April 26, 2011

New England warblers keep arriving – the Black and White warbler


The tiny "zebra bird" that climbs tree trunks like a Nuthatch but has a striped black and white head and back is the latest and lovely warbler to return to New England. The Black and white warbler breeds throughout New England and southern Canada and winters in Mexico and the Caribbean, arriving earlier than many of the other warbler species. They can often be found at or slightly above eye level gleaning insects from the tree bark. Later in the season they can be seen collecting bits of moss for the nest. This habit of climbing up and down tree trunks places them alone in the family, “Mniotilta” or "moss gatherer". Watch and listen for these little striped gems of activity in the woods, along forest edge, and in parks with full grown trees. Listen for the “squeaky wheel”  song of the Black and white warbler, like a spot on the wheelbarrow that needs some oil.


Anonymous said...

I had never noticed one before but saw one at Wachusett Meadows MA Audubon in Princeton just yesterday

rachel said...

saw one this weekend here in jacksonville florida

rachel said...

saw one this weekend in jacksonville fl

Anonymous said...

I have one in my yard in Southern New Hampshire

Anonymous said...

Picked one up that was injured on Lafayette Ave in NYC yesterday...gave it some water and hope he made it

Anonymous said...

Great picture and description of behavior that helped me realize I hadn't hallucinated this bird. Saw it on the trunk of our dogwood for two seconds March 31 in Frankfort KY a block or so from the river. It saw the cat sitting on the porch going duh but flashed off anyway and since then I've been raving about this amazing bird to skeptics.

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is an educator, bird watcher, and writer fascinated by the intersections of place, people, nature, and culture. He works for Mass Audubon and lives in the heart of Massachusetts. For questions or comments please contact: alexanderjosephdunn@gmail.com

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