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Swainson's Warbler Limnothlypis swainsonii


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Swainson's Warbler, adult at nest
credit: Louis Agassiz Fuertes

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Parulidae, Wood Warblers view all from this family

Description ADULT Has mostly gray-brown upperparts, including nape, grading to rufous tinge on the crown. Dark buff eyeline and cheeks emphasize the long, pale supercilium. Throat and underparts are pale and unmarked with grayish wash on flanks. IMMATURE Similar to adult.

Dimensions Length: 5" (13 cm)

Habitat Scarce summer visitor (present mainly Apr-Sep) to rhododendron woodland in Appalachians but inundated valley-bottom forests in southeastern U.S. Winters in Central America and around Caribbean.

Observation Tips A challenge to find, so learn and listen for its song and be sure to visit suitable habitats.

Range Florida, Texas, Plains, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Great Lakes

Voice Song is a whistled tsee-tswee-tse-tsu-swe-su; call is an abrupt tswe'.

Discussion Plump-bodied, short-tailed wood-warbler with mostly terrestrial habits: typically forages on forest floor, turning leaves in search of invertebrates. Wary and sometimes positively furtive, making observation a real challenge. Sexes are similar.