North Carolina Mountain Birds: Chestnut-sided Warbler

Keep an eye out, especially during spring and fall migration, for our September 2016 pick in our 12 Months of Birding at the Inn blog series: The Chestnut-sided Warbler. And guess what color its sides are. Let’s learn more, shall we?

The Chestnut-sided Warbler is a beautiful warbler, really and truly. Its look helps set it apart from other warblers — a striking yellow cap, white chest, and rust-colored (chestnut) streaks along its sides. There are some variations between males and females, and nonbreeding males and females, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has excellent descriptions of all of them so you can ID the Chestnut-sided Warbler with ease.

Feasting on a diet of mostly insects, which it plucks from leaves, the Chestnut-sided Warbler is a bird that will have you looking up in the trees to catch a glimpse. You should also listen for its song, or rather its two songs, because sometimes it puts an accent on the end. And how adorable is this: The Chestnut-sided Warbler’s song sounds like “Pleased to meet ya.”

Small white bird with yellow cap, black around its eyes, and red splotches on its sides perched on a branch

Chestnut-sided Warbler [Wikipedia]

3 thoughts on “North Carolina Mountain Birds: Chestnut-sided Warbler

  1. A chestnut sided warbler flew into our sliders in northeastern ct. Is it unusual for it to be here in May?

    • Hi Carol, they are pretty common here in North Carolina in May due to the spring migration, but we’re not sure if it’s common for them to be in your area this time of the year. We recommend checking with your local Audubon chapter ( to find out more.

  2. I believe I have just identified a Chestnut-sided Warbler in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It flew into our picture window. We have cats, so picked it up gently, let it recover and let it go out on the deck. It flew up into the trees.

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