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Swainson's warbler

Swainson's warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) [state endangered]
Photo ©

Features and Behaviors

Swainson’s warbler is about five and one-half inches long (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). It has a long bill for a warbler. The top of the head has rust-red feathers, and there is a white stripe over the eye. There are green-brown feathers on the back with light tan feathers on the breast, throat and belly.

This bird stays close to the ground to mid-height in vegetation. It is at the northern limit of its range in southern Illinois. Its nest is built in plants above ground level. A clutch contains one to seven eggs, and one brood is raised per year. Swainson’s warbler eats insects and fruits.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: ​state endangered, native

Swainson’s warbler has always been uncommon in the state and is now extremely rare. Preservation of large tracts of bottomland forest and dense cane stands are critical for its survival in Illinois.