Olive-capped Warbler 3.Abaco Bahamas.6.13.Tom Sheley


Abaco has a recorded 37 warbler species. Of these, most are winter residents and some are rarer migratory transients. Only 5 are permanently resident on Abaco: the Bahama Warbler, Bahama Yellowthroat, Olive-capped Warbler, Pine Warbler and Yellow Warbler. You can read about all 5 HERE 

Olive-capped Warbler, Abaco (Bruce Hallett)Olive-capped Warbler, Abaco (Bruce Hallett)

I realise that I haven’t posted about OCWs in their own right; and that as a species they have been unfairly lumped in (by me) with more general warbler posts. Time to put that right by showing some exclusively OCW photos.

Olive-capped Warbler.Abaco Bahamas.6.13.Tom Sheley

OCWs have an unusually restricted range, despite which they remain IUCN-listed ‘Least Concern’. These pretty birds are native only to the western and eastern ends of Cuba, Grand Bahama, and Abaco. Their natural habitat is pine forests and to a lesser extent in mixed forest and coppice areas.

Olive-capped Warbler 6.Abaco Bahamas.6.13.Tom Sheley

If you are lucky enough to see an OCW on Abaco, it’s worth thinking about the rich and unspoilt habitat that ensures its survival there. These little birds, along with other important bird species, enjoy a safe haven in the vast acres of pine forest.Olive-capped Warbler, Abaco (Bruce Hallett)

Olive-capped Warbler, Abaco (Tom Reed)

Photo credits: Bruce Hallett (1, 2, 3, 6); Tom Sheley (4, 5); Tom Reed (7)


  1. Pingback: Pine warbler sings, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. It’s great to see these tiny denizens of the deep pine forest getting their due attention.
    It may be the most sought after bird on Abaco by serious listers. Their limited distribution and usual position high in the long needles of Caribbean pines makes them little known and seldom seen but plat their song and they can be coaked down for close up views and photos. The photos shown are great and reveal the personality of these feisty diminuative avian delights


    • Hi Woody, I’m glad to be able to feature so many quality photos of this little bird, all taken on Abaco (and none by me!) Despite being a permanent resident, I suspect the OCW is one of the least familiar and least seen of the ‘regular’ small birds. As you aptly say, avian delights! RH


  3. Hi…

    Hope you are well. Very nice article.

    Am heading over to Abaco next weekend. Any ideas on where I could find this bird?

    Thanks Velma

    Please excuse brevity… I am responding remotely. Sent from my iPhone



    • Hi Velma, all fine thanks! Re the OCW, all I can say is: go to open pine forest; look high – the cap will be difficult to see, but not the distinctive yellow throat. Don’t confuse with the similar yellow-throated warbler which has a longer bill, much bolder black streaking below, an obvious pale supercilium and dark eyestripe, and more extensive yellow underparts. Hope that helps.
      While you are there (I guess you’ll be staying on MoW), when convenient please can you check out beaches and shorelines for piping plovers for an ongoing project. I am trying to collate sightings to include date, location, number(s), tide, whether banded, and if so as much detail as possible – preferably with clear photos of the legs. So, not a lot to ask, I know (!). You can see more about it on my dedicated page https://www.facebook.com/Abaco.Piping.Plovers Don’t go out of your way but any PIPL info whiling you are birding would be happily received.
      Have a great trip.



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