Skip Navigation

Species Search:
threatened and/or endangered

Bay-breasted Warbler Dendroica castanea


enlarge +

Bay-breasted Warbler, male
credit: Mdf/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Parulidae, Wood Warblers view all from this family

Description SPRING MALE Has streaked, dark gray back and nape, and blackish wings with two white wing bars. Side of head is creamy white toward the rear, face is mainly black, while crown, throat, chest, and flanks are chestnut; underparts are otherwise creamy white. Upperside to mostly dark tail has only limited white tips. Legs are dark. SPRING FEMALE Recalls male, except that back, head, neck, and breast are yellowish green, heavily streaked above. FALL ADULT Similar to spring female, but less heavily streaked. IMMATURE Dull olive-yellow overall with only subtle streaking on back and buff wash on underparts, including undertail coverts; dark wings have two white wing bars. Very similar to immature Blackpoll; note the dark (not orange) legs. See that species' description for further distinctions.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/2" (14 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly May-Aug) to mature spruce forests; breeding success influenced by Spruce Budworm numbers. Winters mainly in Central America.

Observation Tips Easy to see.

Range Florida, Plains, Texas, Mid-Atlantic, New England, California, Western Canada, Eastern Canada, Southeast, Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Southwest

Voice Song is a rapid series of five or so piercing whistles; call is a thin tssip.

Discussion Adult male is colorful and striking. Sexes are dissimilar.