Description ADULT MALE Striped black and white overall, palest on underparts, with two white wing bars. Throat is black in spring, white in fall; ear coverts black in spring, gray in fall. ADULT FEMALE In spring is similar to fall male; often has buff-washed underparts in fall. IMMATURE Recalls fall adult of respective sex, male with white cheeks.
Dimensions Length: 5" (13 cm)
Habitat Common summer visitor (present mainly May-Aug) to a wide range of wooded habitats. Winters mainly in West Indies, Mexico, and Central America.
Observation Tips Easy to see.
Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Western Canada, Florida, California, Texas, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Plains, Southeast, Alaska, Great Lakes
Voice Song is a thin seesa-seesa÷; call is a sharp tchak.
Discussion Striking and aptly named black and white wood-warbler. Its legs are dark and the bill is relatively long and slightly downcurved. Forages for insects in a more deliberate manner than most other wood-warblers, often moving slowly along branches, investigating nooks and crannies all the while. Sexes are separable.
Migration Info This species winters from the extreme southern United States (Texas and Florida) to the Peruvian Andes. It displays extreme variability in the types of habitats in which it is found both during winter and on migration. The only requirement seems to be the presence of trees on which this bark specialist can feed. It is among the earliest species to reach the U.S. Gulf coast in spring, often appearing in early March in significant numbers. This is one of the most common "vagrant" warbler species in spring along the west coast, perhaps indicating that migratory routes of the westernmost populations are scattered throughout the western states.