Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Nashville Warbler (Leiothlypis ruficapilla)


French: Paruline à joues grises German: Rubinfleck-Waldsänger Spanish: Reinita de Nashville

Sylvia ruficapilla

A. Wilson

, 1811,

near Nashville, Tennessee, USA


Has been considered conspecific with L. virginiae and L. crissalis, but such an arrangement not generally accepted#R. Has hybridized with L. peregrina, L. celata#R and probably with Setophaga ruticilla and Vermivora cyanoptera. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. r. ridgwayi (van Rossem, 1929) – from SW Canada (S British Columbia, SW Alberta) S in USA to C California; migrates to wintering grounds mainly in W Mexico (a few also in coastal S California).
  • L. r. ruficapilla (A. Wilson, 1811) – S & SE Canada (Saskatchewan E to S Quebec and S Newfoundland) and NE USA (Minnesota E to New England, and S in Appalachians to West Virginia); migrates to E Mexico and Guatemala, and locally to El Salvador, a few also in S Texas (and casually along Gulf coast to NW Florida).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 6·7–13·9 g. A small, dainty parulid. Male nominate race breeding is olive-green above with contrasting grey head and neck, bold white... read more


    Song of nominate is a series of “see-see” notes followed by a trill, similar to that of... read more


    Nominate race breeds in tamarack (Larix) and spruce (Picea) bogs in boreal forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds principally on insects, also some other invertebrates; also nectar and berries in winter. Forages at all levels from lower branches... read more


    Season May–Aug; egg-laying May–Jul, usually Jun–Jul. Nest a cup of moss, bark strips, leaves and grass, lined with fine... read more


    Migratory. Nominate race leaves breeding grounds during Aug and Sept, heads mostly S through... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common. Has probably increased over the last century in many areas owing to local increases in favoured habitat following... read more

    Recommended citation

    Curson, J. (2019). Nashville Warbler (Leiothlypis ruficapilla). 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 9 December 2019).