Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum)


French: Paruline vermivore German: Haldenwaldsänger Spanish: Reinita gusanera

Motacilla vermivora

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA




Over much of E USA S of Great Lakes (excluding Florida Peninsula and much of S Atlantic coastal plain); distribution centred around Appalachians and adjacent areas. Migrates to lowlands of Central America from S & E Mexico S to W Panama, and Caribbean.

Descriptive notes

11–13 cm; 11·8–17·4 g. Head is rich buff, with broad blackish lateral crownstripe and narrower blackish eyestripe; upper­parts uniformly olive-... read more


Song a monotonous loud dry trill on even pitch similar to that of Chipping Sparrow (Spizella... read more


Breeds on wooded ravines and hillsides in deciduous and mixed woodlands with dense undergrowth,... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on insects, especially caterpillars, and other arthropods, especially spiders (Araneae). Forages primarily by gleaning in understorey... read more


Season May–Jul, egg-laying May–Jun. Nest a cup of dead leaves, lined with hair, moss and stems of maple (Acer) leaves... read more


Short-distance to medium-distance migrant. Leaves breeding grounds mainly from late Jul, those in E... read more

Status and conservation

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

Recommended citation

Curson, J. (2019). Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum). 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 6 December 2019).