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Black-and-white-Warbler (2024)

(Mniotilta varia)

(C) Brian Byrnes

Black-and-white warblers are one of the earliest songbirds to arrive on the breeding grounds in Pennsylvania, it’s distinctive “squeaky wheel” song emanating from mature and second growth deciduous and mixed-deciduous forest. Its bold black and white stipes and habitat of creeping up and down tree trunks searching for insects make it one of the most easily identifiable warblers.

(C) Tracy Mosebey

The Black-and- white warbler population in Pennsylvania has declined 1.1% per year over the last 55 years according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey and has been labeled a species of greatest conservation concern in the state’s Wildlife Action Plan.  Black-and-white warblers are susceptible to habitat fragmentation and brown-headed cowbird parasitism, and have an increased vulnerability to collisions with buildings, particularly collisions with windows.

(C) Donald Weidemann

Black-and white warblers have an extensive winter distribution, from the southeastern United States through Central America and the West Indies into northern South America where it resides in a variety of forests and forest edges.


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