Four Warblers - Not Common to Idaho

By Dave Hanks

The warbler family is very extensive. North American field guides list 55 American species. Most of those are found east of the Mississippi River. We do have some out here in the west - but for extensive warbler study, one must go to the eastern states.

Warblers are Passeniformes (perching birds). They are fairly small, insectivorous, and vocal. There are a few exceptions, but most have some yellow or dullish green feathers. They tend to be heard before they are seen, and a real warbler expert is able to identify each species on the basis of song alone. Other small birds that can be easily misidentified as warblers are vireos.

Pictured are four that are not common to Idaho. This sample can give the feel of this class of birds.

BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER: A western, coastal species. Usually found in chaparral.

HOODED WARBLER: Stays hidden in dense undergrowth, and prefers moist woodlands.

PRAIRIE WARBLER: It is common in open scrublands and overgrown fields. A southeastern species.

WORM-EATING WARBLER: Another bird that prefers dense undergrowth, especially on wooded slopes. It forages through clusters of dead leaves to find its food.