A plain warbler dressed in subtle shades of olive, brown, and buff. Note black and tan stripes on head and long, sharp bill. Pinkish legs. Skulky, often seen in the understory, probing clumps of dead leaves in search of insects. Breeds in mature deciduous forests, especially on steep dry slopes. Winters primarily in Middle America and the Caribbean, where it can be found in a wider variety of forested habitats. Listen for its dry, insectlike trill that is very similar to Chipping Sparrow. Appearance most similar to Swainson’s Warbler; distinguished by head pattern (Swainson’s has a rufous crown, Worm-eating has a striped head) and habits (Swainson’s usually found on the ground, Worm-eating in low understory).
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