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Blackburnian Warbler

Setophaga fusca ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird of the coniferous forests of the Northeast, the Blackburnian Warbler is breathtaking in its brilliant orange-and-black breeding plumage.

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Appearance

Warblers
Warblers
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small songbird.
  • Brilliant orange throat.
  • Orange yellow eyebrow.
  • Small black face mask.
  • Broad white wingbars.

Male Description

Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Throat and upper breast deep orange. Sides of neck, eyestripe, line on forecrown, and eye arc yellow-orange. Face patch, crown, and back black. Lower breast yellowish with black streaks on sides. Belly white or yellowish. Wings black with broad white wingbars that run together into a white patch. Back black with two creamy white lines. Tail black with large white patches in outer tail feathers.
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: Similar to breeding, but oranges less intense and more yellow. Olive edges to black back feathers. Wingbars more distinct and less of a continuous white patch.

Female Description

Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Throat, upper breast, eyestripe, forecrown stripe, and sides of neck orange yellow. Crown, face patch, and flank streaks greenish gray. Back gray with dark and light streaking. Two broad white wingbars.
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: Similar to breeding, but more olive-brown above and with less white in the wing.

Immature Description

Immature similar to adult female. Immature male with more yellow throat, some black in eyeline, and more yellow onto flanks. Immature female much paler, with yellowish throat and eyeline, blurry streaking on sides, grayer face patch and crown, and narrower wingbars.

Range Map Help

Blackburnian Warbler Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Adult male distinctive; American Redstart is only other warbler that is orange and black, and it has an all-black face and throat.
  • Pale first year female resembles female Cerulean Warbler, but Cerulean has an unstriped back and less distinct triangular face patch.
  • Immature female Townsend's Warbler similar, but lacks light streaking on back.

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