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blackpoll warbler

blackpoll warbler (Setophaga striata) [female]
Photo ©

blackpoll warbler (Setophaga striata) [male]
Photo © Alan Murphy Photography

Features and Behaviors

This bird is about five and one-fourth inches long. The breeding male has black feathers on the top of the head and a white-feathered cheek patch on each side of the head. The back and wing feathers are gray-brown with some black stripes. The breeding female has gray-green feathers on the back with some black streaks. She has white feathers on the belly. In nonbreeding plumage, the back feathers are gray-green with some dark streaks, and the belly feathers are yellow-green. In all plumages, there are two, white wing bars, white undertail coverts and the legs are pale.

The blackpoll warbler may be seen in trees, especially oaks, as it migrates through the state. It nests in Canada and Alaska. 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 returning to Illinois in August. They winter in South America.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native