Townsend's warbler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Townsend's Warbler)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Townsend's warbler
Townsend's Warbler - Washington State S4E2274 (19227398525) (cropped).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Parulidae
Genus: Setophaga
S. townsendi
Binomial name
Setophaga townsendi
(Townsend, 1837)
Dendroica townsendi map.svg
Range of S. townsendi
  Breeding range
  Year-round range
  Wintering range

Sylvia townsendi (protonym)
Dendroica townsendi

Townsend's warbler (Setophaga townsendi) is a small songbird of the New World warbler family.


Townsend's warbler was formally described in 1837 by the American naturalist John Kirk Townsend under the binomial name Sylvia townsendi.[2] The type locality is Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River in the state of Washington.[3] After the merger of the genera Dendroica and Setophaga,[4] Townsend's warbler is now placed in the genus Setophaga that was introduced by the English naturalist William Swainson in 1827.[5][6] The species is monotypic: no subspecies are recognised.[6]


Townsend's warbler has a yellow face with a black stripe across its cheeks extending into an ear patch, a thin pointed bill, two white wing bars, olive upperparts with black streaks on their backs and flanks, and a white belly.[7] Adult males have a black cap, black throat and yellow lower breast; females have a dark cap and a yellow throat. Immature birds are similar to females with a dark green cap and cheeks.[8]

Adult female showing lighter facial markings and yellow throat as opposed to the Male's black markings and black throat.
Standard Measurements[9][8]
length 4.5–5 in (110–130 mm)
weight 8.8 g (0.31 oz)
wingspan 8 in (200 mm)
wing 63.1–69.9 mm (2.48–2.75 in)
tail 47.1–54 mm (1.85–2.13 in)
culmen 9.9–10.8 mm (0.39–0.43 in)
tarsus 18.1–19 mm (0.71–0.75 in)

Life history[edit]

In California, USA

Their breeding habitats are coniferous forests with large trees on the northwestern coast of North America.[7] Their nests are shallow cups built with grass and lined with moss.[10] These nests are usually placed atop a branch in a conifer. The female lays 4 to 5 brown-speckled white eggs.[10]

This bird is closely related to the hermit warbler, and the two species interbreed where their ranges overlap.[8]

Birds from Haida Gwaii migrate short distances further south on the Pacific coast. Other birds winter in Mexico, Central America, and the south-western United States.[7]

They forage actively in the higher branches, often gleaning insects from foliage and sometimes hovering or catching insects in flight. [11] They mainly eat insects and spiders and seeds. Outside of the nesting season, these birds forage in mixed flocks. In winter, they also eat berries and plant nectar,[10] and honeydew directly from the anus of scale insects.[12]

The song of the male bird is a buzzed zee-zee-zee-bzz-zee or weazy weazy weazy weazy twea,[10] somewhat similar to that of its eastern relative, the black-throated green warbler.[8] The call is a sharp tup.

This bird was named after the American ornithologist, John Kirk Townsend.[2] Although Townsend is also credited with first describing this bird, he used a name chosen by Thomas Nuttall, who was travelling with him, and so sidestepped the convention against naming a species after oneself.[7]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Setophaga townsendi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22721683A94723311. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22721683A94723311.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b Townsend, John Kirk (1837). "Description of twelve new species of birds, chiefly from the vicinity of the Columbia River". Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 7: 187–192 [191–192].
  3. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1968). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 14. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 26.
  4. ^ Chesser, R. Terry; Banks, Richard C.; Barker, F. Keith; Cicero, Carla; Dunn, Jon L.; Kratter, Andrew W.; Lovette, Irby J.; Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Remsen, J. V.; Rising, James D.; Stotz, Douglas F.; Winker, Kevin (2011). "Fifty-Second Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union check-list of North American Birds". The Auk. 128 (3): 600–613. doi:10.1525/auk.2011.128.3.600. S2CID 13691956.
  5. ^ Swainson, William John (1827). "A synopsis of the birds discovered in Mexico by W. Bullock, F.L.S. and Mr. William Bullock jun". Philosophical Magazine. New Series. 1: 364–369 [368]. doi:10.1080/14786442708674330.
  6. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "New World warblers, mitrospingid tanagers". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d Wright, A. L.; Hayward, G. D.; Matsuoka, S. M.; Hayward, P. H. (2020-03-04). Rodewald, P. G. (ed.). "Birds of the World". Townsend's Warbler. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. doi:10.2173/bow.towwar.01. Retrieved 2022-10-21.
  8. ^ a b c d Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf. p. 438. ISBN 0-679-45122-6.
  9. ^ Godfrey, W. Earl (1966). The Birds of Canada. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada. p. 331.
  10. ^ a b c d "Townsend's Warbler". Audubon Guide to North American Birds. 2014-11-13. Retrieved 2022-10-21.
  11. ^ Rich, Terrell D.; Dobkin, David S. (1996). "Conservation and Management of Neotropical Migrant Landbirds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains". The Journal of Wildlife Management. 60 (1): 209. doi:10.2307/3802059. JSTOR 3802059.
  12. ^ Greenberg, Russell; Caballero, Claudia Macias; Bichier, Peter (1993). "Defense of Homopteran Honeydew by Birds in the Mexican Highlands and Other Warm Temperate Forests". Oikos. 68 (3): 519. doi:10.2307/3544920. JSTOR 3544920.

External links[edit]