Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)


French: Paruline à collier German: Meisenwaldsänger Spanish: Parula norteña

Parus americanus


, 1758,

northern America = South Carolina, USA


Previously placed in genus Parula, along with S. pitiayumi, as well as Oreothlypis gutturalis and O. superciliosa (which are closer to Vermivora). Has hybridized with S. dominica, as well as with S. ruticilla and S. coronata. Sometimes considered conspecific with S. pitiayumi, but the two differ in migratory behaviour and plumage characters. NE populations proposed as race pusilla (described from Pennsylvania) and W ones as race ludoviciana (from Mississippi Valley), the latter based on difference in Type 1 song; both generally considered insufficiently differentiated to warrant recognition. Monotypic.


SE Canada (SE Manitoba E to Nova Scotia) and E USA (Minnesota, Michigan and New England S, excluding most of S Great Lakes area, to Gulf of Mexico coast and C Florida). Winters from E Mexico S to Honduras (rare to C Panama), and in West Indies; also winters in smaller numbers in S Florida and Bermuda.

Descriptive notes

10·5–12 cm; 7·1–10·2 g. Male has blue-grey head and upperparts, with large yellowish-green patch on mantle, blackish lores, prominent white... read more


Has two song types. Typical Type 1 song is a rising, buzzy, pulsating trill that ends abruptly with... read more


Breeds in wide variety of woodlands and forests, almost always associated with old man's beard... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds mainly on insects and other invertebrates, such as spiders (Araneae); may take some berries, seeds and nectar in winter, and has been... read more


Season Apr–Aug, egg-laying Apr–Jul. Polygyny has been recorded. Nest almost always formed in hanging bunch of Usnea or... read more


Migratory. Leaves breeding areas in Aug, majority moving S along Atlantic coast to Florida and then... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common throughout range. Populations appear to be stable, although recent short-term declines detected in E range, along... read more

Recommended citation

Curson, J. (2019). Northern Parula (Setophaga americana). 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).