Blackburnian Warbler Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Small, active, insect-eating bird
- Mostly forages very high in the canopy
- Thin, pointed bill
- Dark legs

Adult male alternate
- Black crown and cheeks
- Fiery orange forehead, supercilium, side of neck,
  throat, and breast
- Black nape, back and wings
- White patch on wing
- White streaks on back
- Lower breast faintly tinged with orange becoming
  white on undertail coverts
- Fine black streaks on sides of breast to flanks

Female, basic and immature
- Pale orange to yellow face and breast
- Crown, cheek, and upperparts brownish-olive
- Pale streaks on darker back
- Two white wing bars
- White belly and undertail coverts
- Faint, dark streaks on sides

Similar species
In alternate plumage, the bright orange throat and face pattern of the male are diagnostic. Often, the face pattern cannot be seen as the bird forages high in the canopy. However, the orange breast and black streaks on the sides are distinctive.

Female and immature plumages are duller but can be distinguished by the broad yellow supercilium contrasting with the brownish crown and cheek. In fall, Black-throated Green Warbler is similar but has a greenish cheek and crown that don't contrast much with the yellow supercilium.

Townsend's Warbler also has a broad yellow supercilium but has a darker cheek and crown making the face pattern appear much more striking. Both Townsend's and Black-throated Green Warblers lack the pale streaks on the back of the Blackburnian.
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