Contact | Birds of North America

Birds of North America, Vagrant Visitors, Introduced Birds and Possibilities

Black-and-white Warbler

Paruline noir et blanc

Mniotilta varia

Enter Bird's Name in Search Box:

Black and White Warbler

Species: The Black-and-White Warbler (Mniotila varia) is one of the most abundant warblers seen in North America. Recognized by its nuthath like behaviour of creeping along trunks and limbs, picking out larvai and insects from beneath the bark. Because of its food source, this warbler is one of the first in the warbler’s family to migrate back to its breeding grounds in the spring.

Distinctions: The male and female both have black and white stripes through their crowns. The male also has black streaks along the flanks, black wings with two strong white wing bars, and a black throat. The female and juvenile have similar features, but duller in appearance, showing signs of a buffier brown body, lacking the black throat patch. Both sexes have rather large bills with a noticeable downward curve. The Black-throated Gray Warbler has some similar features, but is not likely to be seen in the same regions of North America. The Blackpoll Warbler also has some similar features, but only in the springtime, when it is in breeding plumage.

Voice: Whining or complaining long notes, thin high pitch sounding like weesy-weesy-weesy-weesy.

Nesting: Three to five white to creamy coloured eggs, with brown markings. Nest is usually on the side of a hill, on the ground, near the base of a tree. The nest is composed of fine grass, leaves, conifer needles, moss and hair.

Birds of North America

Life, Habitat & Pictures of the Black-and-white Warbler

B L W W W Family Latin Name
5.25" 13.3cm 8.25" 21cm 0.4oz 11.3g Parulidae Mniotilta varia
  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Distribution: Found throughout Newfoundland, west, through the lower 2/3rd of the Canadian Provinces, from Quebec into Alberta, north into the North West Territories, touching into the Yukon, south, all the way to eastern Texas, east to the Atlantic Ocean, north through all the states, and all of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database

ABA - American Birding Association

AOS - The American Ornitholgy Society

ABC - American Bird Conservancy

eBird - TheCornellLab of Ornithology

NA - National Geographic

NAC - National Audubon Society

Classic Collection of North American Birds