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magnolia warbler

magnolia warbler (Setophaga magnolia) [male]
Photo ©

magnolia warbler (Setophaga magnolia) [male]
Photo © Rob Curtis/The Early Birder

Features and Behaviors

The magnolia warbler is about five inches long. The breeding male, nonbreeding male and female have a similar color pattern, but the colors are most prominent in the breeding male. The head and back are gray-black. The tail is black with a white band across the center. The belly and throat feathers are yellow with black streaks on the belly feathers. There is a white line above and behind the eye. White patches are present on the tail and wings.

The magnolia warbler is a common migrant through Illinois. It eats mainly insects, although fruits may become part of the diet in fall and winter. It nests far to the north and east of Illinois and winters in Mexico and northern Central America. Spring migrants begin arriving in Illinois in April. Fall migrants start returning to the state in August.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native