Mniotilta Varia – Black-And-White Warbler

Mniotilta Varia - Black-And-White Warbler found in the US

The black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia) is a New World warbler species that is the sole representative of the genus Mniotilta. It is understudied in comparison to other New World warblers.

Quick Overview: Mniotilta Varia – Black-And-White Warbler
Body size: Around 5 in (13 cm) and a weight of 11 g (0.4 oz).
Main colors: Black, White
Range: South and Eastern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May, September, October, November
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Black-And-White Warbler Description

Small black-and-white striped warbler with a black-bordered white median head stripe. Bill, legs, and feet are all black.

Mniotilta Varia - Black-And-White Warbler found in the US
Mniotilta Varia – Black-And-White Warbler. Photo by: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren


These birds have a length of 5 in (13 cm) and a weight of 11 g (0.4 oz). Their wings could range from 8.5-9 in (22-23 cm).


Feeds on a variety of caterpillars (including gypsy moth caterpillars), beetles (including bark beetles, click beetles, and wood borers), ants, flies, bugs, leafhoppers, aphids, and other insects; also spiders and daddy longlegs.


Deciduous and deciduous-conifer woods, particularly on hillsides, ravines, and swampy forests, are preferred nesting habitats. Mniotilta varia breeds from April to August. Males are the first to arrive in the spring.


The Black-and-white Warbler has a longer hind claw and heavier legs than other wood-warblers, which aids it in grasping and moving about on bark. This aggressive behavior extends to the wintering grounds, where they defend territory and even drive other Black-and-white Warblers away while eating in mixed groups.

Mniotilta Varia Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Genus: Mniotilta
  • Species: Mniotilta varia

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds are during the Spring season (March-May) and during the Autumn season (September – November).

Distribution of the Black-And-White Warbler in the USA

Breeds from the Northwest Territories, northern Alberta, and central Manitoba east to Newfoundland, and from the southern United States east of the Rockies south to the southern United States. Winters in the southern Gulf Coast states.

The Black-and-white Warbler can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arkansas, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Mniotilta Varia – Black-And-White Warbler

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