People passionate about nature

Canada Warbler

Photo by Bob Shettler

How do I recognize it? 

A male Canada Warbler can be identified by its blue-gray upper parts and bright yellow breast and throat.  Females display the same colour pallette, but the colours are less vibrant.  Both sexes sport a “necklace” of black to brown stripes that form a collar on the breast.  Yellow rings around the eyes are an easily noticeable field mark.

Is it migratory?

Canada Warbler spends the winter in northwestern South America, and returns to its breeding grounds which stretch across Canada (excluding Nuvavut, Newfoundland and Labrador) and northeastern United States any time from mid-May to mid-June.  It begins its fall migration earlier than other warbler species, as early as mid-July.

Where does it live?

Canada Warbler breeds in the southern boreal forest of Manitoba, north to at least The Pas.  It prefers sloping areas with a dense understory in wet, mixed forest.  Though  Canada Warbler is generally uncommon in Manitoba, up to 80% of the global breeding population occurs in Canada.

Where can I see it? 

You can find it in Riding Mountain National Park, Whiteshell Provincial Park and Tulabi Falls area in Nopiming Provincial Park.  It can also be seen in various city parks during migration.

Conservation Status:

Canada Warbler is a Species at Risk and is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), and the Migratory Birds Convention Act.  It is also listed as Threatened by COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada).  Declines of this warbler are especially evident in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes but populations in Manitoba are also at risk.  On it's wintering grounds, up to 95% of the mountain forests that it inhabits have been converted to agriculture.   Pressures in Canada include land conversion, habitat fragmentation, logging, as well as oil and gas drilling.  A decrease in food availability (flying insects) is also a factor.

How can I help them?

Taking part in Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) can help identify declines or increases in populations.  Enter your Canada Warbler sightings into eBird.  Speak up for conserving wild places in Manitoba!

Did you know?

These warblers have been fitted with geolocators which sit on the bird's back.  These small devices measure light levels and Greenwich Mean Time, thus enabling researchers to determine on a daily basis the latitude and longitude where the bird has been.  The recovered data will serve to  identify possible pressures impacting Canada Warbler and what more can be done to conserve this species.