Skip to main content

pine warbler

pine warbler (Setophaga pinus) [female]
Photo © Rob Curtis/The Early Birder

pine warbler (Setophaga pinus) [male]
Photo © Alan Murphy Photography

Features and Behaviors

The pine warbler is five to five and one-half inches in length. Two white wing bars, a dark cheek, pale stripes on the sides of the breast and white tail spots are common to males and females of this species. The male also has a yellow breast and olive-green back. The female is duller with green-brown coloration on the back.

The pine warbler is an uncommon migrant, uncommon summer resident in southern Illinois and very rare winter resident in the state. It is unusual for a warbler in that it often eats seeds as well as insects and that is why this species can overwinter in the state. These birds winter in the southern United States. Spring migrants begin returning in late March. This bird’s preferred habitat includes pine or mixed conifer-pine woods, where it forages in the upper regions of the trees. It nests from eight to 80 feet above ground in a pine tree. A clutch usually contains four eggs. Fall migrants begin leaving in September.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native