Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Rufous-capped Warbler (Basileuterus rufifrons)
Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler

Basileuterus rufifrons

The Rufous-capped Warbler, scientifically known as Basileuterus rufifrons, is a small bird native to the New World, with a length of approximately 12.7 cm (5.0 inches). Its plumage is a blend of plain-olive to olive-gray on the upper parts, with a bright yellow chest and throat. The bird is adorned with a distinctive rufous cap and facial pattern, which includes a white eyebrow-line, a dark eye-line that fades into a rufous cheek, and a white malar stripe.

Identification Tips

To identify the Rufous-capped Warbler, look for its stout bill, round and stubby wings, and a long tail that is often held at a high angle and flicked. The combination of the rufous cap, white eyebrow-line, and bright yellow throat make it quite distinctive among warblers.


In its northern range, the Rufous-capped Warbler is typically found in oak woodland canyon bottoms, particularly near running water. It prefers to stay low in dense vegetation.


This species ranges from Mexico to Guatemala, with occasional sightings as far north as southeastern Arizona and south Texas. Birds in the southern part of the range have been classified as a separate species, the Chestnut-capped Warbler (Basileuterus delattrii).


The Rufous-capped Warbler is known for foraging through dense brush, scanning close to the ground for movement. It is not typically observed flycatching from perches.

Song & Calls

The courtship song is a rapid, accelerating series of chipping notes, reminiscent of the Rufous-crowned Sparrow. The call note is a hard "chik" or "tsik," often repeated. Males exhibit complex songs with many syllable types, showing seasonal, temporal, and annual variation in song use.

Similar Species

The Rufous-capped Warbler could potentially be confused with other warblers with rufous or chestnut caps, but its distinctive facial pattern and song are key differentiators.

Diet and Feeding

The diet consists primarily of insects and spiders. The Rufous-capped Warbler actively forages through dense vegetation, looking for movement to locate its prey.

Conservation Status

The Rufous-capped Warbler is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it does not face any significant immediate threat to its survival.

Rufous-capped Warbler Sounds

Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Rufous-capped Warblers on Birda


More New World Warblers

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
Terrific App for Birders
Downloaded Birda around the time my interest in birding was sparked, and it has been a terrific app to help me (1) share my experience, (2) document my sightings, and (3) learn more about birds in general. That said, I also believe Birda is a fantastic app for birders of all experience levels. Great community!
Loving it
I really enjoy being able to interact with other birders on this platform! This seems like a great way to meet other birders and find some new spots.
Alice J
Awesome Birding Community
I absolutely love the community aspect of this app. The app is so user friendly and has fun interactive challenges to get you out birding. I’ve tried others but since I’ve started using Birda I’ve not gone back!
Birda fan
I really enjoy using Birda, all sightings are recorded and photos can be added. There are monthly challenges which help to get you out to record your sightings. The Birda community are great and are happy to help with unidentified bird sightings. Suitable for all ages and experience!
Learning Birding with Birda
I’m relatively new to birding as a hobby, and Birda is a great way to keep track off all the species I see. I’m still working on my ID skills, but the app is great for figuring out potential species, and the online community is so friendly and helpful. Definitely recommend Birda to both early and serious birders! 🐦
Dan R
Great app for bird fanatics
Great app for bird fanatics - very user friendly and a perfect place to share sightings.
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Emma L
App got me interested in birding!
Super friendly community <3 This app got me interested in birding! It teaches me cool stuff and its super friendly, and fun :) The species guide is really developing my knowledge, and i love seeing cool new birds from round the world!
Great app for learning Birds
I’ve been using the app for a couple of months and love it....Someone said it’s like a real life Pokémon Go for birds. They’re not far off! It’s something that the family can do that gets you out and about. Well worth downloading no matter your age.
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.