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Kirtland's Warbler - BirdForum Opus

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Setophaga kirtlandii

Dendroica kirtlandii


Length 15 cm (4.75 inches), weight 12–16 g

  • Thin, pointed bill, broken eye ring, gray nape and upperparts, yellow throat, breast and belly, white undertail coverts, streaked sides and flanks, dull white wing bars, dark legs
  • Male: brighter colors, with black lores, slightly blue-gray upperparts, and bright yellow underparts
  • Female: duller colors, with gray lores and upperparts and pale yellow underparts
  • Juvenile: as female, but upperparts even duller, slightly brownish-gray


Photo by bobsofpa
Magee Marsh, Ohio, USA, 14 May 2013

Nests primarily in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, USA. In 2007 the species was found nesting in nearby areas of Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada. Migrates across the southeastern United States to its wintering grounds in the Bahamas. Accidental over short distances north, west, and east of breeding range.


This is a monotypic species.
Formerly placed in the genus Dendroica.


Breeds only in even-aged young Jack Pine Pinus banksiana forests 2–7 m tall and with dense ground cover that develop following forest fires. When the pines grow above 7 m tall, the ground cover gets shaded out and is unsuitable for nesting and the birds move elsewhere to find younger pines. Rarely also uses young Red Pine Pinus resinosa forests. The population has increased from around 200 pairs in the 1970s to 1600 pairs, due to careful management to optimize the area of Jack Pine stands of suitable age. Winters in Bahamas Pine Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis forests.


Its nests generally are concealed in mixed vegetation of grasses and shrubs, lined with moss and built by the female. Four or five cream eggs are laid, and are incubated for 13-16 days.

The diet of the warbler includes many different insect species at various developmental stages, including caterpillars, butterflies, moths, flies, grasshoppers, as well as ripe blueberries.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Avibase

Recommended Citation

External Links

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