Skip to main content

Bird Gallery

Cape May Warbler

Cape May Warbler
Cape May Warbler (male, breeding plumage)

© Greg Lavaty, High Island, 2009

Setophaga tigrina

Family: (Parulidae) Wood-Warblers

Preferred Habitat: Forests.

Seasonal Occurrence: Occasional in spring.

Notes: Cape May Warblers are a rare sight in Texas. Most sightings occur in the spring on the Upper Texas Coast. Males in breeding plumage have bright chestnut ear patches; females lack the ear patch and are somewhat duller in color. Note the yellow rump, found in both sexes. Fall immature birds are difficult to identify and resemble Yellow-rumped Warblers. Cape May Warblers breed in the spruce forests primarily in Canada, and winter in the Caribbean Islands. Their diet consists mainly of insects, and breeding success is closely tied to the relative abundance of the Spruce Budworm. The Cornell Lab or Ornithology reports that Cape May Warblers are alone among warblers to have a tubular tongue which they use to feed on nectar and berry juice in winter.
- Susan Billetdeaux

Cape May Warbler
Cape May Warbler (female, breeding plumage)

© Joanne Kamo, Quintana, 2008