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black-throated blue warbler

black-throated blue warbler (Setophaga caerulescens) [female]
Photo © Rob Curtis/The Early Birder

black-throated blue warbler (Setophaga caerulescens) [male]
Photo © Brian Tang

Features and Behaviors

The black-throated blue warbler is about five and one-fourth inches long (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). The male has blue and black feathers with white belly feathers and a white wing spot. The female has olive-colored feathers, a dark patch of cheek feathers and a small patch of white feathers in the wing. She also shows a small, white line over the eye.

This species breeds in northeastern North America. It overwinters near the Caribbean Sea. Illinois is west and south of its main migratory flight path. Spring migrants start arriving in Illinois in late April. Fall migrants begin returning to Illinois in August. These birds eat insects and fruits.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native