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Species Guide

Olive Warbler

Peucedramus taeniatus

The Olive Warbler, scientifically known as Peucedramus taeniatus, is a distinctive small passerine bird. It is the sole representative of its genus and family, Peucedramidae. Exhibiting a medium size for a warbler, it measures approximately 13 to 14 cm in length and weighs between 9.5 to 12 grams. The species displays sexual dimorphism; males are characterized by a predominantly grey body with olive-green accents on the wings and two white wing bars, a striking tawny-orange head and breast, and a pronounced black eye patch. Females and juveniles, on the other hand, show a more subdued palette with yellow replacing the orange and a less defined black mask.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Olive Warbler, look for the male's vibrant tawny-orange head and breast, contrasted with a black eye patch. The female and juvenile birds will present a yellow instead of orange and a more diffuse mask. The two white wing bars are also key identification markers across sexes and ages.


The Olive Warbler is a bird of highland and mountainous regions. It is typically found in coniferous forests, including ponderosa and sugar pine forests in Arizona, as well as fir, oak, and pine forests in central Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. These habitats range from humid to semi-arid environments.


This species has a range extending from southern Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, through Mexico, and down to Nicaragua. It is the only bird family endemic to North America, including Central America. The Olive Warbler is generally resident throughout its range, with some northerly populations exhibiting partial migratory behavior.


The Olive Warbler is known to be insectivorous, foraging primarily in the canopy and subcanopy of forests. It is adept at navigating the outer branches and twigs in search of food. While often considered non-migratory, some populations in New Mexico are known to vacate the state during the winter months.

Song & Calls

The male Olive Warbler's song is a series of clear whistles that can be transcribed as "hirrJI hirrJI hirrJI, plida plida plida chir chir," and so forth. Singing occurs throughout the year, with increased frequency in late winter and peaking in early spring. The male is most vocal during midmorning and late afternoon in the spring.

Diet and Feeding

As an insectivore, the Olive Warbler feeds on insects and other arthropods, including the larvae of Tortricidae moths. It is most often observed feeding in the branches of ponderosa pines and various species of oaks.

Conservation status

The Olive Warbler is currently classified as Least Concern by the IUCN and Secure by NatureServe, indicating a stable population without immediate threats to its survival.

Olive Warbler Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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