9 Types of Warblers in Michigan

Last Updated on December 1, 2022 by Lily Aldrin

Warblers mostly consume insects, although they frequently visit backyard feeders in search of seeds or mealworms.

We shall learn about the Types of Warbler in Michigan.

Common Yellow ThroatCommon Yellow Throat
Yellow WarblerYellow Warbler
Black-throated Green WarblerBlack-throated Green Warbler
Northern ParulaNorthern Parula
Mourning WarblerMourning Warbler
Blue Winged WarblerBlue Winged Warbler
Hooded WarblerHooded Warbler
Prairie WarblerPrairie Warbler
Worm-eating WarblerWorm-eating Warbler

Types of Warblers in Michigan

1. Common Yellow Throat

Common Yellowthroat

The Common Yellowthroat is a common and well-known bird that has thrived by defying convention.

It may be seen virtually everywhere from coast to coast in reed beds and cattail patches since it is the only warbler of our species that will nest in open marshes.

Although it occasionally conceals in the marshes, its presence may be detected by its low, scratchy call note.

The male frequently sings his characteristic voice while perched atop a tall stem.


Forages in marshes and other areas of low, thick vegetation, looking for insects on the plant’s surface and occasionally momentarily hovering to grab insects off the leaves.

Takes infrequent short flights to grab insects in flight and occasionally forages on the ground.

Mainly insects mostly consume insects such as tiny crickets, fireflies, limpets, dragonflies, beetles, worms, cankerworms, and other larvae, butterflies, flies, ants, cockroaches, leafhoppers, and others.

It will also consume spiders and a few seeds sometimes.

A male displays to a female during courting by flapping his feathers and tails, pursuing her closely, and putting on a flight show by rising to a height of 25 – 100 feet before descending to a new low perch where he calls and sings. 


Prefers to build its nest low in marshy cattail, bulrush, or sedge patches as well as on tussocks of trees and bushes, herbs, grasses, or shrubs.

Large open cup made by a woman, sometimes with a rim-mounted, loosely connected partial canopy of material.

Made of ferns, dead leaves, sedges, grass stems, weeds, and bark, lined with fine hay, fibers from the bark, and hair.

2. Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

In floodplains, willows, and forest borders, the Yellow Warbler’s bright, sweet singing is a well-known sound.

It breeds from the Arctic Circle to Texas, and it has closely comparable variants along tropical coastlines.

This warbler is one of our most widely spread species. 

Cowbirds frequently deposit eggs in their open, cup-shaped nests because they are so simple to discover.

In certain regions, Yellow Warblers fight these parasites by laying a fresh clutch of eggs on top of the cowbird eggs.

In one instance, tenacious cowbirds returned to the same nest to lay additional eggs five times, while an even tenacious warbler constructed six levels of nest flooring to hide the cowbird eggs.


Up to the tops of trees, foraging. Collects insects off twigs and vegetation, pauses momentarily to collect objects from the underside of the leaves, and then flies away after flying insects.

Males often browse in taller, more exposed leaves than females do. Defends a winter feeding zone when foraging alone during the colder months in the tropics.

Mainly insects Caterpillars of all varieties might make up to two-thirds of a person’s diet. Additionally feeds on spiders, dragonflies, moths, flies, beetles, petrels, treehoppers, and other insects.

It also consumes a small amount of fruit. Males sing and occasionally conduct fluttering flying displays as they defend their breeding areas. 


A Male pursues a woman for one to four days while courting her. Set up between two and sixty feet above ground amid briars, small trees, and bushes.

The nest is a small, open cup made of grass, shredded bark, and weed stalks, and it is filled with plant down and fur.

Males may assist in construction and travel with females to the nest. Females will take components for nests from other nests.

3. Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

The Black-throated Green’s patterned songs are among the simplest warbler sounds to identify in the east.

The strikingly colored male frequently sings when perched in the open, sometimes on a tall twig of a spruce, as if to affirm the identity.

Moves quickly between foraging locations as it looks for insects amid branches, twigs, and the bases of leaves.


Frequently flies over leaves to catch insects on the underside. Every now and then captures insects in midair.

When reproducing, males often out-forage females. Frequently forages with chickadees in mixed flocks in the late summer.

Caterpillars, in particular, insects. During the summer, mostly feeds on non-hairy caterpillars but also consumes spiders, bugs, true bugs, gnats, and other insects.

The movement of berries, including those from poison ivy. Eats the protein-rich leukocytes of tropical trees throughout the winter.


In addition to pursuing and battling with intruding males, males establish territories via singing.

The location of nests is close to the trunk, wherever two or more tiny branches of the conifer, often low, diverge.

The race that builds its nest in southern marshes sets it far from the stem, frequently higher.

The nest is a cup-shaped structure made of sticks, grass, weeds, bark, and spider webs that is lined with plant fibers, hair, mosses, and feathers.

4. Northern Parula

The Northern Parula

As it forages in the deep foliage of the trees, this little warbler is frequently difficult to notice.

The masculine seems to continue his buzzy trickle-up song continuously from at least early spring through mid-summer, so it is simple to hear. 

The only way to find a Northern Parula nest is by watching the parent birds since they conceal their nests inside hanging Spanish moss in the South or identical Usnea lichens in the North.

Essentially sluggish forages. Searches amid the leaves and hovers to catch insects from the vegetation. 


It will occasionally hang upside down on branches or a tree stump like a nuthatch or a chickadee. Forages on the ground or occasionally ventures outside for flying insects.

The majority of insects Prey on tiny bugs, flies, moths, caterpillars, clusters of eggs, true bugs, ants, bees, hornets, and other insects, as well as spiders. 

Consumes a few little berries as well. A lot of soft, green larvae that can feed nestlings. Pairs frequently return to the same nesting location each year.

Males sing throughout the nesting season and during migration, even when feeding the young.

Nest: Typically located 4 to 50 feet above ground in a hole carved out of Spanish moss and hanging tree lichens. 

When lichens or Spanish moss are not available, the structure can instead be made of dangling clusters of sticks or pine needles, or it might be filled with debris from recent floods and hung over a stream on tree branches. 

The nest is a little hanging pouch made of mosses and twigs that is either unlined or just sparingly lined with soft lichen, hay, pine needles, and straw flakes.

Built entirely by the female, however, the male travels with her to the nest.

5. Mourning Warbler

Mourning Warbler
Credits – ebird

The Mourning Warbler, who is sometimes difficult to spot, sings a monotonous chorus from trees and bushes and raspberries tangles in the northern woodlands.

This bird spends all of its time close to the ground, feeding in thick brush and the forest scrubland even while it is migrating. 

It is often solitary and does not readily join groups of other warblers. The male’s massive black neck patch gave the bird its name, which suggested to early biologists that the bird was clothed in mourning.


Hops when eating on the ground while foraging, mostly in bushes a few feet from the ground during the mating season. Conducts occasional brief flights to capture flying insects.

Usually prefers to eat alone rather than with flocks.

Most of the time, insects. Although little is known about the food, the animal has been spotted searching for butterflies, bugs, and other insects, as well as spiders.

Sometimes lives on the protein bodies found in the leaf bases of young cecropia plants during the tropical winter.

The specifics of the breeding behavior are little understood. Males sing to protect their breeding grounds, and during territorial disputes with other males, they may vigorously bob, turn their feathers outward, and fan their tails.

The location of the nest is typically on the ground close to the shrub at the base of thorns in raspberries or blackberries or in ferns, sunflowers, or grass tussocks.

Additionally, sometimes, within a few inches of the ground in a bush.

A nest is an open, clumsy cup formed of leaves coated with fine grasses and hair and having a base of weed and coarse grasses.

6. Blue-Winged Warbler

Blue-Winged Warbler

In thickets and brushy areas in the East throughout the summer, the Blue-winged Warbler’s straightforward buzzing song may frequently be heard.

The bird forages aggressively in the thick cover, making observation difficult even though it is not particularly timid.

This species has been intruding on the area of its near relative, the Golden-winged Warbler, in recent decades by extending its range northward.

The two species regularly crossbreed. Moves around foraging among low-lying bushes and trees. Bill probing into curled leaves is the preferred way of foraging. 

Additionally, purposefully scans the outermost tips of the branches, maybe delving into the buds and blooms. Spiky creatures.

Unknown specifics about food; likely mostly consume tiny insects, including grasshoppers, bugs, ants, caterpillars, and caterpillars as well as spiders. Hybridizes with the Golden-winged Warbler.

The second generation of hybrids includes a unique kind known as “Lawrence’s Warbler,” which is viable and backcrosses with both the parent species and other hybrids.

Males sing two distinct kinds of songs: one while interacting territorially and the other when pursuing a partner.


Nest location is well-hidden in grassland or blackberry vines, occasionally behind a shrub or sapling, near to or on the ground. Affixed to grass or plant stems that are erect, particularly goldenrod.

Usually constructed by the female alone, the large nest is a thin, deep, inverted cone.

It is made of grass, fallen leaves, and bark from either grapevines or hickories.

7. Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

This stealthy warbler appears to draw attention to itself in the dense forest undergrowth by regularly flicking its tail fast open and close, displaying the white outer pectoral fins.

In the Southeast’s wet, lush forests, Hooded Warblers are plentiful. 

They often nest near the ground, forage vigorously in the bushes, and remain low in the shady understory.

However, males sometimes climb into the tree to sing. Hops while eating, typically grabbing insects off low shrub leaf surfaces, on the soil, short branches, or tree trunks.

Additionally, will take brief flights to grab flies in the understory.

During the feeding of young, males may forage more than females.

During the winter, both sexes keep clear-cut feeding areas, making audible chip call notes and pursuing invaders of their own kind.

Arthropods, such as insects. Eats a range of insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles, flies, caterpillars, moths, and many more.

It also consumes a lot of tiny spiders.


Females often travel to a new territory, whereas males typically return to the same nesting area as in prior years.

The Female picks the location of the nest among or near patches of deciduous bushes found in forests.

Most often 1-4′ above ground. Leaf mulch, bark, fine grasslands, spider tufts, hair, and plants down make up the open cup nest.

Most of the time, women handle all of the construction.

8. Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler
Credits – All about birds

This warbler does not inhabit broad plains; instead, it prefers to build its eggs in eastern North America’s heavily overgrown fields and young, second-growth scrub.

These environments are frequently transient, and colonies may move from year to year.

Coastal mangroves in Florida have more enduring populations. 

The male’s thin buzzy song appears to be well adapted to the light of summer days in all of these habitats that receive plenty of sunlight.

Typically, prairie warblers hover low while vigorously flitting their tails among the undergrowth.


Generally forages by hopping or perching on trees or twigs to catch insects. Additionally collects flying insects in midair and hovers over leaves to capture insects from their undersides.

Will occasionally eat by hovering upside down from branch tops or by racing down to gather insects from the ground.

Mainly insects consume a wide variety of insects, including caterpillars, moths, tree bugs, ladybugs, true bugs, wasps, ants, and flies, as well as spiders and millipedes.

Furthermore consumes certain berries, and, on rare occasions, the sap is taken from holes made by sapsuckers in trees. Mostly caterpillars are given to the nestlings.

A few guys have several partners. Breeds a lot in spherical colonies. While females frequently do not, males frequently return to the same mating region each year.

When fighting with other guys, men will rattle loudly and harshly. Males chase females while performing leisurely, butterfly-like display flights during courting.


Set up at a location chosen by the female. 

Usually between 1 and 45 feet up in a tree. Commonly found in mangroves around Florida’s coast.

An open cup lined with animal hair and constructed of tightly felted plant materials, such as plant down, is called a nest.

9. Worm-eating Warbler

Worm-eating Warbler
Credits – Wikipedia

Summertime in deciduous woodlands, a dry trilled song signals the presence of the Worm-eating Warbler.

It is less colorful and slower moving than most of its cousins, hunting consciously beneath trees or on the ground while prodding leaf litter with its rather lengthy beak.

Contrary to its name, it does not consume earthworms; instead, it consumes caterpillars, but not in great quantities compared to many other warblers.

Habitat & Food

Mostly forages among bushes and trees. Searches on the bark of tree trunks and limbs, as well as probing coiled, dead leaves for insects. Also, forages on the ground, moving about and looking for insects in the leaf litter.

Mostly insects consume smooth caterpillars, but not the roundworms that the moniker would seem to indicate, which seldom or never eat spiders, walking sticks, bugs, sawfly larvae, tiny grasshoppers, bugs, ants, and bees. Nestlings are fed grubs and moths.

Males sing when perched on mid-level perches or on the soil to protect their territory.

As part of courtship, the male sings a melodious, diverse song while in flight in addition to the typical insect-like trill. 


Built on the ground, usually next to a decaying shrub or sapling and well-hidden by fallen leaves.

The nest is an oval cup made of dried leaf skeletons that are lined with moss, animal hair, maple seed stalks, and fungal filaments.


Fall offers some of Michigan’s greatest birding opportunities. On their journey south, birds from all over Quebec and the central and northern US head straight towards the Great Lakes.

Numerous species rely on the huge bodies of water in the Lagoons and the region’s numerous wetlands as critical feeding grounds.

It’s also time to keep an eye out for northwestern birds that travel to Michigan for the winter. So autumn is the best season to see warblers.


How many species of warblers are found in Michigan?

Almost 37 species of warblers are found in Michigan.

Which is the most common warbler in Michigan?

Yellow-rumped Warbler is the most common warbler in Michigan.

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.