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Wilson's warbler

Wilson's warbler (Cardellina pusilla) [female]
Photo ©

Wilson's warbler (Cardellina pusilla) [male]
Photo © Alan Murphy Photography

Features and Behaviors

Wilson’s warbler is about four and three-fourths inches long (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). Its eye is dark. The male has a black-feathered cap. The rest of his head feathers and belly feathers are yellow. The female has same the color pattern, but her cap feathers are dark, not black. Immature birds have a yellow eye stripe and golden-yellow feathers.

Spring migrants begin arriving in April. They prefer low to medium heights in trees and shrubs. Fall migrants begin moving through Illinois in August. Wilson’s warbler overwinters from the Gulf coastal states through Panama. It eats insects and fruits.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native