BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER – (Setophaga virens)
The Black-throated green warbler male in breeding plumage has a yellow head with horizontal bands, and a black throat with black bands down each side of the breast. The non-breeding male and the female have no black, which is replaced by yellow, and the black bands on the sides of the breast are fainter.
Warblers are thus called thanks to their generally melodious songs. The bird’s Latin genus name ‘setophaga’ means ‘moth eating’, and its species name ‘virens’ refers to its green plumage.
The black-throated green warbler inhabits mainly the conifer forest. They eat insects, at times catching them on the fly. They hunt their prey mainly in the tree tops. They can easily be identified by their calls, and sing all day long. This bird is a frequent victim of the parasitic brown-headed cowbird, but this doesn’t seem to impact its population levels.
The black-throated green warbler is ‘common’ to ‘very common’ in PEI, and breeds on the island. Their breeding range is eastern North America. They migrate mainly to Central America and the Caribbean for the winter.