Magnolia Warblers have a length of 11 to 13 cm (4.3 to 5.1 in), wingspan is 16 to 20 cm (6.3 to 7.9 in). The body mass in adult birds can range from 6.6 to 12.6 g. The breeding males often have white, gray, and black backs with yellow on the sides; yellow and black-striped stomachs; white, gray, and black foreheads and beaks; distinct black tails with white stripes on the underside and wingbars.The females have the same though duller coloration. The yellow and black-striped stomachs help one to distinguish the males from other similar birds such as the Prairie Warbler and Kirtland's Warbler.

Habitat and Distribution

This bird is found in the northern parts of some Midwestern states and the northeastern parts of the US. Minnesota and Wisconsin make the southernmost boundaries. It is common in the northern parts of Canada (such as Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec). In the winter, the warbler migrates through the eastern half of the United States to southern Mexico and Central America. It breeds in dense forests and lives in woodlands.


This warbler usually eats any type of arthropod, their favourite is caterpillars. It also feeds on beetles, butterflies, spiders, and fruit during their breeding season.


Both sexes build the nest for a week. The nest is relatively small, shallow, circular-shaped, barely exceeding 10 cm on all sides. They are placed close to the ground, commonly in the lowest three meters of the firs. The female lays 3 to 5 eggs and incubates them all at once for two weeks before hatching.

Calls and Songs

The females have short call notes to signal when a human observer is watching them. Those of the male are to signal when predators are close to their offspring. The male sings two songs : the First Category and Second Category songs.