- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.7. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Breeding
Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Breeding range includes extreme western Texas (Chisos Mountains), southern Coahuila (Diamante Pass, Sierra Guadalupe), western Nuevo Leon (Cerro Potosi), southwestern Tamaulipas (Miquihuana), northeastern Zacatecas, and northern San Luis Potosi, at elevations of 1,500-3,200 meters (1,500-2,370 meters in Texas, 2,180-3,180 meters in southeastern Coahuila) (Howell and Webb 1995, AOU 1998, Beason and Wauer 1998). Distribution within breeding range is patchy (Beason and Wauer 1998). In winter, this warbler occurs from southeastern Sinaloa and southwestern Durango south through Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacan to Guerrero (AOU 1983, Lanning et al. 1990) and rarely Oaxaca, at elevations of 1,500-3,600 meters (Wauer 1994, Howell and Webb 1995, Beason and Wauer 1998).
Coded range extend refers to breeding range.
Length: 15 cm
Weight: 10 grams
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: This warbler nests in thickets and shrubby woodland, primarily oak, maple, cypress, and juniper scrub in hilly areas; in migration it occurs in open woodland, thickets, and scrub (AOU 1983). Habitat in Texas includes oak-pinyon pine-juniper and oak-maple-Arizona cypress vegetation types; in southeastern Coahuila, it includes chaparral interspersed with pines 4.5-6.0 meters tall and low oak-pine woodland bordering conifer forest (Lanning et al. 1990, Wauer 1994, Beason and Wauer 1998).
Lanning et al. (1990) characterized the habitat as follows: oak-pine habitat with bunchgrass ground cover, especially where shrubs and ground cover are relatively tall and dense, including habitat islands as small as 10 sq km (breeding); woodland and forest containing oaks, pines, and fir (winter); often in the dense lower vegetation in both breeding and winter habitats; tree, shrub, and ground vegetation strata often contiguous; occur in undisturbed sites and areas of light to moderate grazing, selective logging, and burning, but not in areas heavily disturbed by these factors (Lanning et al. 1990).
Nests are constructed among leaves in shaded areas on the ground among small oaks, bunchgrass, between rocks on banks of dry streambeds, or on edges of talus slopes. Nests incorporate pinyon-ricegrass, dead leaves, hair of deer and horse, and other materials (Wauer 1994).
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Migrants arrives on breeding grounds in Texas between mid-March and late May, depart by mid-September (Wauer 1994).
Comments: Diet includes insects, including wasp galls, and spiders (Wauer 1994). This warbler has been observed apparently taking nectar from agave flowers.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Comments: Occurrences have not been determined using standardized criteria. This warbler breeds in many locations in its small range in the Chisos Mountains in Texas (Beason and Wauer 1998) and in many more locations in Mexico where the species is much more widely distributed.
10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Comments: Total adult population size is not well documented but likely exceeds 10,000. Rich et al. (2004) estimated global population size at 25,000. In the Chisos Mountains, Texas, mean population was 58.2 breeding pairs at 10 count locations from 1967 to 1984; in 1996, 42 breeding pairs were recorded at same count locations, and 26 additional pairs were located at lower elevations where previously they had not been found (Beason and Wauer 1998).
Mean territory size in Texas was 306 meters by 165 meters (Wauer 1994). Principal predators are Mexican jay and sharp-shinned hawk (Wauer 1994).
Life History and Behavior
Eggs are laid in May in Texas. Clutch size usually is 3-4. Incubation, by female, lasts 12 days. Both sexes tend young, which fledge 3.5 weeks after hatching (Wauer 1994).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Vermivora crissalis
There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen. Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Vermivora crissalis
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2004Near Threatened
- 1988Near Threatened
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N3B - Vulnerable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Small range in Texas and Mexico; population size probably exceeds 10,000 and may be stable or slowly declining; no major threats; better information is needed on conservation status in Mexico.
Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)
Comments: Chisos Mountain population appears to be stable (Wauer 1994, Beason and Wauer 1998). Trend in Mexico is unknown; based on habitat trends (area is mostly remote, sparsely inhabited by humans, and/or unsuitable for agriculture; Lanning et al. 1990), the warbler population presumably is relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 30 percent over 10 years or three genberations.
Global Long Term Trend: Unknown
Degree of Threat: Low
Comments: No major threats are apparent, due mainly to the remote, rugged, sparsely populated habitat (Lanning et al. 1990). In Mexico, potentially severe threats include (1) grazing by exotic livestock and (2) adjacent land uses that increase populations of feral dogs, cats, and brown-headed cowbirds (Wauer 1994).
None are known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Regularly monitor the population at selected sites across its range to determine trends. Research the effects of grazing and wood cutting on populations of the species. Examine the effects of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism at the population level. Protect significant areas of forest, in both strictly protected areas and community led multiple use areas.
Biological Research Needs: Better information is needed on winter ecology.
The Colima Warbler (Oreothlypis crissalis) is a New World warbler. It is mainly found in the Sierra Madre Occidental of central Mexico, though its range just barely extends into adjacent southwestern Texas in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park.
The Colima warbler is about 4.5 to 5 inches (11 to 13 cm) long. They are mainly dark gray and brownish in coloration, with a pale under-side. Their rump and the feathers below their tail are yellow. They have a white ring around their eye, and a tinge of pale color on their breasts. Males have a spot of orange on the top of their heads.
In appearance the Colima Warbler is very similar to the Virginia's Warbler, but is larger in size, more robust, and heavier billed. The Virginia's Warbler has much more yellow or pale color on their breasts, which is more gray in the Colima Warbler. The yellow above and below the tail is also more orange-yellow in the Colima's Warbler, and more greenish-yellow in Virginia's Warblers.
Nesting is done on the ground. Forming a loose cup-shaped nest of grass, leaves, and moss the Colima Warbler hides its nest among the mountain rocks. It usually lays four eggs, which are white to cream-colored and speckled with brown.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Formerly (AOU 1983, 1998) placed in the genus Vermivora, transferred to Oreothlypis by AOU (2010). Sometimes this species has been regarded as conspecific with V. ruficapilla and V. virginiae (AOU 1983); the three species may constitute a superspecies (AOU 1998).