Black and White Warbler

Posted on in Recent Sightings by Hawk Mountain

A Black and White Warbler Perched Atop a Branch

The migration of neotropical songbirds has officially begun here at Hawk Mountain! Some of the first to arrive are Black and White Warblers (Mniotilta varia), whose high-pitched, repetitive weesy-weesy-weesy-weesy song has been heard in the Native Plant Garden, at North Lookout and along the River of Rocks Trail this week. Boldly striped in black and white, these birds display subtle differences between sexes that can be hard to pick up; females and immatures are paler than adult males and have less streaking. Black and white warblers are ground-nesters, meaning they opt to raise their young at the base of a tree, stump, or log, under a bush, or hidden amongst dead leaves and sticks instead of up in a tree. Their feeding habits more similarly resemble a nuthatch than a warbler, as they can be seen moving up and down tree trunks and branches on the hunt for insects. 

Photo by Bill Moses.