Pink-headed Warbler Cardellina versicolor

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Ruth Partida-Lara, Paula L. Enríquez, and José Raúl Vázquez-Pérez


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Pink-headed Warbler
eBird range map for Pink-headed Warbler

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Pink-headed Warbler is resident, and endemic to a relatively small area in the northern Neotropics; the distribution is restricted to the highlands of Chiapas in southeastern Mexico and the highlands of Guatemala.

This species is distributed in two regions: in central highlands of Chiapas, and in the southern part of Chiapas (Tacaná Volcano) and in the highlands of western Guatemala. Recent records in Chiapas are from Tacaná Volcano Biosphere Reserve, Huitepec Ecological Reserve, close to Rancho Nuevo in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas and Cerro Tzontehuitz. At Tacaná Volcano is widely distributed; it is considered relatively common by most sources, but at times is rare (Wilson and Will 1997, personal observations). On the slopes and foothills of Tacaná Volcano and Rancho Nuevo, Municipality of San Cristobal de las Casas, there are significant populations.

Geographical coordinates (latitude, longitude) for sites in Chiapas: Huitepec Ecological Reserve (16° 44’ N, 92° 41’ W), Municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas; Rancho Nuevo (16°40’ N, 92°35’ W), Municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas; Tacaná Volcano, locality of Chiquihuite, Municipality of Union Juarez, Chiapas. Locality El Águila, Municipality Cacahotán, locality Cordón Pico-Paxtal, Municipality Siltepec, locality Ojo de Agua, Municipality Escuintla (Martínez-Vergara 2009, SEMAVHIN 2011).

The elevational range of Pink-headed Warbler in Mexico is 1800-3500 m (Howell and Webb 1995).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


The habitat of the Pink-headed warbler is pine-oak forest and montane evergreen forest. This species occurs primarily at forest edge and in adjacent secondary vegetation (Wilson and Will 1997). It also occurs on forested slopes, with an open canopy and dense undergrowth (Wilson and Will 1997). Generally Pink-headed Warbler forages in the forest canopy; nests are built on the ground (Skutch 1954, Dawn 1963, Wilson and Will 1997, unpublished data). Some representative species in the pine-oak forests are Quercus crassifolia, Q. rugosa, Q. laurina, Q. candicas, Q. skutchii, Q. crispipilis, Oreopanax xalapensis, Rapanea juergensenii, Pinus ayacahuite, P. oaxacana, and P. ocarpa. Representative tree species in montane cloud forests occupied by Pink-headed Warbler are Q. laurina, Q. crassifolia, Cleyera theaeoides, Persea americana, Styrax argenteus, Drimys sp., Miconia sp., Oreopanax sp., and Rhamnus sp. (Rzedowski 1978, Ramírez-Marcial et al. 1998).

Historical changes

Populations have declined in the highlands of central Chiapas, following the eruption of Volcán Chichonál in 1982; this irruption covered large parts of Chiapas with volcanic ash (Wilson and Will 1997).

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Partida-Lara, R., P. L. Enríquez, and J. R. Vázquez-Pérez (2012). Pink-headed Warbler (Cardellina versicolor), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.