Red-faced Warbler

Red-faced Warblers (Cardellina rubrifrons) nest in the high elevation forests of Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. These colorful warblers arrive here in southern Arizona in April and depart sometime in September. I spotted this Red-faced Warbler in a riparian canyon near Summerhaven on Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson in June.

Red-faced Warbler (Cardellina rubrifrons)

A Red-faced Warbler can be recognized by its distinctive red face, black head crescent, white nape of the neck, and gray body.

Red-faced Warblers are usually found in relatively moist, insect-rich areas with deciduous trees like Bigtooth Maples (Acer grandidentatum) amid the pine forest, where these active birds can often be seen foraging through the trees for insects. Even when I don't see Red-faced Warblers in their favored summer habitat, I will still often hear them because they are exuberant singers.

Despite their foraging and singing in the trees like a normal bird, Red-faced Warblers will nest in holes in the ground like a mouse. Their little nest holes are carefully hidden beneath a plant, a log, or a rock.