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Blackpoll Warbler Dendroica striata


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Blackpoll Warbler, summer male
credit: Donna Dewhurst

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Parulidae, Wood Warblers view all from this family

Description SPRING MALE Has olive-gray, dark-streaked back and nape, with black cap and white cheek, defined below by black malar stripe. Underparts are white, with bold black streaks on flanks. Legs and feet are orange-yellow. SPRING FEMALE Recalls male, but head is mostly streaked olive-gray, except for whitish throat and dark malar stripe. FALL ADULT Similar to spring female. IMMATURE Recalls fall adult, but has olive-yellow wash to upperparts and brighter yellow face and underparts. Compared to immature Bay-breasted, note orange legs and feet and white (not buff) undertail coverts.

Dimensions Length: 5 1/2" (14 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (Jun-Aug) to boreal, particularly spruce, forests; winters in northern South America.

Observation Tips Easy to see.

Range Southwest, Alaska, Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Florida, Texas, Mid-Atlantic, Plains, Eastern Canada, Northwest, Southeast, New England, Western Canada, California

Voice Song is a short series of high-pitched, thin notes; call is a sharp chip.

Discussion Striking wood-warbler in spring (especially male), more tricky to identify in fall: immature is similar to other warbler species, notably Bay-breasted. Sexes are dissimilar.