Warblers are some of the coolest yet little-known species in the birding world. Spring is the perfect time to be on the lookout for these birds as they migrate north for nesting season.

Here are 12 warblers to look for this season, most of which are common throughout the Eastern United States. One thing to know that applies to all the species below is the males are generally brighter and more colorful than females.

American redstart

The American redstart, with its Halloween-themed colors, nests in open woodlands, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The American redstart, with its Halloween-themed colors, nests in open woodlands, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

Even though warbler isn’t part of its name, the American redstart is still part of the family. This is one of the most common warblers — you can find it throughout most of the Eastern U.S., part of the West and north into Canada. You can pick out the males with bright flashes of red-orange on the breasts and wings.

Black-throated blue warbler

The black-throated blue warbler migrates to the Caribbean during the winter. The black-throated blue warbler migrates to the Caribbean during the winter. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

When you see this bird in the wild, it can look all black at first glance because of its deep black throat and dark blue coloring. It spends the summer in the Northeast.

Black-throated green warbler

The black-throated green warbler perches out in the open to sing, according to the National Audubon Society. The black-throated green warbler perches out in the open to sing, according to the National Audubon Society. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

Look for the dark black throat on this warbler, along with a bright yellow head and greenish sheen on its back. It might be hard to see this one, as it likes to stay high in the trees.

Black-and-white warbler

The black-and-white warbler was once known as the "black-and-white creeper" because of the way it climbs tree trunks. The black-and-white warbler was once known as the "black-and-white creeper" because of the way it climbs tree trunks. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

This bird acts a lot like a nuthatch because of the way it climbs up the trunk of a tree — not typical warbler behavior. If you know to look for this, though, you can pick it out because of its bold black and white pattern.

Blackburnian warbler

Blackburnian warblers spend winters in South America, often found in forests in the Andes. Blackburnian warblers spend winters in South America, often found in forests in the Andes. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

This is one of the most striking and easy-to-spot warblers. It has a bright orange head and a black-and-white striped body. The only bird with brighter orange than this one is the oriole.

Cape May warbler

Cape May warblers have unique tongues — they’re curled and semitubular — which they use to collect nectar during winters in the West Indies. Cape May warblers have unique tongues — they’re curled and semitubular — which they use to collect nectar during winters in the West Indies. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

The first thing you’ll probably notice with this warbler is the beautiful black stripes on its breast. Next, you’ll notice the chestnut patch around its ear. While females don’t have this patch, it does make it easy to pick out the males.

Cerulean warbler

Cerulean warblers are hard to spot because they stay at the tops of leafy trees in the summer. Cerulean warblers are hard to spot because they stay at the tops of leafy trees in the summer. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

Another blue warbler, this one is streaked on its underside. You can pick out this bird because it has a black “necklace” that goes across its throat.

Hooded warbler

The hooded warbler migrates to southern Mexico and Central America during the winter, according to the University of Michigan.  The hooded warbler migrates to southern Mexico and Central America during the winter, according to the University of Michigan. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

Take one look at the males of this bird with the dark black surrounding their face, and you’ll know how they got their name. Females lack this color, but they still have a shadow of a hood.

Magnolia warbler

Despite the name, magnolia warblers aren’t usually found in magnolia trees. They prefer pine, red maple, spruce or balsam fir trees. Despite the name, magnolia warblers aren’t usually found in magnolia trees. They prefer pine, red maple, spruce or balsam fir trees. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

Some birders call this bird “Maggie,” and it’s probably one of the easiest warblers to spot because it stays low in the trees. It has a very distinct pattern with a yellow throat, black stripes, and white on its head and on the outside feathers.

Northern parula

Northern parulas are hard to spot because they’re small and live in dense treetop foliage. Northern parulas are hard to spot because they’re small and live in dense treetop foliage. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

This bird is well-known for its song. In fact, you’ll often hear it before you see it because it hides so well in the trees. The parula is blue-gray on the top and yellow underneath.

Palm warbler

The palm warbler is usually seen low or on the ground in thickets or open areas. The palm warbler is usually seen low or on the ground in thickets or open areas. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

At first, this warbler seems pretty plain, but there are two distinguishing things to look for. First is the chestnut cap on the very top of its head. Next, look for it bobbing its tail up and down when it’s perched on a branch.

Prothonotary warbler

"Prothonotary" originally referred to official scribes in the Catholic Church who wore yellow hoods, which match the bird’s markings. "Prothonotary" originally referred to official scribes in the Catholic Church who wore yellow hoods, which match the bird’s markings. (Photo: Biggest Week in American Birding/Kenn Kaufman)

One of the coolest things about this warbler is that it nests in a cavity, so it will seek out a tree hole or even a birdhouse. They will travel to parts of the North and Midwest, but they are much more common in the Southeast.

One of the best places to see these birds is during a festival called The Biggest Week in American Birding. This event is held in northwest Ohio in early May, and this area is considered “the warbler capital of the world.” If you have the chance to go, it’s definitely worth your while.