Spring and fall are the times to see a Magnolia Warbler as they migrate to and from the breeding grounds in the boreal forest. Within trees and shrubs watch for a warbler foraging on the outer edges of the tree, plucking insects from the undersides of leaves.
Breed in dense stands of young conifer trees, especially spruce in the north and hemlock in the south. During migration they forage in dense areas along forest edges, woodlots, and parks. primarily eat caterpillars, especially spruce budworm when it is abundant. They also eat insects and spiders and occasionally take fruit in the fall. They tend to forage on the outer edges of branches, searching the undersides of needles and leaves for prey.