Black-throated Blue WarblerSetophaga caerulescens

adult male, breeding
Arthur Morris/VIREO
adult female
Gerard Bailey/VIREO
immature male (1st fall)
Gerard Bailey/VIREO
immature female (1st fall)
Gerard Bailey/VIREO
adult male, breeding
Laura C. Gooch/VIREO
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler



5" (13 cm). Male blue-gray above, white below, with black face, throat, and sides; female dull olive green, with narrow white eyebrow and a small, square, white wing patch, but lacking in first year females. Males in southern portion of range have variable black streaks on their back.


Song a husky, rising zwee-zwee-zwee.


songs #1
songs #2
songs #3
tsip calls
chewp calls


Mixed deciduous and evergreen woodlands with thick undergrowth, especially mountain laurel in southern portion of its range and hobblebush in the north.


Breeds from western Ontario east to southern Quebec and Nova Scotia; south to Minnesota, Great Lakes, and Connecticut; and in mountains to northern Georgia. Winters in Gulf Coast states (irregularly) and Greater Antilles.


The male is one of the easier warblers to identify since it retains its strikingly patterned plumage year-round. These warblers are among the tamest and most trusting of this family. If an observer moves very deliberately, the bird may be approached to within a few feet (about a meter). Northern populations tend to winter in western Caribbean and Central America while southern populations tend to winter in eastern Greater Antilles.


Four brown-spotted white eggs in a nest made of leaves and grass, lined with cobwebs and hair and placed near the ground in a shrub or a young tree.

Similar Species

adult male, breeding

Cerulean Warbler

4 1/2" (11 cm). Male has sky-blue head and back; black band across white breast. Female is dull blue-gray above and whitish below, and lacks breast band. Immature similar to female.

adult male

American Redstart

4 1/2-5 1/2" (11-14 cm). Male black with bright orange patches on wings and tail; white belly. Females and young birds dull olive-brown above, white below, with yellow wing and tail patches.

adult male, Pacific

Orange-crowned Warbler

4 1/2-5 1/2" (11-14 cm). Olive green above with orange crown feathers, which usually remain hidden. Olive-yellow underparts with very faint breast streaking. No eye ring or wing bars.

adult male, breeding

Tennessee Warbler

5" (13 cm). In spring, male greenish above, white below, with gray cap, white line over eye, dusky line through eye. In fall, olive above, yellowish below.

adult male, Oregon junco

Dark-eyed Junco

5-6 1/4" (13-16 cm). This species shows much geographic variation in color. Typically, male of western population ("Oregon Junco") has black hood, chestnut mantle, white underparts with buff sides.


Red-eyed Vireo

5 1/2 -6 1/2" (14-17 cm). Sparrow-sized. Olive green above, whitish below, with a narrow white eyebrow bordered above with black. Gray crown; red eye (eye dark in immature); no wing bars.


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