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Number of species: 72

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Nashville Warbler - Oreothlypis ruficapilla

Most Nashville Warblers can be aged and sexed by plumage, but some differences are relatively subtle, and especially for HY/SY males and AHY/ASY females, checking multiple criteria is advised

Quick Tips:

  • Consider the face - AHY/ASY males have a distinct white eye ring contrasting with a blue-gray background, AHY/ASY female and HY/SY males have a whitish to white eye ring on a dull gray background, and HY/SY females have a dull buffy to whitish eye ring on an olive-gray background
  • Examine the crown patch (often partly to entirely concealed at rest) - on AHY/ASY males it is large and deep rufous; on HY/SY males it is rufous but moderate in size, on AHY/ASY females it is moderate in size but pale rufous, and on HY/SY females it is small and pale rufous if present at all
  • Look at the tail - on HY/SY birds the rectrices tend to be fairly narrow, pointed, and by spring often pale brownish; on AHY/ASY birds they are relatively broad and rounded at the tip, and typically darker and fresher in appearance
  • Check the wing for a molt limit on HY/SY individuals either between brownish primary and greenish greater coverts, or among the outer greater coverts; AHY/ASY birds have a more uniformly olive-green wing

Species account prepared by McGill Bird Observatory

Click on any image below to bring up the side-by-side comparison tool.
Age / Sex  Image sets 
Hatch year / Unknown
Thumbnail - MG2-2550-82017-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2597.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2550-82017-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2595.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2550-82017-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2596.jpg
Date: Sep 14
After hatch year / Male
Gray head with a distinct white eye-ring and a large, deep rufous cap, often concealed; upperparts olive and underparts yellow; rectrices relatively broad and dark.
Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41824-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2606.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41824-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2604.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41824-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2605.jpg
Date: Oct 2
After hatch year / Female
Dull gray head, whitish eye-ring, and moderate sized, pale rufous cap, usually concealed; chin and throat yellowish to whitish and underparts otherwise medium yellow; rectrices relatively broad and dark.
Thumbnail - MG2-2630-68545-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2603.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-68545-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2601.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-68545-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2602.jpg
Date: Oct 1
Second year / Male
Dull gray head, whitish to white eye-ring, and moderate sized, rufous cap, usually concealed; chin and throat yellowish, and underparts otherwise bright yellow; rectrices tapered and brownish.
Thumbnail - MG2-2180-49743-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2585.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2180-49743-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2583.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2180-49743-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2584.jpg
Date: May 15
Second year / Female
Head olive-gray, eye-ring dull whitish; concealed cap absent or pale rufous if present; chin and throat whitish to pale yellow, and underparts dull yellow; rectrices tapered and brownish.
Thumbnail - MG2-2180-49746-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2582.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2180-49746-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2580.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2180-49746-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2581.jpg
Date: May 18
After second year / Male
Blue-gray head with a distinct white eye-ring and a large, deep rufous cap, often concealed; upperparts olive and underparts bright yellow; rectrices relatively broad and dark.
Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48701-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2591.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48701-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2589.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48701-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2590.jpg
Date: May 5
After second year / Female
Dull gray head, whitish eye-ring, and moderate sized, pale rufous cap, usually concealed; chin and throat yellowish to whitish and underparts otherwise mostly medium to bright yellow; rectrices relatively broad and dark.
Thumbnail - MG2-2180-49744-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2588.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2180-49744-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2586.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2180-49744-Oreothlypis_ruficapilla_AOU_7_52-2587.jpg
Date: May 15

Additional age / sex class descriptions

The following additional age / sex class descriptions were found for this species:
Age / Sex   Age / Sex class description
Hatch year / Female Head olive-gray, contrasting little with back, eye-ring buffy; rufous cap usually absent or minimal; chin and throat whitish to pale yellow, and underparts mixed yellowish and whitish; rectrices tapered and brownish.
Juvenile / Unknown Upperparts brownish and underparts grayish; distinct buffy-yellow wing bars.
Hatch year / Male Dull gray head, whitish eye-ring, and moderate sized, rufous cap, usually concealed; chin and throat yellowish, and underparts otherwise yellow, but pale in spots; rectrices tapered and somewhat brownish.
Number of species: 72

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