This bird is tiny, smaller than a sparrow. The male has a bright yellow breast streaked with a black “necklace.” It has a prominent white wing patch, small bill, and black “mask” around the eye. Females and immature birds have gry head, fainter wingbars, and fainter streaking on the breast. All ages have a distinctive pattern under the tail: white, with broad black tip.
The Magnolia Warbler nests in thick vegetation and prefers stands of young conifers, especially spruce. We are in its breeding range, but its requirements are such that it probably nests in nearby state forests and not at SBG. During migration, it is less picky, visiting low trees and shrubs at forest edges and parks.
What brings it to the SBG?
An insect gleaner, this bird eats a lot of lepidopteran caterpillars which may account for its visit to SBG on a migration stop.
When can I see it?
Spring and fall; it migrates to Central America and the Caribbean for winter, and it nests in more forested places during summer.