BLACKPOLL WARBLER

BLACKPOLL WARBLER(Setophaga striata) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Blackpoll Warbler is a small passerine bird that is part of the New World wood warblers. Breeding males have a black cap and white cheeks, and black streaks on their white sides and grey backs. The wings and tail are grey. They have two white bands on their grey wings. The bill is grey, and the legs in this species are orange, a rarity. Females have faded streaks on their under parts, which are yellowish. Their top parts are grey with a yellow tinge. The wing white bands are present in the female as well as in immatures. The bird is approximately 15 cm (6 inches) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Setophaga-striata
NAME: Warblers are thus called thanks to their generally melodious songs. The English name ‘Blackpoll’ refers to the black cap in the breeding male. The Latin genus name ‘Setophaga’ means ‘to eat moths’. The Latin species name ‘striata’ means ‘stripes’, for the streaks in the plumage, mostly visible in the breeding male.
HABITAT: Boreal forests for the most part.
DIET: Insects including moths, arthropods, worms, and small berries. May occasionally catch insects on the fly. Usually forages at the top of trees in dense canopy.
NESTING: The nests are generally built close to the ground in a conifer, preferably spruce. Around four light green eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Chicks are fed by both parents. Because they have one of the longest migration routes for a warbler, this species sort of ‘catches up’ by raising two broods during their short breeding season.
DISTRIBUTION: Blackpoll warblers breed in the Maritimes but that region is at the southeast end of its overall breeding range. The latter covers the Canadian boreal forests and the taiga, also Alaska and New England. Blackpoll warblers migrate to the northern part of South America for the winter. The migration route of this warbler has been well documented, and with the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, has one of the longest non-stop flights over water relative to the body mass.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackpoll_warbler#/media/File:Dendroica_striata_map.svg
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island. Listed as ‘uncommon’ in spring and fall, and ‘rare’ in summer.
CONSERVATION: Although the IUCN and COSEWIC do not consider the blackpoll warbler as a species of concern due to its widespread range and still high numbers, the population has decreased over the last few decades by as much as 50%. Because of this it has been listed as a ‘species in steep decline’ by The State of the Birds Report 2014 – United States of America.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Black and White Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler (female), Blackburnian Warbler (female), Black-throated Gray Warbler
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/blackpoll-warbler
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/323/overview/Blackpoll_Warbler.aspx
American Bird Conservancy (Blackpoll Warbler)
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/blackpoll-warbler
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackpoll_warbler
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blackpoll_Warbler/id

Blackpoll Warbler - Réserve naturelle des Marais-du-Nord, QC - May 30, 2009 - Cephas
Blackpoll Warbler – Réserve naturelle des Marais-du-Nord, QC – May 30, 2009 – Cephas
Blackpoll Warbler juvenile - Sandy Hook, NJ - Sept. 2012 - Emily Willoughby
Blackpoll Warbler juvenile – Sandy Hook, NJ – Sept. 2012 – Emily Willoughby
Blackpoll Warbler in fall plumage - Alaska, Aug. 23, 2006 - USFWS, Donna Dewhurst
Blackpoll Warbler in fall plumage – Alaska, Aug. 23, 2006 – USFWS, Donna Dewhurst
Blackpoll Warbler, breeding female - Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska - USFWS
Blackpoll Warbler, breeding female – Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska – USFWS

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