Orange-crowned WarblerVermivora celata

adult male, Pacific
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
immature (1st fall)
Dustin Huntington/VIREO
adult male, Interior West
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
adult male Pacific
Brian E. Small/VIREO
adult, Northern
Robert Royse/VIREO
Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler



4 1/2-5 1/2" (11-14 cm). Olive green above with orange crown feathers, which usually remain hidden. Olive-yellow underparts with very faint breast streaking. No eye ring or wing bars.


Song is a simple trill going up or down the scale toward the end. Call a sharp stik.


songs #3
alarm chips
songs #1
songs #2


Forest edges, especially in low deciduous growth, burns, clearings, and thickets. On migration, often seen in riverside willows and in scrub oak chaparral.


Breeds from Alaska east to Quebec and Labrador and south to California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Winters from southern United States into tropics.


The Orange-crowned Warbler is one of the most common western warblers and a rather rare migrant in the East. Its very lack of conspicuous field marks is an aid to its identification. Like other birds with concealed crown patches, this warbler displays the crown only during courtship or when alarmed.


4-6 white eggs, with reddish or lavender spots often concentrated around the large end, in a rather large nest of grass and other plant fibers that is lined with fur or feathers. Nest is usually placed on the ground or in a low shrub.

Similar Species


Arctic Warbler

4 3/4" (12 cm). Olive green above, with dark line through eye and light greenish-yellow eyebrow. Whitish throat and belly; olive-gray sides; indistinct single wing bar. Pale legs.

adult male, Interior West, breeding

Yellow Warbler

4 1/2-5" (11-13 cm). Bright yellow with a light olive green tinge on back. Male has fine rusty streaks on breast. The only largely yellow warbler with yellow spots in the tail (not white).

adult male, Interior

Common Yellowthroat

4 1/2-6" (11-15 cm). Olive-brown above, bright yellow on throat and upper breast. Male has bold black mask, bordered above with white.

adult male

Lucy's Warbler

4" (10 cm). A small, plain warbler with white eye ring. Both sexes gray above, creamy white below, with bright chestnut rump. Chestnut crown feathers usually concealed, except in display.

adult male, breeding

Tennessee Warbler

5" (13 cm). In spring, male greenish above, white below, with gray cap, white line over eye, dusky line through eye. In fall, olive above, yellowish below.

adult male

Nashville Warbler

4-5" (10-13 cm). Olive green above, bright yellow below, with top and sides of head gray, narrow white eye ring, and inconspicuous patch of rust on crown.


Warbling Vireo

5-6" (13-15 cm). Sparrow-sized. Similar to Red-eyed Vireo: olive-green above, whitish below, with no wing bars-but lacks bold face pattern, having only a narrow white eyebrow.


Philadelphia Vireo

6" (15 cm). Sparrow-sized. Olive above, yellowish below, with pale eyebrow, dark line through eye to base of bill, and no wing bars.


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