Swainson’s warbler

Swainson’s Warbler (Birds of North Carolina: their distribution and abundance)
The Swainson’s Warbler was once considered one of the rarest of warblers in the country. This perceived rarity was based as much on the extreme difficulty of actually seeing one without the use of a taped song as it is in terms of total numbers. It also has an unusual “bimodal” breeding range, nesting mostly in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains, but also to an extent in the southern Appalachians, with a hiatus in most of the Piedmont.

Swainson’s Warbler Identification (allaboutbirds.org)
A heavyset warbler of southern swamps and forested ravines, the Swainson’s Warbler has a bold, ringing song but tends to remain frustratingly hidden in the understory. The species forages mostly in dense vegetation on or near the ground, where it uses its hefty bill to turn over leaves in search of insects and spiders.

Swainson’s Warbler (Audubon field guide)
Prefers swamps and river floodplain forests. Breeds both in swamps and bottomlands of the southern coastal plains and in moist Appalachian forests. In swamps, prefers large tract with dense understory and sparse ground cover. Found especially in canebrakes and dwarf palmetto. In Appalachians, prefers rhododendron-laurel-hemlock associations or yellow poplar, oak and maple with moderate undergrowth.

Swainson’s Warbler (American Bird Conservancy)
The Swainson’s Warbler is an extremely secretive bird, living most of its life concealed in thick undergrowth, where it is more often heard than seen. Lucky viewers may glimpse a brown-backed bird with a touch of rust on its crown walking on the forest floor on long, pink legs.

Warbler ID (Youtube video, Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
Warblers are a favorite among birders of all skill levels because they’re so rewarding. With their bright colors and globe-trotting habits, warblers add excitement to spring birding. But they often flit by quickly and can be tricky to identify. We know that it can feel overwhelming at first. Get the help you’ve been looking for with a course that gives you practice identifying all 51 warblers from across the United States and Canada.