Skip to main content

Townsend's warbler

Townsend's warbler (Setophaga townsendi)
Photo © Rob Curtis, The Early Birder

Features and Behaviors

Townsend’s warbler is about five inches long (bill tip to tail tip in preserved specimen). The male has a black patch of feathers on the cheek, black throat feathers and a black cap of feathers. The ventral side has yellow feathers in the center and sides with black stripes also on the sides. The female and immature have a similar color pattern, but they show yellow on the throat instead of black, and the dark patches on the head are not as dark black as in the male.

This is a species of the western United States, where it lives in areas of pines and other conifers. It has been seen in Illinois but very rarely. It is also occasionally observed in several of Illinois’ border states. These birds are casual fall migrants east of the Rocky Mountains.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: casual, native