Leiothlypis Virginiae – Virginia Warbler

The Virginia warbler (Leiothlypis virginiae) is a New World warbler species. Contrary to popular belief, the Virginia’s warbler is not named after the American state of Virginia, which makes sense given the birds’ regular range extends only as far east as Texas. The bird was called Virginia Anderson in honor of her husband, an army surgeon who discovered it in 1858 at Fort Burgwin, New Mexico.

Quick Overview: Leiothlypis Virginiae – Virginia Warbler
Body size: Around 4.5-4.75 in (11-12 cm) and a weight of 9 g (0.3 oz)
Main colors: Gray, Yellow, White
Range: Southwestern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: June, July, August, September
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Virginia Warbler Description

Warbler of small size with gray upper parts and a golden rump. White with a yellow patch on the throat, yellow breast and undertail, white with a gray wash on the sides and belly. The head features a rufous crown patch and prominent white eye-rings.

Leiothlypis Virginiae - Virginia Warbler found in the US
Leiothlypis Virginiae – Virginia Warbler. Photo by: Mike’s Birds


These birds have a length of 4.5-4.75 in (11-12 cm) and a weight of 9 g (0.3 oz). Their wings could range from 7.25-7.75 in (18-20 cm).


Forages primarily on insects found among leaves and twigs during the mating season. Additionally, they have observed grazing on the ground and grabbing flying insects’ mid-flight. May probe buds and flowers extensively.


Breeds on dry mountain slopes in scrub oak, chaparral, pinyon-juniper woodlands, or other densely forested environments. Prefers mountain mahogany and Gambel oak in some locations. During migration, they usually congregate in wooded areas around streams.


Due to the cautious and timid nature of Virginia’s Warblers, the best time to look for them is from late April to June, when they are more likely to be singing, making them simpler to locate.

Leiothlypis Virginiae Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Genus: Leiothlypis
  • Species: Leiothlypis virginiae

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the summer season (June – September).

Distribution of the Virginia Warbler in the USA

Breeds in southern California, southern Idaho, and northern Colorado, as well as in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and western Texas. Winters south of the United States-Mexico border.

Leiothlypis Virginiae – Virginia Warbler

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