Sunday, September 3, 2017

Hermit Warbler

Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 

If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at or

Hermit Warbler

Common Name: Hermit Warbler
Scientific Name: Setophaga occidentalis
Conservation Status: Least Concern, stable population with estimates of 2.5 million
Size: 5.5 inches

Description: head is entirely yellow; lighter yellow eyering; small black bill; black chin, throat, and upper breast; variable gray and white belly; two white wing bars; no streaking on flanks; back is variably gray; tail dark with white underside and outer feathers
Male/Female: females have gray cheeks while the male cheek is a bright yellow, females lack the dark black throat; (the lower left photo on the opposite page is a female, the others are male)
Range: Western Washington to Costa Rica
Migration: winters in Central America, summers along the Pacific Coast
Season for Arizona: April/May and August/September
Habitat: mixed coniferous forests at high altitudes preferring very tall trees
Community Behavior: solitary or mixed warbler flocks
Feeding Behavior: gleans from middle and outer portion of branches in the very tops of pine trees
Diet: Insects and spiders
Nesting Behavior: cup shaped nest in pine needles near the tips of the pine branches high up in the tree, 3 to 5 creamy white eggs with brown and lilac speckles
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: the Catalina’s, Huachuca’s, Chiracahua’s, and Santa Rita’s above 5,000 feet
Comments: Female similar in plumage to female Olive Warbler; female hybridizes with male Townsend’s Warbler (though no evidence that female Townsend's hybridize with male Hermit)

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