Hermit Warbler

Setophaga occidentalis
Range Map

The Hermit Warblers are shy birds that dwell in open coniferous forests. Their summer breeding range is most of the northwest coast of Washington, Oregon and northern California. They also breed in the mountains of southern California. During winter, these birds migrate south and stay from central Mexico through Central America.

In 2011, scientists who study genetics shook up the genus of nearly every new world warbler species. They abandon the genus Dendroica (wood warbler) and replaced with Setophaga (moth eater). Gone now is Dendroica occidentalis. Say hello to Setophaga occidentalis!

I once ran into Hermit Warblers while crossing the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon, but the birds there stayed so high in the canopy, I didn’t attempt taking any pictures. I was familiar with species from the time I spent in the Santa Rosa Mountains of Riverside County (southern California). I met quite a few unfamiliar bird species at 7500 feet on that desert sky island.

Today, science regards the Hermit Warbler as monotypic (i.e. there are no subspecies).

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Click map markers to reveal further information