#216 Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)

30 September

  • This is the fall plumage – in breeding season they are stronlgy black and white but not to be confused with the Black and White Warbler who is a bird of quite a different feather. There is a summer plumage image below this text – borrowed from the Cornell website.

These birds breed so far north that the best times for most people to see them are in spring and fall, as they migrate through North America. Spring is arguably the best time—males’ colors and patterns are crisp and sharp, and the birds will be traveling overland and singing as they move north. Despite their affinity for evergreen trees on the breeding grounds they tend to forage in deciduous trees and shrubs during migration. Listen intently for their high-pitched song, as it is sometimes easy to overlook. You can also spot Blackpoll Warblers during fall migration, but they take a different route than in spring and are unlikely to be seen south of North Carolina. They look much different in fall and rarely sing—but they are much more numerous since all the young of the year are on their way south in addition to the adults. Look for them in mixed flocks of migrating warblers.

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