Orange-Crowned Warbler

Leiothlypis celata or Oreothlypis celata

Once classified as Vermivora celata, scientists can’t seem to agree what to call the Orange-Crowned Warbler. Their breeding habitat is open shrubby areas across Canada, Alaska and the western United States. The nest is a small open cup well-concealed on the ground under vegetation or low in shrubs. In San Diego and most of the west coastal strip, they are year-round residents, but most of their population migrates back to Central America in the winter. When I visited south Texas in the winter of early 2021, I learned it was a winter home for many of these warblers.

Science recognizes four subspecies of this warbler. Three breed in the northern reaches of North America, but one, L. c. sordida, is resident in southern California and northern Mexico. It is this race that I enjoy year-round where I live in San Diego County.

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