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Blackburnian warbler

Blackburnian warbler (Setophaga fusca) [female]
Photo © Rob Curtis/The Early Birder

Blackburnian warbler (Setophaga fusca) [male]
Photo © Alan Murphy Photography

Features and Behaviors

The breeding male has orange feathers on his throat and head. His back feathers are mainly black with some white patches. His belly feathers are white with some dark streaks. The female, immature and nonbreeding male have pale orange feathers in the same locations that the breeding male has brighter orange feathers. These warblers have head stripes and light stripes on the back. This species is about five inches long.

The Blackburnian warbler is a common migrant through the state. These birds can be seen in the tops of trees in deciduous woodlands. Nesting takes place in the northern United States and Canada. This species winters in southern Central America and northern South America. It eats mainly insects, although fruits may become part of the diet in fall and winter. Spring migrants begin arriving in April. Fall migrants start appearing in the state in August.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Parulidae

Illinois Status: common, native