Feb 16
Photo of male golden-cheeked warbler perched on tree

Golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia)

Species: Golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia)

Status: Endangered (EN)

Interesting Fact: The golden-cheeked warbler is the only bird species whose breeding range occurs entirely within the state of Texas, USA.

A small, attractively marked bird, the golden-cheeked warbler is named for the male’s bright yellow face. The female is similar to the male in appearance, but has less distinctive markings. This colourful species feeds on insects and spiders, and builds its nest from strips of juniper bark, which it weaves together with spider silk and insect cocoons. The nest is then lined with grass, hair or down. The golden-cheeked warbler breeds only in central Texas, but migrates south to spend the winter in Mexico and other parts of Central America.

The main threat to the golden-cheeked warbler is the clearance of its forest habitat, due for example to agriculture, development, logging and mineral extraction. Both its breeding and wintering habitats are under threat, but this species’ rather restricted breeding range makes it particularly vulnerable to habitat loss. The golden-cheeked warbler is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and a number of conservation measures are in place to protect it, including habitat restoration. Further research needs to be done into this species’ biology and populations, and landowners need to be provided with incentives to maintain and protect the habitat of this beautiful small bird.

Find out more about the conservation of North American birds at Audubon and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

See more images of the golden-cheeked warbler on ARKive.

Liz Shaw, ARKive Text Author