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Black-throated Blue Warbler

Setophaga caerulescens ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird of the deep forest, the Black-throated Blue Warbler breeds in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. On migration to its Caribbean wintering grounds it can be seen in a variety of habitats, including parks and gardens.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
4.3–5.1 in
11–13 cm
Wingspan
6.7–7.9 in
17–20 cm
Weight
0.3–0.4 oz
8–12 g
Other Names
  • Paruline bleue à gorge noire (French)
  • Reinita azul negra (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The sexes of the Black-throated Blue Warbler look so different that they were originally described as two different species.
  • On the wintering grounds the sexes use slightly different habitats. The male is most common in forest at lower to mid-elevations, while the female uses shrubbier habitat at higher elevations.
  • The oldest Black-throated Blue Warbler was a female and at least 9 years, 8 months old. She was banded in New Jersey and found in Panama.

Habitat


Forest

  • Breeds in mature deciduous and mixed coniferous-deciduous woodlands with a thick understory, often in hilly or mountainous terrain.
  • Winters in dense tropical forests.
  • On migration, found in variety of habitats, including forest, forest edges, parks, and gardens.

Food


Insects

Insects and some small fruits.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
2–5 eggs
Egg Description
Creamy white with dark speckles concentrated at the large end.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with tufts of down.
Nest Description

Nest an open cup of strips of bark, held together with spider web and saliva. Places in fork of low shrub.

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Foliage Gleaner

Forages mostly in lower to mid-levels of forest, taking insects mostly from the underside of leaves.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Black-throated Blue Warbler populations are stable and increased between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 2.1 million, with 65% breeding in Canada, 35% spending some part of the year in the U.S., and 2% in Mexico. They are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Black-throated Blue Warbler numbers probably decreased markedly with destruction of eastern forests in 17th and 18th centuries, but with the beginning of abandonment of farms in New England in the late 19th and 20th centuries, populations rebounded.

Credits

Range Map Help

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

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A Surprisingly Adaptable Songbird, Living Bird article, Summer 2014.

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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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