Minnesota’s Warblers


Up to 20 different species of warblers pass through the Twin Cities area between mid-April and the end of May, with the bulk passing through between the 5th and 15th of May. If you’d like to catch a sighting or two of these colorful migrants—in your backyard or around town—Minnesota birding expert Bob Janssen has helped us to prepare this guide to both common and noteworthy warblers.


Early Arrivers

In early to mid-April, the first warbler typically to appear in the Twin Cities area is the Yellow-rumped Warbler. By late April, Orange-crowned, Black and White, and Nashville Warblers arrive.

Warblers found in Minnesota in Early May


Mid May warbler arrivals in Minnesota

Late May

 Late May warbler arrivals in Minnesota

Warblers that nest in the Twin Cities Metro area all summer

Of course, the arrival dates of warblers vary from year to year, depending on wind conditions and temperatures. Northwest winds and cool temperatures may stall migration, while southern winds and warm temperatures may rush the migration. Some years, the bulk of warblers pass through in a few days and you can miss the whole migration if you’re not vigilant!
Spotting warblers can be a challenging hobby because variables exist that change from year to year, like weather and location, and because you need to have a good knowledge of the songs and identifying characteristics to identify the birds. However, the challenges are part of the reason that birding is so much fun—it’s incredibly rewarding to find them from year to year!

This article is republished from the May/June 2017 issue of the Bird’s-Eye View Newsletter. Article by guest contributor Katrina Hase.

Click here For additional information about Minnesota’s warblers, including Bob Janssen’s favorite viewing locations.