Magnolia Warbler – Accepted

1. 15–17 Sep 1972


Pacific Grove MTY



2. 21–22 May 1973


Pt. Pinos MTY



3. 18 Oct 1973


Southeast Farallon I. SF















Figure 274. Southeast Farallon Island accounts for more records of eastern warblers than does any other place in California. The Magnolia Warbler (probable first-fall male, left) is a rare, regular fall and very rare spring transient in the state; its CBRC review period was fleeting. Much rarer is the Worm-eating Warbler (1994-195, adult, right), which has nonetheless occurred nearly 100 times in the state, mostly in fall. This wayward duo made its way into the island’s mist nets on 21 September 1994 (Peter Pyle).







Magnolia Warbler

MAGNOLIA WARBLER Dendroica magnolia (Wilson, 1811)

Accepted: 3 (100%)

Treated in Appendix H: no

Not accepted: 0

CBRC review: 1972 and 1973 records

Not submitted/reviewed: NA

Large color image: see Figure

This warbler’s northern breeding limit extends from southeastern Yukon, the western Northwest Territories, and central British Columbia east to Newfoundland. The southern limit extends from southeastern British Columbia east to Connecticut and south through the Appalachian Mts. to northeastern Tennessee. Small, isolated populations are scattered around the margins of the main range (Dunn and Garrett 1997). Most migration takes place through the East and the northern West Indies to primary wintering grounds that extend along the Atlantic slope between southern Mexico and Honduras. The species winters rarely to uncommonly in southern Florida, Bermuda, the northern West Indies, western Mexico (Nayarit south), and southern Central America, and casually in the southern United States (outside of southern Florida), the Lesser Antilles, and northern South America. This is a rare, regular vagrant across the West (including the Baja California Peninsula). Extralimital records extend to western and northern Alaska, Clipperton Atoll, Greenland, and the British Isles.

California’s first Magnolia Warbler was a first-spring male collected on 15 May 1897 on Santa Barbara Island, Santa Barbara County (Grinnell 1897, MVZ 37521). The state has since accumulated approximately 1000 records, about three-fourths in fall (19 August–22 November, peaking mid September through October) and one-fourth in spring (most 12 May–4 July, peaking late May to early June), with a smattering of winter records. An adult male found on 18 April 2006 in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, is regarded as an exceptionally early spring vagrant (NAB 60:439), but the date does not rule out a wintering bird; for example, one remained in San Francisco, San Francisco County, through 19 April 2005 (NAB 59:492). This species and the Black-throated Blue Warbler are more frequently encountered in California’s deserts than are other eastern Dendroica warblers, although both are decidedly scarce in the Salton Sink (Patten et al. 2003).