Swainson's Warbler

Limnothlypis swainsonii

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Wood-Warblers (Parulidae)

Code 4

SWWA

Code 6

LIMSWA

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Swainson’s Warbler is a small species belonging to the New World warblers. These birds are very uncommon, found mostly in flooded swamps and cane fields of the southeastern United States. They may also rarely be seen in the rhododendron thickets of the southern Appalachian Mountains. In winter months, the Swainson’s Warbler migrates southward to the Greater Antilles and the Yucatan Peninsula. Nests are constructed and situated in tangles of vines and tall reeds above the ground. Typical diets consist of insects and seeds, and sometimes small invertebrates. The conservation rating of the Swainson’s Warbler is Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Swainson's Warbler: Medium-sized warbler with olive-brown upperparts and pale gray underparts. Head has brown cap, white eyebrows, and dark eye-lines. Wings are plain olive-brown. It hides in dense thickets, where it forages on the ground looking for insects, spiders, and caterpillars.


Range and Habitat

Swainson's Warbler: Breeds throughout the southeastern states from Texas to Virginia. Within this range, lives in canebrakes and thickets in swamps and among hardwoods; in the southern Appalachians it is found in laurel and rhododendron thickets of moist, montane forests. Winters in the West Indies and areas south.

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Swainson's Warbler SONGS AND CALLS

Swainson's Warbler A1

Song is a "whee whee whee whip-poor-will".

Swainson's Warbler A2

Flight call is a high-pitched "seep".

Similar Sounding

Louisiana Waterthrush A1

Song starts with a few high-pitched notes, followed by mix of short, hurried phrases.


Voice Text

"whee-whee-whee, whip-poor-will", "chip"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Swainson's Warbler is unusual for its two populations breeding in entirely different habitat types.
  • If it weren't for its loud, ringing song, its presence in many areas would go completely undetected.
  • It is named after William Swainson, an early-19th-century British naturalist.
  • A group of warblers has many collective nouns, including a "bouquet", "confusion", "fall", and "wrench" of warblers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UnderpartsX

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

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X