Palm Warbler
(Setophaga palmarum)


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

The Palm Warbler is an abundant and widespread species throughout Canada’s boreal forest east of the Rocky Mountains. Three surveys, the Breeding Bird Survey, the Christmas Bird Count and the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario indicate that the population, and/or its distribution, has increased steadily since about 1970. There are currently few known threats to the species on either the breeding grounds or the wintering grounds. With an estimated 100% of the global breeding population, Canada’s responsibility for this species is very high. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.


Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least Concern2012 
Partners in Flight (North America)Stewardship List2012 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2010 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaLarge IncreaseMedium

Population estimate

Canada5,000,000 to 50,000,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Long-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation of world population

CanadaVery High

Conservation and management

There are currently few conservation concerns for this species. Its adaptability to drier habitats, often those created by forest clear-cutting operations, may have helped promote its healthy population status in some areas (Erskine 1992). On the wintering grounds, the species’ use of open and cutover habitats has ensured little threat (Wilson 2013). In the Maritime Provinces, where forestry operations might be expected to overlap with the species' breeding distribution, there appears to be little indication that breeding habitat has been degraded (Erskine 1992). However, in southern Canada the Palm Warbler nests locally in bogs. Bog habitat in Quebec has been lost due to the peat moss industry, agriculture and hydro-electric projects (Desrochers et al. 1998). The Palm Warbler may be exceptionally prone to collision with tall, lighted towers and structures (Wilson 2013), which may represent a significant source of mortality.


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
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region
Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence PlainLower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic Region - Newfoundland and Labrador
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Ontario Region
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern Region
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region