Swainson’s Warbler Video Portrait

Finding a Swainson’s Warbler required a trip to the southeastern part of Missouri where I was lucky enough to get video and sound from a male along the Eleven Point River during a gentle, early morning rain on May 15, 2007. This is a beautiful area where I also saw and heard Hooded, Cerulean, and Yellow-throated Warblers.

placeholder image for the Swainson's Warbler video clip by Carl Gerhardt

Swainson’s Warbler is one of our less common birds and seems to be declining in numbers in many areas. Throughout most of their breeding range in the Southeastern United States, they breed in areas with stands of cane that grow in swamps and along rivers and small streams. But they also occur in the Appalachian Mountains, where they favor thickets of rhododendrons. Their loud and distinctive song is often the only clue to their presence in a given area.

Range map for the Swainson's Warblerclick for large map with color codes


  1. Wonderful video! I wish Michigan had breeding Swainson’s Warblers. However, it is an accidental visitor to Michigan, meaning it has only been reported once or several times, and in this case, once.

    I love the part in the video when he fluffs up his feathers and looks all “poofy.” I hear a Northern Parula singing in the background of the video.

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