Living Bird Magazine
Living Bird Magazine
Black-throated Green WarblerSetophaga virens
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Parulidae
A delicate, lemon-faced canopy dweller, Black-throated Green Warblers are standouts in a family that does not lack for spectacle. It’s a common breeder from northern boreal forests to hardwoods of the southeastern U.S., and even cypress swamps. Many bird watchers know its distinctive and persistent song, sometimes transcribed as trees trees I love trees, that’s easy to remember. Black-throated Green Warblers are the easternmost representative of a quartet of closely related warblers including Townsend’s, Hermit, and Golden-cheeked.More ID Info
Find This Bird
The Black-throated Green Warbler is an untiring songster. Males in spring migration and on their breeding territory can be tracked down by following the buzzy, ringing song. Getting a good look at the bird is a different matter, as Black-throated Green Warblers often remain high in the canopy. Paying attention to any small birds quickly and nimbly foraging on the tips of high branches will often reward you with a look at the species, though often at an unkind angle. Fortunately, the gleaming cheek and extensive black throat and breast of the male birds make identifying the species fairly straightforward.
- Reinita Dorsiverde (Spanish)
- Paruline à gorge noire (French)
Black-throated Green Warblers are not typically a backyard bird and don’t come to feeders, but yards with large mature trees may host them in migration.
- Cool Facts
- One male Black-throated Green Warbler was observed singing 466 songs in one hour.
- Black-throated Green Warblers are often thought of as birds of mountain forests, but a disjunct population nests in cypress swamps along the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas. Called “Wayne’s” Black-throated Green Warbler, this subspecies averages smaller than other populations.
- In areas where multiple species of warblers breed close together, Black-throated Green Warblers are generally dominant to Blackburnian Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Northern Parulas, but subordinate to Magnolia Warblers.
- The oldest recorded Black-throated Green Warbler was a male, and at least 4 years, 11 months old. He was banded and found in Nova Scotia.