Birds of North America Home Page

Field Guide for all the Birds of North America

Cape May Warbler

Paruline tigrée

Setophaga tigrina

Information, images and range maps on over 1,000 birds of North America, including sub-species, vagrants, introduced birds and possibilities

Cape May Warbler

Species: The Cape May Warbler (Dendroica castanea), especially the male, has some of the most contrasting and beautiful colours of all warblers seen in North America. Its breeding range is almost entirely in Canada, with some exposure south of the Great Lakes and along the northern boundaries of the northeastern states. The Cape May Warbler is known for defending its territory rigorously against all other bird species. Its main diet is the spruce budworm when it is in the north. But, interesting enough, it changes its diet to nectar and fruit when it is on its winter grounds. The juveniles, because of their visible yellow rump, might be confused for the immature Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Distinctions: The male has contrasting green-coloured stripes of crown, more so on the back, rump and tail. Dark green wings with a large white wing patch. Yellow supercilium, chin and on the side of the neck. Dark eyeline, with large reddish-orange cheeks. Yellow breast with multiple bold dark streaks, white undertail coverts. The female and juveniles have a similar appearance, without the reddish-orange cheeks and with duller colours overall.

Voice: Chipping call, songs sound like "seet-seet-seet-seet", repeated often.

Nesting: Three to eight creamy coloured eggs with brown markings, number of young depends on the budworm infestation. Builds a nest high in spruce trees. The nest is composed of leaves, twigs, moss and lined with fine grasses.

Birds of North America
  • Cape May Warbler
  • Cape May Warbler
  • Cape May Warbler
  • Cape May Warbler
  • Cape May Warbler
  • Cape May Warbler

Life, Habitat & Pictures of the Cape May Warbler

B L W W W Family Latin Name
5" 12.7cm 8.25" 21cm 0.4oz 11.3g Parulidae Setophaga tigrina

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Distribution: Found from the western tip of Newfoundland, through the lower half of Quebec, north to James Bay and across all the western provinces, north into the Northwest Territories, touching the Yukon and British Columbia. Around some of the Great Lakes, most northeastern states northern boundaries and all of New Brunswick and most of Nova Scotia. Spends its winters on the Caribbean islands and in South America.

References to Other Bird Sites:

These are links to websites pertaining to the different birding institutions, societies and organizations here in North America. Some of these same sites are a great asset to seeking out knowledge on birds in other regions of the world. Each of these links offer the user different methods to identify birds, whether it be by regions, habitat, appearance or maybe colour. Knowledge on the possibilities of where and what birds might be present are included.

Hinterland Who's Who Welcome to the Web site for Hinterland Who's Who It all started in 1963, with black-and-white vignettes about the loon, the moose, the gannet and the beaver. For more than 50 years, Hinterland Who’s Who has proudly been bringing Canada’s iconic wildlife directly into Canadians’ homes. Re-launched in 2003, the new series serves to rebuild the connection thousands of viewers made with wildlife through the original series. Welcome to our new website! Have a look around, and learn how you can help ensure that the wildlife remains part of what it means to be Canadian.

Avibase - the world bird database This site provides the user with a complete list of bird species, broken down per country, or in the example of the US or Canada, per state and province. Here, bird species names are available in other languages, a great asset to be used as a translation of foreign bird names.

ABA - American Birding Association This site represents an organization that maintains official records of all birds species that have been proven to have been seen inside the perimeters of the North American Continent and the surrounding bodies of water. Regular revised versions are posted to keep the bird list current at all times. This is the list used by all serious birders over their lifetime. You may be aware of the movie called the "Big Year". It was with this list that all the competing birders used in an attempt to set a new record as to how many bird species that could be seen by an individual birder in one calendar year.

The description to follow is taken from the AOS Home Page.

AOS - The American Ornitholgy Society is an international society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of birds, enriching ornithology as a profession, and promoting a rigorous scientific basis for the conservation of birds. As one of the world's oldest and largest ornithological societies, AOS produces scientific publications of the highest quality, hosts intellectually engaging and professionally vital meetings, serves ornithologists at every career stage, pursues a global perspective, and informs public policy on all issues important to ornithology and ornithological collections. AOS is distinguished by its tremendous collective expertise, including eminent scientists, conservation practitioners, early career innovators, and students.

I hope you will take advantage of these suggested websites. I have used each of them, in one way or another, throughout the years in my quest to better identify and understand our fine feathered friends.

Classic Collection of North American Birds