Cuban warbler

Cuban warblers[1]
Yellow-headed Warbler (Teretistris fernandinae) cropped.jpg
Yellow-headed warbler (Teretistris fernandinae)
Scientific classification e
Baird 1864
Cabanis, 1855

See text

Oriente warbler (above), and yellow-headed warbler (below); illustration by Keulemans, 1885

The Cuban warblers are a genus, Teretistris, and family, Teretistridae, of birds endemic to Cuba and its surrounding cays. Until 2002 they were thought to be New World warblers, but DNA studies have shown that they are not closely related to that family. The family consists of two species, the yellow-headed warbler and the Oriente warbler. Both species are found in forest and scrub, with the yellow-headed warbler ranging in the west of the island and the Oriente warbler in the east. The Cuban warblers are 13 cm (5.1 in) long and have similar yellow and grey plumage.

The Cuban warblers are insectivores, with beetles forming a large part of the diet. Small reptiles and fruit are also taken. They feed in bushes and trees, in pairs or in small flocks during the non-breeding season, and are often the nucleus species for mixed-species feeding flocks with other birds, particularly migrants from North America.


The genus Teretistris was long thought to sit in the New World warbler family Parulidae, until a 2002 study examined 25 genera of New World warbler using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA found that six genera were best placed outside the family, including Teretistris.[2] Five of the genera had long been suspected to not sit comfortably inside Parulidae, but before this study there had never been a suggestion that Teretistris did not belong in the New World warbler family.[1]

A follow up study published in 2013 supported the separation of the genus from Parulidae but found it difficult to resolve exactly where it sat with the other nine-primaried songbirds.[3] Their closest relatives may be the wrenthrush, genus Zeledonia, now often treated as a monotypic family, Zeledoniidae.[4] The study's authors nevertheless recommended separating the genus into its own family, Teretistridae.[3] The family was included in the 58th supplement of the American Ornithological Society (AOC) checklist in 2017,[5] and the family has also been accepted by the International Ornithological Congress' (IOC) Birds of the World: Recommended English Names,[6] the Handbook of the Birds of the World's HBW Alive[4] and The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World.[7] These four authorities have also adopted the common name of Cuban warblers for the family.[4][5][6][7] The 2013 Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World took a different approach, however, and placed the two Cuban warblers with the wrenthrush in the family Zeledoniidae.[8]

The family contains two closely related species, usually treated as a species pair:[9][10]

The yellow-headed warbler is monotypic, meaning it has no described subspecies. In 2000 a subspecies of the Oriente warbler, turquinensis, was described from Pico Turquino, a mountain in the south of the island.[7][8][10] The subspecies has been accepted by some authorities,[6] but one has suggested that further research is required.[11]

Other Languages
brezhoneg: Teretistris
català: Teretistris
Cebuano: Teretistris
español: Teretistris
Esperanto: Teretistris
français: Teretistris
italiano: Teretistris
magyar: Teretistris
Nederlands: Teretistris
norsk nynorsk: Teretistris
svenska: Kubasångare
українська: Ситівка (птах)
Tiếng Việt: Teretistris
Winaray: Teretistris