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Pine Warbler

Setophaga pinus

Length: 5.25 inches Wingspan: 8.5 inches Seasonality: Migrant
ID Keys: Plain olive upperparts, yellow on chest with dark streaks on sides, 2 white wingbars.

Pine Warbler - Setophaga pinusThe Pine Warbler is aptly named, as they strongly prefer pine forests and woodlands during the summer breeding season.  They are more sluggish than many of the warblers, and can be found slowly foraging at almost any level of the forest, from the ground to the treetops.  Unlike most warblers who tend to migrate between summer breeding grounds and wintering grounds, Pine Warblers in much of the southeastern United States are permanent residents.

Habitat: Is almost always found in pine forests during the summer breeding season, especially sandy pine barrens with a scrubby undergrowth.   They can be found in a wider variety of wooded and brushy habitats during winter months.

Diet: Strongly prefers insects and spiders in all seasons, but when not available, will also feed on pine seeds, seeds of weeds and grasses, and berries.

Behavior: Unusual behavior for a warbler in many respects, including its willingness to feed on seeds and berries, and even attend feeders for suet and other offerings, and behaves rather sluggishly compared to most warblers.

Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota

Song: Song is one-pitched musical trilling.  Click here to listen to the Pine Warbler's song.

Migration: Summers in much of the eastern United States where pine forests are present, and extreme Southeastern Canada.  Winters in much of the southeastern United States.  Note many birds in the southeastern U.S. permanent residents, as are those in the Caribbean.

Interactive eBird Map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Pine Warbler sightings

Similar Species: Fall plumaged birds similar to fall plumaged Bay-breasted Warblers and Blackpoll WarblersAlso possibly confused with Yellow-throated Vireo.

Bird Feeder: Will attend feeders for suet and other similar offerings.

Conservation Status: Numbers appear to be stable and possibly on the rise.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Pine Warbler

2) Audubon Guide - Pine Warbler

3) WhatBird - Pine Warbler

Photo Information: February 13th, 2008 - Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama - Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Pine Warbler photos.


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Pine Warbler - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Rare migrant in the eastern third of the state, accidental elsewhere.

Additional Pine Warbler Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
 Pine Warbler - Setophaga pinusPine Warbler - Setophaga pinusPine Warbler - Setophaga pinusPine Warbler - Setophaga pinus