Red-Faced Warbler

Cardellina rubrifrons
Range Map

In spring, Red-Faced Warblers migrate north from their central and southern Mexico winter homes and parts of Central America. Some migrate to the “Sky Islands” of Southern Arizona and seek the higher elevations where conifers and oaks dominate the forests. They place their nest in a shallow hole in ground, beneath a log or plant.

I met the Red-Faced Warbler during a memorable stay on Mount Lemmon (north of Tucson, Arizona) in the spring of 2017. I spent three days at a location called Incinerator Ridge, and made the acquaintance of several new species, including the Grace’s Warbler, and the Olive Warbler.

This bird molts only once a year, at the end of summer, but it keeps its colorful plumage all year. Males are typically brighter than females.

Researchers believe the Red-Faced Warbler is monotypic, meaning there are no subspecies.

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