A black-and-white warbler with a conspicuous bright yellow unpatterned face. Adult male has clear yellow cheeks and forecrown, black throat, black nape that extends onto the hindcrown, gray back with dark streaks, black wings with two white wing bars, unmarked white underparts, and white undertail coverts. Adult female has a slightly duller yellow face, some dusky feathering in the auriculars, dusky green hindcrown and nape, and a mottled yellowish-black throat. First-year birds lack black on head and have dusky auriculars and crown. All plumages show bright white outer tail feathers in flight. Unlike Townsend's and Black-throated Green, Hermit has no black streaks or yellow on underparts. Hybridizes with Townsend's Warbler where ranges overlap in Oregon and Washington, producing a wide range of intergrades that may look mostly like either species.
Length: 12 (cm) Wingspan: 20 (cm)
Buzzy, lilting phrases, like other black-throated warblers. Generally higher-pitched and more ringing than Black-throated Gray. Call is a hard chip note.
Mature coniferous forests, especially Douglas-Fir. Winters in montane habitats of Mexico and Central America.
Nest is a cup placed on limb high above ground. Forages at highest levels of canopy; heard more often than seen.
Forages by gleaning foliage; eats insects and spiders.
This species can be very common in its comparatively limited breeding range. The loss of >95% of the old-growth and old regrowth forest across w. Oregon since European settlement might be perceived to have had an adverse effect, yet the birds' capacity to use the innumerable closed-canopy stands of "industrial" regrowth Douglas-fir as young as thirty years has surely helped it. This remains among the most abundant birds in Western Oregon from late Apr-late Aug. Males switch from strongly accented "primary" songs to less distinctive "secondary" songs beginning about the summer solstice; few primary songs are heard after about 10 July. After that time, the birds' presence is best known by the insistent begging calls of nestlings or recent fledglings overhead. Regional primary-song dialects exist. Having spent three summers among Hermit Warblers on the first ranger district s. of Mt. St. Helens in the late 1970s, I was delighted to once hear an unmistakable "Wind River Hermit" sing that population's primary song at a minor migratory stopover for the species, well-birded Skinner Butte, above downtown Eugene, Oregon.
Citation: Personal Experience. I observe this regularly, highly confident.
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|06/25/16||Dave Irons, OR||#|
|09/08/13||Dave Irons, OR||1|
|06/29/13||Dave Irons, OR||#|
|05/26/13||dawn villaescusa, OR||#|
|05/12/13||Dave Irons, OR||6|
|06/11/12||Dave Irons, OR||4|
|Activity||Date & Time|
|Bob Archer added Hermit Warbler to their 450 Trail, FR 4420 and FR 2730 smart list||5/31/2014 at 10:41PM|
|Mary Ratcliff added Hermit Warbler to their Jack's Peak, Monterey smart list||1/29/2012 at 10:51AM|
|Jacob Parks added Hermit Warbler to their Log House smart list||11/02/2011 at 12:52AM|
|David Fix added a note to Hermit Warbler Notes||7/03/2011 at 2:10PM|