Connecticut Warbler Oporornis agilis Scientific name definitions

Jay Pitocchelli, Julie L. Jones, and David C. Jones
Version: 2.0 — Published June 2, 2023


Systematics History

Sylvia agilis Wilson, 1812, American Ornithology: The Natural History of the Birds of the United States, 5:64 (30). Type locality given as "Connecticut" (30).

Geographic Variation

None described.



Related Species

Oporornis agilis fits squarely within the narrow, monophyletic family Parulidae (New World warblers or wood warblers) identified by Lovette et al. (31), whose comprehensive genetic study shook up relationships within the family. A key finding in that study was that the genus Oporornis, as formerly recognized, was paraphyletic, meaning it included several species that were only distantly related to one another (see also 32). In this case, three of the species were found to cluster relatively tightly with the genus Geothylpis (the yellowthroats), and hence were merged into that genus. This taxonomic change (33) left the genus Oporornis with but a single species, and rather than being phylogenetically close to its three former congeners—Geothlypis formosa (Kentucky Warbler), Geothlypis philadelphia (Mourning Warbler), and Geothlypis tolmiei (MacGillivray's Warbler), the sister species of Oporornis agilis is actually the enigmatic Semper's Warbler (Leucopeza semperi) of St. Lucia in the Lesser Antilles, a species that is likely extinct (34). Together, these two species are in turn sister to Geothlypis (31, 35).


McCarthy (36) cited Sutton's (37) report of hybridization between Geothlypis philadelphia and Oporornis agilis. Sutton (37) opined that a “puzzling” male collected in Muskogee County in eastern Oklahoma (Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 3635), had the black bib of a Geothlypis philadelphia and the complete eye-ring and longer undertail coverts of a Oporornis agilis.

Hybrid Records and Media Contributed to eBird

  • Connecticut x Mourning Warbler (hybrid) Oporornis agilis x Geothlypis philadelphia


Alexander Wilson first described this species in 1812 and named it after the state of Connecticut in the United States, where he collected the first specimen, a fall migrant. The common name is something of a misnomer, however, because the species does not breed in Connecticut, nor is it a common migrant there.

Fossil History

Information needed.

Recommended Citation

Pitocchelli, J., J. L. Jones, and D. Jones (2023). Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.conwar.02