Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Black-cheeked Warbler (Basileuterus melanogenys)


French: Paruline sombre German: Schwarzwangen-Waldsänger Spanish: Reinita carinegra

Basileuterus melanogenys

S. F. Baird

, 1865,

Costa Rica


Sometimes considered conspecific with B. ignotus; genetic data indicate a sister relationship between present species and B. belli, but B. ignotus was not sampled#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. m. melanogenys S. F. Baird, 1865 – C & S Costa Rica.
  • B. m. eximius Nelson, 1912 – W Panama in vicinity of Boquete (Chiriquí).
  • B. m. bensoni Griscom, 1927 – W Panama in vicinity of Chitrá (Veraguas).
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5 cm; 11·8 g. Nominate race has rufous crown separated from long white supercilium by narrow black lateral crownstripe, face black; nape and upperparts olive... read more


    Song a spluttering and lisping jumble of notes, transcribed as "tsi tsi wee tsi tsi wu tsi wee... read more


    Montane oak (Quercus) forest with dense bamboo understorey, and sometimes in shrubby p... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds mainly on insects and other arthropods, especially spiders (Araneae); also takes some berries. Forages mainly by gleaning at low... read more


    Egg-laying in Apr–Jun, and food-carrying adults observed in Jun. Nest a bulky domed structure made from bamboo and other leaves, fern... read more


    Resident; groups wander widely outside breeding season.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Costa Rica and Panama Highlands EBA. Uncommon to fairly common. No population estimates available.

    Recommended citation

    Curson, J. (2019). Black-cheeked Warbler (Basileuterus melanogenys). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 September 2019).