Georgian Bay Biosphere

Species at Risk Database

Species at Risk Database

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Kirtland’s Warbler

Setophaga kirtlandii

COSEWIC Status: Endangered

COSSARO Status: Endangered

Cover photo credit: Brian E. Small


  • Medium sized song bird around 15cm long
  • Yellow bellies with dark streaks along their sides
  • Majority of the bird is a blue grey and they have a white crecent above and below the eye
  • Females and juveniles are less bold in colour and will have brownish highlights


  • Very specific habitat requirements
  • Well-drained sandy soils in large young jack pine forests. Young trees are necessary to provide the low branches needed for proper coverage
  • They nest on the ground under low hanging branches around other smaller plant coverage, such as various grasses, ferns and blueberries


  • Fire suppression has lead to a decline in suitable jack pine forests needed for nesting requirements
  • Human development reducing forest availability
  • These birds also experience nest parasitism from brown headed cowbirds

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