Texan Townsend’s Warblers

Setophaga townsendi

*Update! Someone kindly pointed out that the birds in this gallery are not Townsend’s Warblers, but Blackburnian Warblers. I will make updates soon, but for now let this note suffice about the correction.

Townsend's Warbler - Setophaga townsendi

The Townsend’s Warbler’s breeding habitat is forested lands with large coniferous trees on the Pacific northwestern coast and mountains of North America from Alaska south into Washington, Oregon and Idaho.  Their winter homes are stretched along the western coast of North American from Washington to northern Baja California, and several inland locations from southeastern Arizona to Central America.

Their nests are shallow cups built with grass and lined with moss. These nests are usually placed atop a branch in a conifer. Females have been observed dismantling a constructed nest and later tearing it down an moving it to another tree. It isn’t fully understood why they do this. Townsend’s Warblers will sometimes cross breed with their closely related cousins, the Hermit Warbler.

I sometimes see these birds at my Southern California home during migration, but to date my favorite encounters with this and several other warbler species has been atop Santa Rosa Mountain in southern Riverside County (California). While I was on South Padre Island in Texas, I met this species. Proving once again that birds sometimes ignore range maps. To view the birds I’ve met in California and Arizona, visit the Species Gallery.

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