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Black-and-white Warbler

Mniotilta varia

Length: 5 inches Wingspan: 8.5 inches Seasonality: Summer / Migrant
ID Keys: Nuthatch-like feeding behavior, black-and-white striping over entire body with white stripe over each eye. 

Black-and-white Warbler - Mniotilta variaA warbler that behaves like a nuthatch, the Black-and-White Warbler feeds by crawling up and down tree trunks and branches, looking in crevices for insects.  They are often found quite low in forest and woodland edges, a habit that makes them quite conspicuous, especially considering their bold black-and-white plumage and unique behavior.  A common migrant in South Dakota, Black-and White Warblers are among the earliest spring warblers. 

Habitat: Deciduous and mixed woodlands.

Diet: Feeds almost exclusively on insects and spiders.

Behavior: Does most of its foraging by clambering along tree branches and tree trunks in search of insects.  Will also occasionally fly out from a perch to catch flying insects in mid-air.

Nesting: June and July

Interactive eBird Map: Click to access an interactive eBird map of Black-and-White Warbler sightings

Song: Black-and-White Warbler song

Migration: Summers in much of the eastern U.S., southern Canada, and locally elsewhere.  Winters along the Gulf Coast and points south.

Similar Species: Blackpoll Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler

Conservation Status: Widespread and common, but there is some evidence of local declines.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Black-and-White Warbler

2) WhatBird - Black-and-White Warbler

3) Audubon Guide - Black-and-White Warbler

Photo Information: September 3rd, 2007 - Minnehaha County, South Dakota - Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Black-and-white Warbler photos.

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Black-and-White Warbler - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Common migrant throughout the state.  Uncommon and local summer resident in portions of the western part of the state, casual in summer in the east.

Additional Black-and-white Warbler Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
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