Blue-winged Warbler

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Blue-winged Warbler

Vermivora cyanoptera
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Parulidae
Basic Description

The Blue-winged Warbler sings a distinctive bee-buzz from brushy fields. It dangles from branches and leaves, foraging like a chickadee but shows off bright warbler plumage: a yellow belly, yellow-olive back, and white wingbars across blue-gray wings. A shrubland and old field specialist, it has benefited from landscape changes over the last 150 years as forest clearcuts and agricultural fields have grown up into scrubby fields. These changes have helped it expand northward, where it now hybridizes with and possibly threatens the much rarer Golden-winged Warbler.

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

Find This Bird

Like many warblers, finding this bird is easier during the early part of the breeding season when they are singing their hearts out. The Blue-winged Warbler's distinctive, raspy bee-buzz is the key. Males tend to sing from exposed perches in taller shrubs or trees at the edges of forests, fields, and thickets. During migration they may turn up in gardens and parks as well, but spring migration may be the better time to look for them because they are more vocal during spring than fall migration.

Other Names
  • Reinita Aliazul (Spanish)
  • Paruline à ailes bleues (French)

Backyard Tips

Blue-winged Warblers do not visit feeders and may only stop off in your yard during migration, but you can still provide habitat for them in your yard by landscaping with native trees and shrubs. Creating a bird-friendly backyard can provide excellent stopover habitat to support warblers as they migrate to and from the breeding grounds. Head on over to Habitat Network to learn about which native species are good matches for your yard and more.

  • Cool Facts