Canada Warbler

Cardellina canadensis

Last updated: October 7, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Ray Hennessy/

These birds travel more than 3,000 miles during migration!


Canada Warbler Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Cardellina canadensis

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Canada Warbler Conservation Status

Canada Warbler Locations

Canada Warbler Locations

Canada Warbler Facts

Fun Fact
These birds travel more than 3,000 miles during migration!
Estimated Population Size
Biggest Threat
Habitat loss
Most Distinctive Feature
Its "necklace" of black feathers
Distinctive Feature
The white ring around each eye makes this bird look like it’s wearing glasses.
Other Name(s)
Necklaced warbler
7 - 9 inches
Incubation Period
8-12 days
Favorite Food
Beetles, moths, flies, and caterpillars
Common Name
Canada warbler
Number Of Species
Nesting Location
On or near the ground near a dense shrub

Canada Warbler Physical Characteristics

  • Grey
  • Yellow
  • White
Up to 7 years
.32 - .46 ounces
3 - 4 inches
4.7 - 5.9 inches

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View all of the Canada Warbler images!

Canada warblers travel over 3,000 miles migrating from South America to the United States and Canada.

The Canada warbler’s bright yellow feathers make it a standout in the world of birds! It’s a carnivore or more specifically an insectivore, eating mosquitoes, flies, moths, and caterpillars. It’s known for its cheerful, trilling song full of ‘chip-chips’ and ‘seep-seeps’. The lifespan of the Canada warbler goes up to seven years.

3 Canada Warbler Amazing Facts

  1. The oldest Canada warbler was eight years old
  2. It builds its nest on or near the ground
  3. The white ring around each eye makes this bird look like it’s wearing glasses

Where to Find a Canada Warbler

The Canada warbler is found in North America and South America. These birds spend their breeding season in a temperate climate in Canada or the northeastern part of the United States.

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This bird is most visible in the late springtime. Birdwatchers who want to spot a Canada warbler have several things working in their favor. For one, this bird’s bright yellow feathers make it easy to see in its habitat. Second, male Canada warblers sing a beautiful song to attract females. In addition, these birds are known to hop around in the underbrush. So, they’re easier to see unlike other types of birds that remain high in the treetops!

In late summer, Canada warblers start their migration south through Texas, Mexico and then into South America. They arrive in South America in September or October where they stay for the winter.

One of the most interesting facts about this bird is the length of its migratory path. Its flight from South America back to its breeding ground in the northern United States or Canada adds up to 3,000 miles or more.

Canada warblers can be found in the following countries:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. Venezuela
  4. Colombia
  5. Peru
  6. Ecuador


In the springtime, female Canada warblers build a nest by weaving together grass, twigs, leaves, and even bark. The interior of the nest is covered with animal hair or feathers, so each baby bird has a soft place to rest. Hollow logs, rotting tree stumps, and sphagnum hummocks are all appealing places for a female Canada warbler to build a nest. Of course, a female chooses an area near the ground that’s hidden by plant life. Nest construction can take a female as long as five days.

Scientific Name

Cardellina canadensis is the scientific name of the Canada warbler. The Italian word Cardellina means goldfinch and the Latin word canadensis translates to Canada. It’s also called a necklaced warbler because of the ring of black feathers around its neck. It belongs to the Parulidae family and the class Aves.

There is a total of five subspecies of Canada warbler. The four others include:

  1. Cardellina pusilla
  2. Cardellina rubifrons
  3. Cardellina rubra
  4. Cardellina versicolor

Size, Appearance, and Behavior

Bright yellow feathers cover the breast and throat of the Canada warbler. Its wings are gray along with the top of its head. A ring of black feathers decorates its neck. This bird has two small black eyes each surrounded by a white circle.

Its size range is 4.7 to 5.9 inches long and it’s three to four inches tall. This is a tiny bird weighing from 0.32 to 0.46 ounces. The wingspan of the Canada warbler is seven to nine inches.

This animal’s bright yellow feathers make it difficult for this bird to blend into its forest or shrubland habitat. So, its main defense against predators is its speed. One of the most amazing facts about this bird is it can fly at a speed of 25mph.

Canada warbler sitting on a branch
Canada warblers are easy to identify from their bright yellow undersides, their “necklace” of black feathers, and the white circle of feathers around their eyes.

©Paul Reeves Photography/

Canada Warbler Migration Pattern and Timing

In April or May, the Canada warbler breeds in Canada and the northeastern part of the United States. Then, in late summer, Canada warblers migrate south flying through the United States to the northwestern part of South America. They arrive at their destination in September or October. These birds travel 3,000 plus miles during their migration period.

Canada Warbler Diet

Canada warblers are generally known as carnivores. But biologists sometimes refer to them as insectivores due to their diet of insects.

What does a Canada warbler eat?

Beetles, moths, flies, and caterpillars are all foods of the Canada warbler.

Canada Warbler Predators, Threats, and Conservation Status

It’s not surprising that this little bird is vulnerable to many larger animals. Sometimes it’s not fast enough to escape predators.

What eats the Canada warbler?

Snakes, hawks, and cats are all predators of the Canada warbler. Snakes sometimes prey on baby Canada warblers in the nest. Hawks are known for their excellent vision and speed, so they can easily capture a Canada warbler. Cats are also fast and able to take down a Canada warbler with very little effort.

Canada Warbler Reproduction, Young and Molting

In April or May, male Canada warblers use their cheerful song to attract female birds. Biologists believe these birds form monogamous pairs at least for a single breeding period.

The female lays three to five white eggs with brown spots. The female sits on the eggs and is fed by the male. The eggs hatch in approximately eight to 12 days. The baby Canada warbler, also called a chick comes out of the egg with no feathers and its eyes closed. The male and female care for the baby birds.

In ten days, the chicks leave the nest, but they stay in the area for two to three weeks. During this time, they are fed and watched over by their parents until they are strong fliers and can find food on their own.

The lifespan of these warblers goes up to seven years.

Canada Warbler Population

The population of this bird is reported at 2,600,000 adults. The loss of some of its forest habitat is a threat to this tiny bird and, unfortunately, its numbers are thought to be decreasing. However, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the Canada warblers’ status as Least Concern.

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Canada Warbler FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Does Canada warbler migrate?

Yes. Canada warblers migrate from Canada and the northeastern United States to South America and back again!

How many eggs does Canada warbler lay?

How many eggs does Canada warbler lay?

How fast does Canada warbler fly?

This little bird is known to travel as fast as 25mph.

What is Canada warbler’s wingspan?

Its wingspan is seven to nine inches.

When do Canada warblers leave the nest?

A baby Canada warbler also called a chick, leaves the nest at about ten days old. But they remain in the area for about two to three weeks.

Are Canada warblers rare?

They are considered rare because of a steadily declining population. Plus, they don’t stay in their breeding ground in the United States and Canada for more than a couple months.

Do Canada warblers live in Canada?

They live in a Canada for part of the year where they breed. But they need to fly southward when the temperatures begin to drop in the autumn.

What does a Canadian warbler look like?

Canada warblers have gray feathers on their wings and head along with a bright yellow feathers on their breast and throat. Each dark eye is bordered by a white circle. One of the most notable things about this bird is the ring of black feathers around its bright yellow throat.

How big is the Canada warbler?

The length of a Canada warbler can range from 4.7 to 5.9 inches. Their total weight range is just 0.32 to 0.46 ounces. The wingspan of this songbird is seven to nine inches.

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  1. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Available here:
  2. Wikipedia, Available here:
  3. Ontario, Available here:
  4. IUCN Red List, Available here:
  5. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Available here:
  6. Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Available here:
  7. Field Guide Montana, Available here:

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