Birds of North America Home Page

Field Guide for all the Birds of North America

Cerulean Warbler

Paruline azuré

Setophaga cerulea

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


Species: The Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica castanea) is found in mature open deciduous forest. It is an extremely hard bird to observe, because of its small size and habit of nesting or feeding high up in the crowns of the mature trees. In recent years, because of deforestation, this beautiful warbler is in declining numbers, but on a positive note, it is expanding into northeastern North America. This may be a chance to increase its numbers with a larger breeding range. Because of the plain green appearance of the juvenile, there is a possibility of confusing it with the Tennessee Warbler.

Distinctions: The colour of the male is described as sky blue. Blue head, back, wings and tail. White throat, breast and undertail coverts, black streaking on its flanks, black streaking forming a band around the throat. Both sexes have prominent white wingbars, dark lores. The female has light-coloured streaking on the throat and flanks, greenish-yellow face and throat, with dark lores. White or creamy lower breast and undertail coverts. Bluish-green crown, wings and back, juvenile has greenish cheeks, crown, nape and back, dark wings with two white wingbars, greenish-white breast and supercilium.

Voice: Chipping call, buzzy notes, songs sound like "zray-zray-zray-zreeeee", repeated often.

Nesting: Three to five creamy or greenish-white coloured eggs with brown markings. Builds its nest high up in mature deciduous tree, away from the center. The nest is composed of leaves, twigs, moss and lined with fine grasses and hair.

Birds of North America
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Life, Habitat & Pictures of North American Warblers

B L W W W Family Latin Name
4.75" 12cm 7.75" 19.7cm 0.35oz 9.9g Parulidae Setophaga cerulea

North American Bird Calls

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  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter
range map

Distribution: Found from southern boundaries of Quebec, into southern Ontario, south of the Great Lakes, west to Minnesota. Touching the western borders of Arkansas, to western South Carolina, northwest to Massachusetts. It is expanding into northeastern North America. It spends its winters 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