Kentucky warbler, photo by Andrew C courtesy of Wiki Commons

Kentucky Warbler

Look For

The Kentucky warbler has both a loud voice and brilliant plumage. Underneath, it is a bright yellow, while its back and head is an olive green. Both the male and female have strong yellow “eyebrows” that frame the eyes and dark patches that are on the cheeks like sideburns. It is about five inches long.

Listen For

The Kentucky warbler’s song is a short series of two-syllabled phrases, sounding like churree churree churree! It is a loud song, easily catching the ears of birders. Call is a hard chunk.

Find It

This bird can be found in the southeastern part of the United States. It migrates down through Mexico and Central America and winters in some upper parts of South America.

Feeding Behavior

The Kentucky warbler is a ground forager, flipping up leafs to find insects. The insect it feeds on includes caterpillars, beetles, moths, ants, and grasshoppers. It will also eat spiders or berries with its winter diet. This warbler forages walking along the ground, picking off insects in the underbrush. Interestingly, the warbler sometimes accompanies swarms of insects, picking off other insects that flee the swarm.

Nesting Behavior

Most comfortable in deciduous forests, the Kentucky warbler nests in the lower levels of trees and shrubs or on the ground. The nests are built in shaded areas and are bigger, heavier cups made of weeds and rootlets. The eggs are white with tan and brown spots and they usually lay about 4-5. These young birds leave the nest 8 to 10 days after hatching.


The Kentucky warbler sings only one song type and sings this same song throughout its whole life. Unlike a lot of other birds, males do not match each other’s songs but will match the pitch.

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