Setophaga Striata – Blackpoll Warbler

Setophaga Striata - Blackpoll Warbler found in the US

The blackpoll warbler (Setophaga striata) is a New World warbler. They are a common migrant throughout much of North America. In October, they fly south to the Greater Antilles and the northeastern shores of South America in a non-stop long-distance migration over the open sea, averaging 2500 km, one of the greatest distance non-stop overwater flights ever recorded by a migratory songbird.

Quick Overview: Setophaga Striata – Blackpoll Warbler
Body size: Around 5.25 in (13 cm) and a weight of 14 g (0.5 oz)
Main colors: Black, Gray, White, Black, Pink
Range: 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

Blackpoll Warbler Description

Medium-sized warbler with black-streaked, gray upperparts, white underparts, and black-streaked white sides. The Head features a black hat and a big white cheek patch. Bill is black. Wings are dark with two white bands. Pink legs and feet. Swift, straight flight with rapidly beating wings.

Setophaga Striata - Blackpoll Warbler found in the US
Setophaga Striata – Blackpoll Warbler. Photo by: Laura Wolf


These birds have a length of 5.25 in (13 cm) and a weight of 14 g (0.5 oz). Their wings could range from 8.5 in (22 cm).


They are largely insectivorous. The species appears to be quite a generalist, preying on a vast diversity of adult and larval insects and spiders. Documented insect prey for the species includes lice, locusts, cankerworms, mosquitoes, webworms, ants, termites, gnats, aphids, and sawflies.


Blackpoll Warblers breed mostly in spruce and tamarack forests in Canada’s boreal forests, but they also use young stands of evergreens and alder or willow thickets. During migration, they stop over in evergreen and deciduous woodlands.


Although rather large for a warbler, blackpoll warblers are extremely easy to overlook due of their somewhat sedentary feeding technique and preference to perch in dense foliage near the canopy of the trees.

Setophaga Striata Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Genus: Setophaga
  • Species: Setophaga striata

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 Blackpoll Warbler in the USA

The Blackpoll Warbler maintains a broad breeding range over the northern coniferous forests of Alaska and Canada, in the transition zone between taiga and tundra, and in subalpine forests and coastal spruce-fir woods of eastern North America.

The Blackpoll Warbler can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arkansas, California, 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 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.

Setophaga Striata – Blackpoll Warbler

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