Connecticut Audbon Society

Spring migratory birds: Canada Warbler

May 5, 2022

Canada Warbler
Cardellina canadensis

by Paul Cianfaglione. Video and photo by Gilles Carter
When searching for Canada Warbler, it is important to become familiar with its unique song. One of my favorite ways of locating a Canada Warbler is by slowly driving along Greenwoods Road in Peoples State Forest, listening for its clear, loud chip note, followed by an abrupt, explosive series of short notes that regularly ends with a three-note phrase.

Look and listen for it during the 2022 Migration Madness Birdathon, but then keep it in mind while birding during breeding season too.

The Canada Warbler approaches its southern limit of breeding distribution in Connecticut and further south in the Appalachian mountain range. It undertakes a long annual migration for a wood-warbler, wintering primarily in northern South America.

During the breeding season, Canada Warblers are found in mixed coniferous-deciduous forests with a well-developed understory, which often includes dense stands of mountain laurel.

Canada Warbers nest at Connecticut Audubon’s Croft preserve, in Goshen. Places such as Peoples State Forest in Barkhamsted and Mohawk State Forest in Goshen provide such habitat. You can find others on eBird.

Canada Warbler, photo by Gilles Carter.

Often referred to as the “Necklaced Warbler,” male Canada Warblers sport unmarked gray upper-parts, yellow underparts, black facial markings and, of course, a spectacular black necklace, which makes identification pretty straightforward. Females are far less distinctive, but still retain some the key field marks.

The North American Bird Conservation Initiative designated the Canada Warbler as a Highest Priority Land Bird in Bird Conservation.

Partners in Flight North American Land Bird Conservation Plan lists this as a species of high conservation concern in the Northern Forest region. The Northeast Endangered Species and Wildlife Diversity Technical Committee recognize Canada Warbler as one of the region’s highest priorities for conservation and research. (Source: Birds of North America Online Version, 2017).

Top photo by William Majoros,






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