Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor)


French: Paruline des prés German: Rotmantel-Waldsänger Spanish: Reinita galana

Sylvia discolor


, 1809,

“the Antilles”, in Caribbean


Species is sister to S. vitellina, but suggestion that the two are conspecifics rejected by recent molecular study#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. d. discolor (Vieillot, 1809) – SE Canada (SE Ontario) and E USA E from NW Michigan, SE Iowa, E Kansas and E Texas and S from extreme S Maine (but excluding S coastal areas and most of Florida and Mississippi Valley); migrates to peninsular Florida, Caribbean and islands off coast (also small numbers on adjacent mainland) of C Central America.
  • S. d. paludicola (A. H. Howell, 1930) – coastal S Florida.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 5·7–10·8 g. Male nominate race breeding has olive-green crown and nape, yellow supercilium and large yellow patch below eye, black... read more


    Two song types. Type 1 song a series of rapid buzzy notes, accelerating and rising in pitch towards... read more


    Nominate race breeds in dry, scrubby and shrubby areas lacking closed canopy but often with... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds mainly on insects and other arthropods, especially spiders (Araneae); occasionally takes fruit and nectar in winter. Forages mainly... read more


    Season May–Jul; S populations (including paludicola) often double-brooded. Polygyny regular, but relatively infrequent. Nest... read more


    Resident and medium-distance migrant. Nominate race migratory, leaves breeding grounds from late... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Listed as a species of conservation concern by US Fish & Wildlife Service. Nominate race generally common throughout range. Like... read more

    Recommended citation

    Curson, J. (2019). Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor). 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 13 December 2019).