Fun Elfin Woods Warbler Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 16, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 18, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Elfin woods warbler facts are great for kids.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

Are you ready to learn all about one of the rarest warblers. A similar species to cerulean warblers, the elfin woods warbler (Setophaga angelae) calls Puerto Rico home and mainly dwells in dwarf forests of high elevations. Puerto Rico offers the best possible habitat for this tiny bird, and it's pretty hard for people to notice it in the wild with the naked eye. As insectivorous species, these birds spend a lot of time looking for their favorite snacks. People are especially interested in the elfin woods warbler thanks to its beautiful monochromatic plumage of black and white colors. Juveniles also have a green sheen on the back, giving the birds a royal look!

Find this bird from Puerto Rico interesting? Keep reading to learn interesting elfin woods warbler facts. Also, check out these articles on the black-throated gray warbler and the myrtle warbler to know more about other birds.

Elfin Woods Warbler Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an elfin woods warbler?

The elfin woods warbler is a small black and white bird that was discovered in 1968.

What class of animal does an elfin woods warbler belong to?

Like other birds, the elfin woods warbler (Setophaga angelae) belongs to the class Aves. It shares the genus Setophaga with other birds like Kirtland's warbler.

How many elfin woods warblers are there in the world?

The elfin woods warbler is known for having a tiny population. According to the IUCN, only 1,800 mature individuals survive in the wild today. Even these small populations seem to be dwindling due to natural disasters and constant deforestation.

Where does an elfin woods warbler live?

The elfin woods warbler is endemic to Puerto Rico, so the bird species cannot be found anywhere else. This bird is especially seen in the El Yunque National Forest in eastern Puerto Rico, which is a well-protected area. More populations were also found in the Maricao State Forest of western Puerto Rico. A few small range populations were also seen in the Carite State Forest and the Toro Negro State Forest.

What is an elfin woods warbler's habitat?

When it comes to their habitat, the elfin woods warbler (Setophaga angelae) is usually seen in elfin or dwarf forests and in wet montane forests. These birds prefer areas of low temperatures along with a little dampness. The species prefers to dwell in a habitat with short trees where it can easily get lost in the foliage. Some populations might even migrate to the forests of Palo Colorado in California!

Who do elfin woods warblers live with?

Elfin woods warblers tend to live in mixed flocks with other birds like the Puerto Rican tody. The species prefers to maintain its territory throughout the year and becomes even more aware of this during the mating season.

How long does an elfin woods warbler live?

We are yet to know the exact lifespan of this bird species from Puerto Rico.

How do they reproduce?

Even though this bird has a small population, it is interesting to learn about the breeding process followed by the species. This Puerto Rican bird breeds during the period of March to June. Utilizing its natural habitat, this bird likes to make nests in the aerial leaf litter of trees. This helps to keep the nests hidden from predators. Both parents play an essential role in building the nests as well as in taking care of the chicks. Usually, two to three eggs are laid by this Puerto Rican bird, and these have red and brown spots. The parents mainly feed lepidopteran larvae to their chicks.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the elfin woods warbler (Setophaga angelae) has the status of Endangered. There are several reasons for this, including deforestation, habitat damage, natural calamities, and fragmented populations. However, conservation efforts were started after scientists started to learn more about this threatened species. As a result, habitat protection is now in place to help these birds have a thriving population in the forests they call home.

Elfin Woods Warbler Fun Facts

What do elfin woods warblers look like?

The elfin woods warbler's plumage is quite distinct because of its black and white color. It makes the bird look similar to the black-and-white warbler, and both birds are New World warblers. However, the distinct features of this bird, such as its incomplete eye-ring and white ear patches, give it a distinct look. Despite this, if you happen to be in Puerto Rico, the similar look of both birds may perplex you.

Apart from its plumage, this bird also has a long black bill along with rounded wings. The wingspan of this species is smaller compared to that of other warblers, but it's bigger than that of Adelaide's warbler. Juveniles look distinct because of their gray or brown plumage that also has a greenish tinge on the back.

Elfin woods warbler facts are good for knowing various bird species.

How cute are they?

The cuteness of these birds is undeniable as they are such beautiful creatures. Their black and white plumage also helps these birds to stand out amongst their habitat of small trees and dense forests.

How do they communicate?

Little is known about the behavior and communication of this species. Moreover, the short and rapid song of this bird isn't usually heard by humans. It's said to resemble that of a bananaquit, another bird residing in Puerto Rico.

How big is an elfin woods warbler?

The word big isn't suitable for this bird species as it mostly grows to an average length of just 4.9 in (12.4 cm). The palm warbler has an average size range of 7.9-8.3 in (20-21 cm), making it slightly bigger than the elfin woods warbler.

How fast can an elfin woods warbler fly?

We are yet to have any conclusive data about the flying speed of elfin woods warblers.

How much does an elfin woods warbler weigh?

Well, as it's a tiny cute bird species, you can imagine that it is quite light. This lightness allows it to have a swift flight. Its average weight range is around 1 oz (28.3 g) which makes it one of the lightest warblers.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for male and female birds of this species.

What would you call a baby elfin woods warbler?

A baby elfin woods warbler is known as a chick.

What do they eat?

Elfin woods warblers are insectivorous birds, and they have a rich diet of moths and dragonflies. To evade competition, this species has taken to hunting for insects at a height of 26-50 ft (8-15.2 m), which helps it to steer clear of other species. In dense forests, this bird can also mix with flocks of other birds while searching for food.

Are they dangerous?

Absolutely not, this cute little black and white bird is not dangerous to human beings. However, it's always best to leave these birds alone in the forests to avoid any risk of conflict.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the elfin woods warbler is currently classified as an endangered species, so you cannot keep the bird as a pet.

Did you know...

The species name,'angelae', pays respect to the naturalist Angela Kepler who played a crucial role in discovering this bird in Puerto Rico.

Characteristics of the elfin woods warbler

The most interesting characteristic of this species has to be its beautiful black and white plumage. Its small body looks strikingly beautiful due to the white spots on its black feathers. During the mating season, male and female pairs are known for singing duets too, but sadly the singing of this bird cannot be heard by human beings.

Why is the elfin woods warbler endangered?

To begin with, the elfin woods warbler is already a small bird that is known for its sparse population. There aren't many individuals of the species, but recently, the elfin woods warbler habitat has been facing an acute threat mainly due to natural disasters. Moreover, the introduction of potential threats like the small Asian mongoose has also become a reason behind these birds turning into an endangered species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these hummingbird facts and dodo facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable wood warbler coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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