Red-faced warbler

Red-faced warbler
Cardellina rubifrons
Photo by Robert Royse (Robert Royse’s Bird Photography)

Common name:
red-faced warbler (en); mariquita-de-faces-vermelhas (pt); paruline à face rouge (fr); chipe cara roja (es); dreifarben-waldsänger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Parulidae

This North American species is found breeding in northern Mexico and in Arizona and New Mexico, United States. Some population migrate south to winter in southern Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

These birds are 14-15 cm long and have a wingspan of 19-21 cm. They weigh 8-11 g.

They breed in high elevation coniferous forests, mainly Douglas fir, Engelmann spruce, and Ponderosa pine, especially where small groves of deciduous trees such as oak, maple, or aspen grow among the conifers. In winter they are found in pine, alder and oak forests. These birds occur at altitudes of 1.500-3.100 m.

These birds are insectivorous, mostly eating caterpillars, but also some adult insects.

Red-faced warblers nest on the ground, in an open cup built by female using dry leaves, conifer needles, grasses, weeds and bark, and lined with plant fibres and hairs. It is well hidden at base of scrub, rock, grass tuft, tree trunk, or under a log. There she lays 3-6 white or pinkish-white eggs with fine brown speckles, which she incubates alone for 11-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 11-13 days after hatching. The fledglings are then split between the two parents, each taking care of half the chicks for another 4-5 weeks.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 400.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction, but the red-faced warbler is not considered threatened at present.

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