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Canada warbler

Canada warbler (Cardellina canadensis) [female]
Photo ©

Canada warbler (Cardellina canadensis) [male]
Photo © Alan Murphy Photography

Features and Behaviors

This bird is about five and one-fourth inches in length. It has a “necklace” of short, black streaks on the throat that are darker in the male than in the female and the immature bird. All Canada warblers have a white eye ring and a yellow stripe from the bill to the eye. The feathers in the belly section below the tail are white. There are no white feathers in the wings or tail. The breeding male has gray feathers on the back and tail. His belly and throat are bright yellow. The female and immatures have a similar pattern of coloration, but it is duller.

The Canada warbler is a common migrant statewide and a rare summer resident in northern Illinois. It eats mainly insects, although fruits may become part of the diet in fall and winter. It winters in South America. Spring migrants began passing through Illinois in April. Fall migrants start arriving in late July and August.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Parulidae

Illinois Status: common, native