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Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia


The Black-and-White Warbler is a migratory warbler which breeds in North America and winters in the Caribbean basin, northern South America, and mainland Central America. This species is distinctive in both plumage and behavior: it feeds by creeping, often sideways or upside-down along branches and probing into bark and leaves for insects, a behavior shared in sympatric warblers only by the Yellow-throated Warbler (Dendroica dominica). In all ages, females show buff to the flanks (though it may be very faint in adults), while males do not. The call is a thin, fairly dry and indistinctive chip, while the more distinctive flight call is a quick buzz. This species can be found in many diverse habitats, from mangroves, pine, coppice, and even rainforest and elfin forest.  This species is seen more often than heard on the wintering grounds as it forages within the canopy and subcanopy. This species will travel with insectivorous flocks, but will also defend territories on the wintering grounds.

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© Geoffrey A. Keller

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: