Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum)


French: Paruline à couronne rousse German: Palmenwaldsänger Spanish: Reinita palmera

Motacilla palmarum

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic


Affinities within genus uncertain; has been considered most closely related to S. discolor and S. pinus. Has hybridized with S. coronata (of nominate race). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. p. palmarum (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Western Palm Warbler – C & SC Canada from Northwest Territories and Alberta E to Ontario; migrates to Bermuda, Florida, Caribbean (mainly Bahamas and Greater Antilles) and, in smaller numbers, US Atlantic coast and E coast of Central America; occasional further south.
  • S. p. hypochrysea (Ridgway, 1876) – Eastern Palm Warbler – E Ontario (locally) and W Quebec E to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and NE United States (N Minnesota, Wisconsin, N Michigan, N New York, Maine); migrates to Gulf of Mexico coast from Texas E to W Florida.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; 7–12·9 g. Largely terrestrial parulid with tail-wagging habit. Nominate race breeding has rufous crown, pale yellowish supercilium, dark... read more


    Nominate race, at least, has two song types. Type 1 song a series of (usually) 7–10 buzzy... read more


    Breeds in bogs in open coniferous forest, especially where spruce (Picea) and tamarack (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds mainly on insects and other arthropods, but takes some seeds, berries and nectar in winter. Forages mainly on ground and in low... read more


    Season May–Jul. Nest a cup of weed stalks, grass, bark strips and moss, lined with fine grass and feathers, usually concealed on... read more


    Medium-distance to long-distance migrant. Leaves breeding grounds from early Sept, arriving in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally fairly common to common throughout range. Breeding Bird Surveys revealed significant increase from 1966 to 1994. Population... read more

    Recommended citation

    Curson, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum). 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 17 November 2019).