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Version 1.0

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Adelaide's Warbler Setophaga adelaidae

Judith D. Toms
Version: 1.0 — Published May 28, 2010


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Distribution in the Americas

Endemic to Puerto Rico and Vieques.

A common resident at lower elevations on Puerto Rico, though absent from the extreme eastern end (Raffaele 1989). Also a common (Wetmore 1916b) or locally common (Sorrié 1975) resident on Vieques. On Puerto Rico, it was once found below 150 m in elevation, except in the central part of the island where they occurred to 350 m in elevation (west of Cayey; Wetmore 1916a).  However, it can now be found at higher elevations: to 470 m in Susúa State Forest (pers. obs.) and higher in Maricao State Forest (Tossas 2006, 2010). At higher elevations, it is replaced by the Elfin-woods Warbler (D. angelae), with a small amount of range overlap only in Maricao (west-central Puerto Rico; Cruz and Delannoy 1984, Tossas 2010).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to Puerto Rico and Vieques.


On Puerto Rico, Adelaide’s Warblers are most abundant in the dry scrub and dry limestone forests of the south coast, but also are moderately abundant in the moist limestone forests found on the "mogotes" (haystack hills) in the northwest (Wetmore 1927, Danforth 1931, Raffaele 1989). Also found in second-growth forests with dense vegetation, shade coffee plantations, and citrus groves (Wetmore 1916a). Although they occur in the scrub bordering coastal swamp and hills in the northeast (Wetmore 1927), they do not occur in El Yunque (Kepler and Kepler 1970) nor in the extreme eastern end of the island (Raffaele 1989). When found in sympatry with Elfin Woods Warblers (D. angelae) at higher elevations, Adelaide’s Warblers are found only in the shorter, scrubbier and less diverse forest types (Cruz and Delannoy 1984). In the San Juan area, they are found in urbanized areas (Suarez-Rubio and Thomlinson 2009).

On Vieques, Adelaide’s Warblers are common in the dry limestone forest, dry scrub, and brushy valleys (Wetmore 1916b, Danforth 1937, Sorrié 1975).

Historical changes

No information.

Fossil history

A single left humerus was found in Cueva Catedral, near Morovís (north-central Puerto Rico; Wetmore 1922). The bone was likely part of an owl pellet, and its age could not be estimated. However, the deposits were roughly aged from two-thousand years old through modern times.

Distribution of the Adelaide's Warbler
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Adelaide's Warbler

Recommended Citation

Toms, J. D. (2010). Adelaide's Warbler (Setophaga adelaidae), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.adewar1.01