Black-throated Blue Warbler

Hey guys welcome back! Today’s bird is the aptly names and unmistakable black-throated blue warbler. That’s a lot to type, so I’ll be using the initials BTBW from here on out! The BTBW is one of the most sexually dimorphic warblers out there. In fact the males and females look so different that they were originally thought to be two different species! The male is a beautiful dark blue above, with a black throat, with a snow-white belly. The female is a more drab grayish green, but still has some faint blue visible in good light. The female also has a white spot on its wings making it stand out from other drab female warblers. The male also does not molt into a drab fall plumage, so you’ll have no trouble IDing this one!

Black-throated Blue Warbler male1
Black-throated Blue Warbler, Central Park, NY

BTBW love the understory. You’ll see them in forests at (or even below)eye level. They’re typically one of the more commonly seen warblers during the migration, and are found in the eastern US (mostly east of the Mississippi River), breeding in southeastern Canada and New England as well as the upper elevations of the Appalachian Mountains. They winter in the Caribbean, primarily in Cuba, Puerto Rica, and the island of Hispaniola.

Black-throated Blue Warbler Female1
Female black-throated blue warbler, Central Park, NY

They are also highly territorial. Males will often chase other birds away and have been known to knock rival males to the ground and peck at them. They do often look like they’re mad about something. Guess now I know why. Though common, the BTBW is such a unique looking bird that I always enjoy seeing them. Next up is a warbler I kind of took for granted. See you next time and I’ll explain what I mean! Until then!

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