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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Black-throated Green Warbler

Setophaga virens ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

An abundant breeder of the northeastern coniferous forests, the Black-throated Green Warbler is easy to recognize by sight and sound. Its dark black bib and bright yellow face are unique amongst Eastern birds, and its persistent song of "zoo-zee, zoo-zoo-zee" is easy to remember.

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Appearance

Warblers
Warblers
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small songbird.
  • Black in throat, extending as stripes down sides of chest.
  • Yellow face.
  • Crown and back olive green.
  • Two white wingbars.
  • Belly white.

Male Description

Yellow face, with olive-green crown and ear patches. Green mantle. Two white bars on each wing. Black chin, throat, and breast, with bold streaks on the flanks.

Female Description

Similar to male, but chin and upper throat are white or pale yellow; black may be broken across middle of breast.

Immature Description

In first fall and winter, very similar to adult female, but with brighter yellow face and yellow-tinged underparts.

Range Map Help

Black-throated Green Warbler Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  • Breeding male

    Black-throated Green Warbler

    Breeding male
    • Distinctive small warbler with bright yellow face
    • Contrasting black throat
    • Two white wing-bars on olive-green wings
    • Black streaks on flanks
    • © Christopher L. Wood, St. Louis County, Minnesota, June 2010
  • Male

    Black-throated Green Warbler

    Male
    • Small, compact warbler
    • Bright yellow face contrasts with black throat and duller olive crown
    • Two white wing-bars
    • © Bill Thompson, New Salem, Massachusetts, August 2012
  • Female/juvenile

    Black-throated Green Warbler

    Female/juvenile
    • Small and compact warbler
    • Yellow face contrasts with olive-green crown and nape
    • Faint black streaks on flanks
    • © Kelly Azar, Chester County, Pennsylvania, October 2012
  • Female/juvenile

    Black-throated Green Warbler

    Female/juvenile
    • Duller than male with no black throat
    • Paler yellow on face
    • Faint black streaks on flanks
    • Two white wing-bars
    • © Bill Thompson, Stetsontown, Maine, August 2011
  • Breeding male

    Black-throated Green Warbler

    Breeding male
    • Small and compact with bold facial pattern
    • Bright yellow face contrasts with black throat and olive crown/nape
    • Two white-wing bars
    • Black streaks on flanks
    • © Daniel Behm, Hiawatha State Forest, Michigan, May 2012

Similar Species

  • Male

    Golden-cheeked Warbler

    Male
    • Similar to Black-throated Green Warbler but darker overall
    • Black crown with thin, black stripe through eye
    • Black back and nape
    • Heavier, smudged black markings on flanks
    • © Stephen Ramirez, Austin, Texas, May 2011
  • Breeding male

    Townsend's Warbler

    Breeding male
    • Similar to Black-throated Green Warbler but with bold black patches on crown and face
    • Yellow wash continues on breast below black throat patch
    • © Bob Gunderson, San Francisco, California, March 2012
  • Breeding male

    Hermit Warbler

    Breeding male
    • Bright yellow more extensive throughout crown and face
    • Pale gray instead of olive on back/wings
    • No streaks on flanks
    • © Ken Phenicle Jr., Yuba Pass, California, June 2013

Similar Species