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Blackburnian Warbler

Setophaga fusca

Length: 5 inches Wingspan: 8 inches Seasonality: Migrant
ID Keys: Bright orange on face and throat (yellowish on female), strong dark facial markings, white underparts with streaks on sides.

Blackburnian Warbler - Setophaga fuscaBlackburnian Warblers are a long-distance migrant, summering around the U.S./Canada border, and wintering near the forests of the Andes in South America.  The brilliantly colored males often spend much of their time high in the treetops, especially during breeding season when singing their song.

Habitat: Prefers spruce and hemlock forests on its summer breeding grounds.  Can be found in nearly any kind of forest, woodland, or shrubland during migration through the state.

Diet: Primarily insects, with a strong preference for caterpillars.  Will occasionally eat berries, especially during the winter.

Behavior: Feeding is typically done by climbing on the tips of branches and foliage, usually quite high in the forest canopy.  They will also hover and glean insects from the canopy, or occasionally fly out from a perch to catch passing insects in mid-air.

Interactive eBird Map: Click to access an interactive eBird map of Blackburnian Wabler sightings

Song: Blackburnian Warbler Song

Migration: Summers in southern Canada, the Great Lakes region, and the Appalachians.  Winters in Central and South America.

Similar Species: Townsend's Warbler, Yellow-Throated Warbler

Conservation Status: Vulnerable to habitat loss on wintering grounds in the tropical Americas.  Some evidence of decline in recent decades.

Further Information: 1) Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Blackburnian Warbler

2) WhatBird - Blackburnian Warbler

3) Audubon Guide - Blackburnian Warbler

Image Information: Colored pencil drawing, by Terry Sohl - March 2012


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Blackburnian Warbler - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Uncommon migrant in the eastern part of the state.

Additional Blackburnian Warbler Images
Click for a higher-resolution version of these images
 Blackburnian Warbler - Setophaga fuscaBlackburnian Warbler - Setophaga fuscaBlackburnian Warbler - Setophaga fuscaBlackburnian Warbler - Setophaga fuscaBlackburnian Warbler - Drawing by Terry Sohl