Black-throated Blue Warbler

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Black-throated Blue Warbler

Setophaga caerulescens
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Parulidae
Basic Description

A uniquely colored, midnight-blue bird of tangled understories, the male Black-throated Blue Warbler sings a relaxed, buzzy I-am-so-la-zee on warm summer days in Eastern hardwood forests. He’s aptly named, with a midnight blue back, sharp white belly, and black throat. The olive-brown females, while not as dramatically marked as the males, have a unique white square on the wing that readily separates them from other female warblers. This warbler breeds in the East and spends the winter in the Caribbean.

More ID Info
image of range map for Black-throated Blue WarblerRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

This warbler doesn't spend much time in the treetops, so looking for this bird won't give you a case of warbler neck; look for them in the shrubby understory and lower canopy in larger tracts of forest during the breeding season. During migration, they forage in all types of woodlands, parks, and gardens, still keeping to lower levels compared to some warblers. Unlike other warblers that molt into "confusing fall plumage," male Black-throated Blue Warblers keep their distinctive black-and-blue plumage year-round. The distinctive white square on the wing also helps ID females.

Other Names
  • Reinita Azulada (Spanish)
  • Paruline bleue (French)
  • Cool Facts

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