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Our Backyard Birds: The Pine Warbler

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A Pine Warbler	(Setophaga pinus)  on a branch
Male Pine Warbler

Backyard Birding: The Pine Warbler

(Setophaga pinus)


Millet, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and peanut butter. However, their favorite is suet made with peanut butter.


Elevated platform feeders, Suet feeders, and peanut butter bird feeders


The Pine Warbler is a warbler with a long tail and a sturdy beak. Its tail usually has a central notch at the tip. The Pine Warbler is yellowish with olive backs, whitish bellies, and two distinct white bars on its gray wings. Adult males are the most vibrant, while females and young birds are more subdued and may even appear gray-brown. Although the Pine Warbler doesn't display strong patterns like other warblers, it has a weak "spectacled" appearance on its face, with a pale eye ring connected to a pale stripe in front of the eye.


Most warblers leave the continental U.S. for winter, but the Pine Warbler stays in the Southeast and is one of the first to return northward in spring. It arrives as early as February in areas just north of the wintering range and may begin breeding by late April.

Pine Warblers typically forage and sing high in pine trees. Males are aggressive in the early breeding season. In winter Pine Warblers forage in mixed-species flocks, keeping a few feet of space between each other. Males establish breeding territories in late winter or spring, singing persistently and chasing intruders. Pine Warblers nearly always build their nests in pine trees, usually in pine or mixed pine-deciduous forests. Nests tend to be high in the tree and concealed among needles and cones. Both parents will perform broken-wing displays to lure predators away from the nest. After the young fledge, the warblers move around in family groups. The best way to find Pine Warblers is to narrow them down by habitat and voice. Head for a pine forest and then listen for a clear, steady, trilling song. Pine Warblers can be easily obscured by tufts of needles, but a bit of patience is likely to be rewarded.

A Pine Warbler	(Setophaga pinus) at a suet feeder
Pine Warbler at backyard suet feeder

I hope you found the information about the Pine Warbler and attracting them to your backyard helpful. If you are new to my website or blog, welcome, and thank you for joining us. To stay updated on future Backyard Birding blog posts and receive occasional discounts and newsletters, please subscribe here. Remember to always follow the Nature First and Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them. If you know anyone who loves birds, bird photography, or backyard birding, please share this post with them.

Until next time, keep the sun behind you and the birds in view.


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