9 Types of Warblers in Michigan

Hi there! In this article, I’ll be discussing the 9 types of warblers you can find in Michigan.

These little birds are known for their beautiful songs and striking colors, making them a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a seasoned birder or just starting out, I hope you’ll find this guide informative and helpful in identifying these fascinating species.

So, let’s get started!

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

During the spring, Common Yellowthroats may be seen rather often across Michigan.

They are most often seen between May and October, and they’ve been found on 27% of summer season checklists reported by birdwatchers in the state.

Common Yellowthroats are brownish on top and brilliant yellow on the underside and have long tails.

The male’s faces are covered by black masks. Below, the yellow might be more olive-toned, depending on where you are.

The mating season for Common Yellowthroats spans most of North America throughout the summertime, with the exception of northern Canada and Alaska.

Along the Southwest Pacific and Gulf Coast, there are many who stay put year-round.

Then they go southward for the winter season.

Common Yellowthroats like dense, tangled vegetation, such as those found in brushy meadows, marshes, and wetlands.

Female Common Yellowthroats construct their nests low to the ground among marshes, using reeds for structural support.

Grass and sedges are used to construct the nest, which is then elevated on a platform of grass and leaves.

They may lay a maximum of 6 eggs, and it usually takes about a month for the hatching of the eggs and the chicks to fledge.

Common Yellowthroats may be enticed to your garden by planting a variety of natural flowers and shrubs that entice insects.

Courting Common male Yellowthroats recognize a male bird by its distinctive black mask and may fight if it is replaced with a fake or if the mask is removed.

2. Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warblers can be found across Michigan from April through October when they come to breed.

They appear on one-third of all summer bucket lists.

Yellow Warblers are little birds that are brilliant yellow in color and possess a yellowish-green back.

Male Yellow Warblers possess brown stripes on their breasts.

Females and youngsters do not have stripes on their bodies as males do, and their coloring is duller overall.

Yellow Warblers travel a great distance in order to breed across the United States and Canada (with the exception of the southern states), and then they go back towards South and Central America in order to spend the winter there.

However, during migration, they may be observed in the southern states of the United States.

Yellow Warblers may be found hunting on insects such as bugs, midges, wasps, beetles, and caterpillars near marshes and streams, in thickets, and along the borders of fields.

Yellow Warblers can also be found among thickets.

Yellow Warblers build their nests in tiny shrubs or trees out of bark, grass, and other plant materials that are weaved together to make a cup shape and are then fastened with spider webs.

After that, it is stuffed with a softer substance on the inside, like feathers, hair, or plant down.

They may lay a maximum of seven eggs, each of which takes roughly 12 days to hatch, followed by another ten days for the kids to flee the nest when they have developed fully.

You may entice Yellow Warblers to visit your garden by providing them using oranges, suet, peanuts, and peanut butter, as well as plants that provide berries.

Planting natural plants that entice insects without resorting to pesticides or being too neat is another option.

You may add an extra layer of defense by placing birdbaths with fountains next to vegetation that provides seclusion.

Many times, cowbirds will hatch their eggs in the nests of yellow warblers.

If the yellow warblers discover this, they will construct a new nest on top of the previous nest and eggs and begin the process all over again – sometimes as many as six times!

3. Black-throated Green Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

During the summer months of April through October, the state of Michigan is home to the Black-throated Green Warbler, which can be found on 9% of the state’s checklists.

The Black-throated Green Warbler is a little yellow songbird having an olive-yellow back and a yellow head and face.

Their backs are olive-colored.

They are white on the underside and possess black striping that runs up the wings and the sides.

On the necks of males, there are enormous black spots, while females and youngsters have much smaller spots of the same coloration.

The best time to see a Black-throated Green Warbler is during its long journey from the eastern United States and into Canada, where it breeds in the northernmost states of the United States and Canada.

Their winter homes may be found throughout northern South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

You may discover Black-throated Green Warblers among the trees, where they feed on insects.

Their black throats make it simpler to distinguish them from other little yellow birds because of their coloration and size.

Nests of Black-throated Green Warblers may be found in nearby small trees and close vicinity to the vehicle.

The inside of the nest is comprised of pet hair, feathers, and moss, while the outside is constructed out of bark and twigs that have been stitched together with spider webs.

They typically lay between 2 and 4 eggs, each of which requires a total of 12 days to develop before it can hatch, and then the young birds remain in the nest for an additional ten days before venturing out on their own.

Your garden might become a haven for Black-throated Green Warblers by planting mature trees.

Male Black-throated Green Warblers are capable of singing more than 400 times in a single hour and performing a flight known as “gloating” once they have successfully chased off competitors.

4. Northern Parula

The Northern Parula

During the summer, Northern Parulas may be seen in Michigan, during this time of year, they are present on 5% of birders’ checklists.

The months of April through October are when they’re most likely to be seen, however, there are sometimes sightings far into December.

The blueish-gray and yellow plumage of the Northern Warbler creates a striking color contrast.

They have a yellow spot on their back and two white wing bars.

Their back is a bluish-gray color with a yellow spot.

Both men and females possess yellow coloring on their chests and throats, while males possess brown lines that divide the yellow coloration on their necks and chest.

Females are noticeably paler than males, and they do not have the brown line.

Youngsters are typically paler in color.

Before migrating south towards Central America and the Caribbean for the winter season, Northern Parulas spend their summers breeding in the eastern states of southeastern Canada and the United States.

In all likelihood, they will spend the winter across southern Florida.

High up in the trees of deciduous woodlands is where you’ll discover Northern Parulas feasting on insects.

The Northern Parula builds its nests among long clumps of moss and lichen dangle from the trees.

During the summer months, the easiest method to find them is to look at enormous clumps of hanging moss and search for them there.

You may entice Northern Parula to visit your garden by planting native shrubs and trees, particularly those that produce berries, and by leaving brush piles in places that are inviting to insects.

Female Northern Parulas are the ones responsible for all aspects of baby care, including egg incubation and the provision of food for the hatchlings.

Males are responsible for both singing and emptying their feces.

5. Mourning Warbler

Mourning Warbler
Credits – ebird

During the summer months of May through the middle of October, the state of Michigan is home to mourning warblers, which are only spotted on 2% of the state’s checklists.

Because of their very similar appearances, the Mourning Warbler and the MacGillivray’s Warbler may be difficult to differentiate from one another.

The eyering is the primary distinguishing feature of the two species; Mourning Warblers have no apparent eyering, while MacGillivray’s Warblers possess white eyerings in the form of a crescent.

Male Mourning Warblers possess throats and heads that are dark grey, and their chests possess a distinct black color.

In females, the head is a light grey color, and there is no black spot on the breast. Olive coloration may be seen on the abdomen, backs, and wings of both of them.

Breeding grounds for Mourning Warblers may be found in the northeastern states of the United States, southern Canada, and the area surrounding the Great Lakes.

In the fall, these birds fly past the eastern states of the United States on their way to Central America and the far northwest of South America.

Mourning Warblers are most likely to be found in thick thickets in areas of the forest that have been recently damaged by storms, fire, or logging operations.

They are also spotted in areas with heavy undergrowth or canopies that are covered, as well as in the midst of blackberry plants.

The Mourning Warbler feeds on caterpillars, insect larvae, spiders, and beetles, which it finds on the ground and on trees where it forages.

In addition to that, they could consume fruit from the Cecropia tree.

Mourning Warblers are usually known to build their nests in hidden ground locations that are frequently surrounded by dense bushes and thickets.

The nests are constructed with weeds, grasses, and leaves, and they are covered with the hair of animals.

The females will hatch about three to five eggs, which they will then incubate for approximately a week and a half.

The Mourning Warbler got its name from the fact that it seems like it should be in a state of mourning due to its grey hood and black breast.

6. Blue-Winged Warbler

Blue-Winged Warbler

Blue-winged Warblers have been sighted across Michigan between the months of April and September and have been noted on 3% of summer checklists.

Warblers nest across Michigan.

The bluish-gray appearance of the Blue-winged Warbler’s wings inspired the bird’s common name.

Adults have a black eye line that extends from their long bills over their eyes, giving them a furious appearance.

The top of their heads is yellow-green in color.

They have mounds on their breasts and bellies.

During migratory, Blue-winged Warblers may be observed in the southern states of the United States on their approach to their wintering grounds throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.

These warblers breed in the states of the Central and Midwest United States.

You may discover Blue-winged warblers in grasslands and brushy fields that have been abandoned, as well as on the margins of forests and in thickets.

They choose to make their homes at higher elevations in places where there is abundant grass and canopy protection.

Blue-winged Warblers like the insects and spiders they may discover in many different kinds of trees and plants.

They might even hang inverted from the limbs of trees in order to look beneath the leaves for bug larvae that they may use to feed their young.

The youngsters have wing bands, but they’re so faint that they are difficult to see, whereas adults possess two white wing bars on each side of their wings.

Blue-winged Warblers are known to build their nests on the ground, in dense shrubs, or in the undergrowth the majority of the time.

Nests have a cup-like form and are constructed from decaying leaves.

It takes the female approximately a week and a half to hatch the 4 to 7 eggs she lays.

7. Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

There is a breeding population of Hooded Warblers throughout Michigan, and they may be seen there from April until around the middle of October.

They are included on one percent of people’s summer bucket lists.

Male Hooded Warblers possess a face that is mostly brilliant yellow, but their hoods and throats are black, giving them a striking appearance.

They are yellow on the underside and olive green on the upper surface.

When they raise the tip of their tail, it is possible to see that the underside of their tail is white.

Females and juveniles have a yellower appearance, and they lack the black markings on their faces.

Breeding takes place in the eastern states of the United States, and then the birds migrate south to the Caribbean and Central America for the winter.

The Hooded Warbler prefers to forage in woods with deep understories where it may find plenty of spiders and insects to eat.

Hooded Warblers construct their cup-shaped nests among bushes close to open areas and woods.

The nests are made of bark, grass, and other plant materials that are braided together.

They typically lay about four eggs, each of which takes around 12 days to develop into a hatchling and an extra ten days for the kids to emerge from the nest.

Your garden may become a breeding ground for Hooded Warblers if you grow natural shrubs and plants that entice insects and provide safety.

It is believed that the white patches on the tails of Hooded Warblers serve to scare insects, allowing the birds to more readily capture and consume them.

8. Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler
Credits – All about birds

Even though Prairie Warblers aren’t particularly prevalent across Michigan, they can be seen throughout the summer months.

The back of a Prairie Warbler is olive green, while the abdomen and neck are yellow.

This is a little songbird that lives on prairies.

They feature a dark semicircle beneath the eye as well as black stripes on the sides of their bodies.

Female Prairie Warblers tend to be drabber in appearance and might have more grey on their crowns.

Prairie Warblers migrate south during the winter, spending their time across Florida, the Caribbean, and some coastal parts of Central America.

They breed mostly in the southern and eastern states of the United States.

Some of them stay within Florida during the whole year, and while they are classified as a different subspecies, they are significantly bigger.

In spite of the fact that they are known as prairie warblers, these birds really make their homes in woodlands and open fields, where they feed on snails, spiders, and other insects.

You may recognize them by the way that they bob their tails as they move around the trees in search of food.

The nests of Prairie Warblers are typically constructed from plant leaves and material, and they are covered using soft feathers and fur.

The nests are concealed in trees and bushes.

They may lay a maximum of five eggs, each of which takes approximately two weeks to hatch and about ten days for the juvenile to leave the nest once they have been hatched.

Male Prairie Warblers have two songs in their repertoire: one is designed to woo potential mates, while the other is intended to drive away rival males.

9. Worm-eating Warbler

Worm-eating Warbler
Credits – Wikipedia

Worm-eating Warblers are not particularly prevalent across Michigan, although during the summer months, it is possible to see them in the southern part of the state.

When compared to other warblers, these are quite boring.

They have a bluish-green body hue, but their heads are buff-yellow, and they have noticeable black stripes running between the crown and eye.

Worm-eating Warblers breed in the eastern states of the United States and have a restricted range than most other warblers.

It is also possible to view them as they are migrating through the southeast and along the shore.

Caterpillars, and worms, are the primary source of nutrition for Worm-eating warblers, which are found in woods and often forage close to the forest floor.

The dried leaves and moss that are used to construct the nests of Worm-eating Warblers were placed on the ground in close proximity to plants.

They typically lay four eggs, which need about fifteen days to develop into hatchlings and then another ten days to emerge from the nest after they have been there.

Every year, throughout both the summertime and the wintertime, Worm-eating Warblers will go back to the same place.


In conclusion, Michigan is home to a diverse range of warblers, each with its own unique characteristics and behaviors.

From the vibrant Yellow Warbler to the elusive Prairie Warbler, these birds are a true delight to observe in their natural habitat.

With their beautiful songs and colorful plumage, it’s no wonder that warblers are a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike.

By understanding the distinguishing features of each species and their preferred habitats, you can enhance your birdwatching experience and appreciate the incredible diversity of Michigan’s avian inhabitants.

So, grab your binoculars and head out into the great outdoors to discover these remarkable little birds for yourself!


When is the best time to see warblers in Michigan?

The best time to see warblers in Michigan is during their spring migration from mid-April to late May. During this time, the birds are traveling north to their breeding grounds and can often be spotted in wooded areas and along the shores of lakes and rivers.

Where can I find warblers in Michigan?

Warblers can be found in a variety of habitats in Michigan, but they are most commonly found in deciduous forests, mixed forests, and wooded wetlands. Some of the best places to look for them include state parks, nature preserves, and along the shores of the Great Lakes.

How can I identify different types of warblers?

Warblers can be difficult to identify because they are small, fast-moving, and often found high in the treetops. However, by paying attention to their size, shape, and distinctive markings, you can learn to distinguish between different species. Using a field guide or a birding app can also be helpful in identifying warblers.

Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

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.

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