WatchList Species Account for Colima Warbler
(Vermivora crissalis)

Qualifies for the list as a Declining Yellow List Species


Colima Warbler by Greg Lavaty
Photo: Greg Lavaty

The Colima Warbler breeds only in the Chisos Mountains of western Texas and the Sierra Madre Oriental of northeastern Mexico. Though rare, it is locally common and is easiest to observe in Big Bend National Park. Though singing territorial males have been observed in recent years in the Davis Mountains, about 99 miles from Big Bend National Park, no direct evidence of breeding has yet been observed there.


This warbler winters on the Pacific slope of southwest Mexico. Both its breeding and wintering habitat are mixed forests of oak and pine, with a grassy ground cover, at elevations from 4,900 to 11,483 feet. It nests on the ground in grass or leaf litter, or in cavities on hillsides.


The breeding population in the Chisos Mountains appears to be stable, but no information about the populations in Mexico is available.


Though not found in heavily disturbed areas, the U.S. population (only discovered in 1928) is apparently not much affected by human activity, though in Mexico there is predation on the birds from feral dogs and cats from nearby farms and villages. However, its Mexican habitat is remote and not suitable for agriculture, so is not under current threat. In Big Bend Park the habitat is protected and monitored.