Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca)

Blackburnian Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Dendroica fusca | [UK] Blackburnian Warbler | [FR] Sylvette a gorge orangee | [DE] Fichten-Waldsanger | [ES] Reinita Gorjinaranja | [NL] Sparrezanger


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Quite small, notably arboreal Nearctic warbler, with dark ear-coverts, pale braces on back, yellow foreparts, and mainly white outer tail-feathers. Breeding male has rich orange throat and breast and white panel on mid-wing; female has foreparts yellow and 2 white wing-bars; immature like dull female.

Listen to the sound of Blackburnian Warbler

[audio: Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 19 cm wingspan max.: 21 cm
size min.: 11 cm size max.: 13 cm
incubation min.: 10 days incubation max.: 12 days
fledging min.: 10 days fledging max.: 12 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America : North, Northeast, Eastcentral


Strictly arboreal, breeding in cooler temperate eastern Nearctic forest regions, mature stands of spruce, hemlock, and pine being the primary breeding habitat, although deciduous and mixed second growth are also used. Wintering birds in South American tropics mainly inhabit rain and cloud forests at 800-3100 m.


Monogamous; one brood is raised per year, although a female may lay subsequent clutches if the previous nesting attempts fail. The nest is a dense cup shape, typically located on a conifer limb well out from the trunk. (The hemlock is a frequent choice for the nest site, if these trees are present.) It is constructed of twigs, bark and plant fibers, and lined with lichens, moss, fine grass, pine needles and hair. The female builds the nest. The female lays 3-5 eggs in a clutch. The chicks are altricial at hatching which occurs after 11-12 days of incubation by the female. The female also broods alone. Both parents care for the nestlings and after fledging may divide up the brood. The number of days from hatching to fledging is not known.

Feeding habits

These birds are insectivorous, but will include berries in their diets in wintertime. They usually search for insects in treetops.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Breeds in North America from central Alberta east to south-west Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, south to Great Lakes region and Connecticut, and in Appalachians to northern Georgia.
Accidental. Iceland: 1st-winter ) found exhausted on trawler, c. 65 km north-east of Horn (north-west Iceland), autumn 1987. Britain: Skomer (Dyfed), October 1961
Blackburnian Warbler status Least Concern


Long-distance migrant, wintering in Central and South America from Costa Rica south to Venezuela and central Peru. Ecologically restricted in summer and only locally common, but in main wintering area, Colombia, occurs in various forest strata and habitats and is most abundant of Parulidae. Migration mainly along or west of Appalachians, with fewer on Atlantic coast and in south-east states; most birds then cross (rather than fly round) Gulf of Mexico to Central America; spring route is further west than autumn, with yet fewer in south-east USA, and more on western Gulf coast and in Texas.

Distribution map

Blackburnian Warbler distribution range map

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