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Rufous-capped Warbler

Basileuterus rufifrons

Length: 5.25 inches Wingspan: 8 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Olive back, yellow chest/throat, rufous face and cap, white "eyebrow"

Rufous-capped Warbler - Basileuterus rufifronsThe Rufous-capped Warbler is a tropical warbler of Mexico and Central America and as far south as Venezuela, but they have been found in the United States on occasion.  Most sightings have been in far southern Texas, but they have also been found in Arizona. Sightings used to be considered extremely rare, but they have increased in recent years, with sightings now almost every year.  Nesting pairs have  now been confirmed in Arizona.  They are very active birds, moving quickly on the ground or through low vegetation, keeping its tail cocked and occasionally flicking it as it goes.  However, they can be hard to see given their preference for thick cover.

Habitat: Found in tropical brushland, forest edges, and forest clearings. They can use a variety of shrubby habitats, but generally avoid thick, unbroken forest lands.

Diet: Feeds on insects and spiders

Behavior: Forages on the ground or low in vegetation.

Nesting: The nest is a dome of grasses and other materials, placed on a protected slope, or next to a stump or rock.  The female lays between 2 and 4 eggs, and she does most of the incubating.

Song: Song is a repeated chip-chip-chip ending with a higher trilling.

Migration: Considered a permanent resident throughout its normal range.

Interactive eBird map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Rufous-capped Warbler sightings

Similar Species: Similar to the Chestnut-capped Warbler, Golden-browed Warbler (neither found in the United States)

Feeders: Has attended feeders for sugar water, nuts, and fruits.

Conservation Status: Populations are stable and are found over a wide geographic range. The IUCN lists the Rufous-capped Warbler as a species of "least concern".

Further Information: 1) BirdLife International - Rufous-capped Warbler

2) WhatBird - Rufous-capped Warbler

3) Cornell's NeoTropical Birds - Rufous-capped Warbler

Photo Information: Photo by "Jei Pov" - Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License


Click below for a higher-resolution map
Rufous-capped Warbler - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Rufous-capped Warbler Photos (coming soon!!)