Meet the Colorful Canada Warbler

Learn what a Canada warbler looks like and where to find them during breeding season and migration. Also see fellow birders' pictures of Canada warblers.

canada warblerCourtesy Lisa Trimble

“I have never seen this pretty yellow bird before. I think it is a Canada warbler. Is this a rare sighting in my area?” asks Lisa Trimble of Delanco, New Jersey.

Kenn and Kimberly: Yes, this is a Canada warbler, probably a female or a young bird. Late August is well within the period of their fall migration, when Canada warblers leave their nesting grounds for their winter range in South America. Although this species is a regular migrant through your general area, it often hides in thickets or forest undergrowth, so it’s a rare treat to have one as a backyard visitor. Congratulations on spotting it and getting such a good photo!

In spring, Canada warblers reverse directions and trek more than 3,000 miles from South America to spring breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada. Look for them in shrubby, deciduous and mixed conifer forests, and on woodland slopes.

Discover 16 spring warblers you should know.

What Does a Canada Warbler Look Like?

According to the Kaufman Field Guide to the Birds of North America, this species has a bold yellow eye-ring and a necklace of bold black streaks on its yellow breast. The blue-gray colored back is unmarked, with no visible wing bars or tail spots.

Learn how to identify a palm warbler and a magnolia warbler.

Canada Warbler Photos

canada warblerCourtesy Evelyn Johnson

“My husband and I have been avid photographers for over 30 years, focusing on wildlife and birds for the last several years. As most birders know, spring time is a time for migration. Warblers are extremely popular and challenging to photograph. This spring we were privileged to capture with our lens several firsts of the warbler species, including this Canada warbler in Franklin, Wisconsin,” says Evelyn Johnson.

Meet the acrobatic Nashville warbler and the Tennessee warbler.

canada warblerCourtesy Susan Boyce

“A few springs ago, we had a late-season blizzard. In the weeks following the storm, eight new bird species I’d never seen before showed up on our property. This male Canada warbler was one of them. He sat in the dogwood bush outside my window, just resting and looking around. I love how his colors pop against the background of new grass after the snowmelt,” says Susan Boyce.

Yellow warbler vs goldfinch: Here’s how to tell the difference.

canada warblerCourtesy Elisa Shaw

“I am an amateur birder and look forward to spring warbler migration here in New York. A small pond across the street from our house draws several types of warblers in every spring. I was especially thrilled to get three Canada warblers over the course of five days. One bird in particular posed for me for a few minutes in the morning,” says Elisa Shaw.

Next, learn about cerulean warblers, yellow-rumped warblers and Wilson’s warblers.

Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman
Kenn and Kimberly are the official Birds & Blooms bird experts. They are the duo behind the Kaufman Field Guide series. They speak and lead bird trips all over the world. When they're not traveling, they enjoy watching birds and other wildlife in their Northwest Ohio backyard.