Warbler Week: Black-and-white warbler

Photo by Chris Bosak
A black-and-white warbler seen in Ridgefield, Conn., May 2019.

The black-and-white warbler is another common warbler in New England. Black-and-white warblers are one of the few warblers often seen on tree trunks. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, they have an extra hind claw that helps them cling to trunks. They are also often heard and not spotted, especially when the leaves are fully out in our New England woods. Listen for the high-pitched squeaky wheel song. Some song descriptions are of little help, but this warbler sounds exactly like a squeaky wheel. The black-and-white warbler is not a colorful warbler (obviously) but it’s a striking bird regardless with its striped plumage.

A “colorful” little warbler

Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-and-White Warbler looks throughout an evergreen for food at Selleck's Woods in Darien, Conn., 2015.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Black-and-White Warbler looks throughout an evergreen for food at Selleck’s Woods in Darien, Conn., 2015.

I saw plenty of warblers on my latest bird walk. Most of them were Yellow-rumped Warblers. I was hoping for more variety, but I’ll take a bunch of Yellow-rumped Warblers any day. There were also Prairie Warblers, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warbler and Chestnut-sided Warbler.

The second-most abundant warbler was the Black-and-White Warbler. True to its name, this warbler has no flashy colors to make it stand out among the leaves. Which is fine because this warbler is usually found on the trunks and lower branches of trees anyway. It’s one of the few warblers that does most of its hunting on the trunks of trees. It will often hunt low in trees, making it one of the easiest warblers to find on a bird walk. Many warblers hunt almost exclusively among the leafy tops of trees, making them very difficult to find.

It may lack the color of other warblers, but it’s still a striking little bird with its streaked plumage.

So what’s your warbler story? Feel free to comment or send me an email.

Warbler season chugging along; lots of warbler photos

Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-throated Green Warbler perches in a tree at Selleck's/Dunlap Woods on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Black-throated Green Warbler perches in a tree at Selleck’s/Dunlap Woods on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

The New England spring warbler season is upon us in a big way and my favorite hang out, Selleck’s Dunlap Woods in Darien, Conn., is no exception. On Sunday, I counted 11 warbler species — with huge numbers of Black-and-white Warlbers and Black-throated Green Warblers — in addition to plenty of Baltimore Orioles, Gray Catbirds, and two vireo species.

Warblers are small, often colorful songbirds that winter in Central or South America and return to New England and points north each spring to breed. The spring warbler season is the highlight of the year for many birdwatchers.

It was a good day photographically, too, as I was able to get some decent shots for the first time of several species. So here, in no particular order, are a slew of spring migrant songbird photos — all taken either Sunday, May 4, or Monday, May 5.

I will be leading a walk from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, at Selleck’s/Dunlap Woods. It is presented by the Darien Land Trust and open to all. Hope to see you there.

Lots more photos below. Click “continue reading.”

Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-throated Blue Warbler perches in a tree at Selleck's/Dunlap Woods on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Black-throated Blue Warbler perches in a tree at Selleck’s/Dunlap Woods on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

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