Townsend's Warbler
(Setophaga townsendi)

Summary

Picture of bird
© Jukka Jantunen (flickr.com/photos/jukka_jantunen)
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Townsend’s Warbler breeds in mature, coniferous forests of western Canada. It is best monitored by the Breeding Bird Survey, the results of which indicate a 41% decrease in the national population since the early 1970s. However, in the mountain forests in the northern portion of its range, it is not well monitored. At the regional level, the population status varies from little overall change to large decreases. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.

Designations

Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaModerate DecreaseMediumBelow Acceptable Level
 

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada5,000,000 - 50,000,000 adults
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaHigh

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between late May and mid-June and ends between early August and mid-August, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.
 

Conservation and management

The Townsend's Warbler breeds at a variety of elevations, primarily in coniferous and sometimes in mixed coniferous-deciduous forests of western Canada (Wright et al. 1998). The species is associated with tall trees and greater canopy closure, with higher breeding abundance more often associated with older forests and larger trees (Wetmore et al. 1985, Matsuoka et al. 1997, Wright et al. 1998, but see Bryant et al. 1993). The loss of mature and older forests (Hejl et al. 1995) is likely contributing to declines. The introduced American Red Squirrel has become a local threat to the species on Haida Gwaii (Hearne 2015).

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Great BasinGreat Basin, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Conservation
Northern Pacific RainforestNorthern Pacific Rainforest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Stewardship
Northern RockiesNorthern Rockies, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Stewardship
Northwestern Interior ForestNorthwestern Interior Forest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Stewardship
 

References