Make the Identification: Cape May vs Palm Warbler

Make the ID: Cape May vs Palm Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila



The joy of seeing warblers during spring migration is always a highlight of any outing.  But some species can seem similar – especially when the view is fleeting.  Cape May and Palm Warblers can be confused, and here are a few tips to help you make the correct ID:
Palm Warblers are fairly large in size compared to other warblers, and they are larger than Cape May Warblers. They also stand more upright and have a larger belly than most warblers.
While both warblers are identifiable by the rusty markings on their heads, Palm Warblers have a rusty cap and Cape May Warblers have a black cap and chestnut cheek patch which
Palm Warbler
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
 extends slightly over the eye, and and a yellow collar.


Both species have streaks on their breast, but Cape May warblers have black streaks, and Palm warblers have rusty ones.  Cape May Warblers also have wing bars.  Cape May Warblers may seem a bit darker overall than Palm Warblers.