and south from eastern Texas to Georgia. Spends winters in the tropics from central Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula south. During migration, it may be recorded farther west. Preferred habitats include low, moist, rich woodlands with luxuriant undergrowth.

Breeding and Nesting

Kentucky Warbler: Three to six white eggs with brown flecks and splotches are laid in a nest made of dead leaves, lined with grass, hair, and rootlets, and built on or near the ground. Incubation ranges from 12 to 13 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Kentucky Warbler: Diet includes grubs, plant lice, spiders, caterpillars, and other insect larvae. Sometimes adds a bit of Mexican fruit to its diet during winter. Forages on the ground by rummaging through leaf litter, probing, and tossing with its bill, and scratching with its feet; also feeds in shrubs, vines, and lower parts of trees.


Kentucky Warbler: Makes a series of rolling musical notes "churry churry churry", with each note repeated about six times.

Similar Species

Kentucky Warbler: Canada Warbler has blue-gray upperparts and streaked breast.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X