Male: Yellow forehead; black crown patch; gray nape; yellow chin and belly; black bib; olive back, wings, and upper side of tail; pale yellow undertail coverts. Female: Yellow forehead; gray crown patch; gray nape; yellow chin and belly; black bib; pale olive back, wings, and upper side of tail; pale yellow to white undertail coverts. 11 cm (4.25 in) in length. The song was a series of buzzy notes remaining on one pitch.
Breeding habitat consisted of bottomland forests, usually those associated with water. These birds used canebrakes and other areas with dense understories. The nests were normally low, 1-4 feet ( m) above the ground. The nest was cup-shaped, and was built from leaves, grass, moss, and other plant material and lined with finer material and Spanish Moss. The female laid 3-5 (usually 4) eggs that she incubated for an unknown period. The young were altricial, and probably remained in the nest for around 1-2 weeks.
This bird's breeding habitat appeared to be wet forested areas, although little information is available on migration and wintering habitat. The diet consisted of insects, mostly caterpillars, spiders, and other small invertebrates. It was a low forager, searching among the leaves and probing into leaf clusters searching for prey. This species is thought to have been migratory.
Bachman's Warbler occurred in the southeastern United States during the breeding season. The only positive winter reports for this species were in Cuba and southern Florida.
Bachman's Warbler is thought to be extinct. By the early 1900s, reports of this warbler were scarce. The last positive sighting was in the early 1960s. The decline of this species is attributed to the destruction of bottomland hardwood forests and drainage of wetlands and swamps. Problems on the wintering grounds, including several hurricanes in the 1930s, may also have attributed to this species decline.
The most similar species is the Hooded Warbler. The sides of the face, belly, and undertail coverts of the Hooded Warbler are all yellow. It also has large white patches on the outer tail feathers.