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Townsend's Warbler Dendroica townsendi


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Townsend's Warbler, male
credit: Slodocent/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Parulidae, Wood Warblers view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has streaked olive-yellow back and rump, darkish tail with white outer feathers, and blackish wings with two broad, white wing bars. Head markings are striking, with dark crown, dark "mask" (ear coverts) bordered entirely by yellow and with small yellow patch below eye, and black throat and chest. Underparts are yellow on breast and flanks, grading to white on belly and undertail coverts, with black streaks on flanks. ADULT FEMALE Similar, but paler overall; black elements of head pattern are olive-gray. IMMATURE Similar to adult female, but duller and less colorful; dark on breast is much reduced.

Dimensions Length: 4 1/4-5" (11-13 cm)

Habitat Locally common summer visitor (May-Aug) to coniferous forests. Winters mainly California to Mexico.

Observation Tips Fairly easy to see in suitable habitats.

Range Southwest, Western Canada, Northwest, Alaska, Rocky Mountains, Texas, California, Plains

Voice Song is a breezy wee-wee-wee-weez-we'Che; call is a sharp tsic.

Similar Species Blackburnian Warbler D. fusca (L 4.75-5 in) has a mainly eastern range, extending west only in Canada. Male has striking orange throat and surround to dark ear coverts, and broad white wing patch; female and immature are much less colorful with two white wing bars replacing male's white wing patch.

Discussion Stunning Pacific Northwest breeding species. Often forages high in treetops and sometimes joins mixed species flocks outside breeding season. Sexes are dissimilar.