Golden-crowned Warblers

The Golden-crowned Warbler, Basileuterus culicivorus, is a small New World warbler.

Golden-crowned Warbler, Basileuterus culicivorus
Golden-crowned Warble

Distribution / Range

This warbler breeds from Mexico and south through Central America to northeastern Argentina and Uruguay, and on Trinidad.

Nesting / Breeding

It is a species mainly of lowland forests, which lays two to four rufous-spotted white eggs in a domed nest in a bank, often by a forest path, or under leaves on the forest floor. Parent birds will feign injury to distract potential nest predators.


The Golden-crowned Warbler is 12.7 cm long and weighs 10g. It has grey-green upperparts and bright yellow underparts. The head is grey with a black-bordered yellow crown stripe, a yellow supercilium (line above eye) and a black eyestripe.

Males and females look alike, but the immature Golden-crowned Warbler is duller, browner, and lacks the head pattern other than the eyestripe.

Golden-crowned Warbler has 13 geographical races, which fall into three groups. The Central American culicivorus group (“Stripe-crowned Warbler”) is essentially as described above, the southwestern cabanisi group (“Cabanis’s Warbler”) has grey upperparts and a white supercilium (line above eye), and the aureocapillus group (“Golden-crowned Warbler”) of the southeast has a white supercilum and orange-rufous crown stripe.

The three groups are sometimes considered to be different species.

Diet / Feeding

These birds feed on insects and spiders.

Song / Vocalization

The song is a high thin pit-seet-seet-seet-seet, and the call is a sharp tsip.


  • New World Warblers by Curson, Quinn and Beadle, ISBN 0-7136-3932-6
  • ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago, 2nd edition, Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.
  • Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.
Photo of author

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