News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters Country birds

Orange-crowned warblers (Oreothlypis celata) are beginning to arrive and their trill can be heard in the underbrush along streams and lakes.

One of the plainest of warblers, the orange feathers on its head are almost never visible. This species is also among the most hardy. They are usually seen singly, sometimes loosely associated with flocks of other birds. In all seasons they tend to stay fairly low, in bushes or small trees, flicking their tails frequently as they search among the foliage for insects.

Males arrive on breeding grounds before females, and establish territory by singing from medium-high branches. Typically males return to territories defended the previous year. Nest sites are protected from above by overhanging vegetation, usually on the ground in small depressions or on steep banks.

Females lay four or five, white or creamy eggs with reddish-brown speckles. Females incubate for 11 to 13 days. Young are fed by both parents, but brooded only by the female, and leave the nest in 10 to 13 days when they still fly poorly. Both parents feed the young for at least a few days after they leave the nest.

This particular orange-crowned is showing more orange than I have ever seen. A group of warblers has many collective nouns, including a bouquet, confusion, fall, and wrench of warblers.

For more orange-crowned warbler photos visit


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