Discover the comprehensive manual designed to assist you in recognizing the various warbler species that are frequently observed in Idaho. Equipped with detailed photo identification, descriptive explanations, captivating audio recordings of their melodious songs, and intriguing facts, this guide goes above and beyond.
Warblers, those small migratory songbirds that embark on long journeys spanning from the depths of South America to breeding havens as far north as Canada, exhibit vibrant and lively characteristics. With a vibrant flash of yellow and green feathers, accompanied by a marvelous array of enchanting songs, these energetic avian creatures traverse from breeding grounds to wintering destinations in the blink of an eye.
North American warblers, commonly referred to as wood-warblers, predominantly inhabit woodlands and forests. It’s worth noting that while engaging in the exhilarating pursuit of spotting these remarkable creatures through binoculars, one may unintentionally experience the discomfort of “warbler neck” — a condition characterized by a stiff and tingling sensation in the neck resulting from gazing upwards into the lofty tree canopies.
Although warblers primarily feed on insects, they occasionally grace backyard feeders, lured by seeds and mealworms. Take advantage of this guide to explore other bird species that regularly frequent Idaho and even obtain a complimentary identification chart.
This invaluable resource serves as your companion in identifying the warbler types commonly found in Idaho, based on their regular occurrence as documented by Avibase and information collected from avid birdwatchers through ebird. It presents real data on when these avian wonders can be observed.
Warblers in Idaho during the summer season include the Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Townsend’s Warbler, Nashville Warbler, American Redstart, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, and Virginia’s Warbler.
During migration, you may encounter Wilson’s Warbler and the Black-and-white Warbler in the beautiful state of Idaho.
Ever wondered about the enchanting melodies warblers produce? Often, their delightful songs will reach your ears before you even lay eyes on them. Familiarizing yourself with a few of their distinct songs will undoubtedly aid in the identification process. Some warbler songs possess more distinctive qualities than others.
Warbler songs can be described as buzzy, clear, or trilling, with variations in pitch and a delightful medley of sounds. The buzzing notes evoke images of tiny insects, while the clear notes resonate like harmonious whistles. Trills, on the other hand, manifest as rapid sequences of notes that merge into a cohesive, melodious symphony.
In this guide, each warbler species is accompanied by an audio recording of its unique song. However, you can also refer to an additional resource consisting of an easy-to-follow compilation of 13 warbler songs that are effortless to recognize.
For warblers with buzzy songs, the Black-throated Blue Warbler’s song rises with a distinct buzz, similarly, the Prairie Warbler’s songs feature buzzy and ascending notes. The Black-throated Green Warbler also possesses a buzzy song with a couple of clear notes interspersed, while the Blackpoll Warbler’s song is clear and steady, resembling the buzz of an insect. Additionally, the Prairie Warbler’s song is characterized by its buzzy nature and rising pitch, while the Palm Warbler’s song exhibits a delightful buzz.
Warblers with songs featuring clear notes include the Common Yellowthroat, which presents a series of rising and falling notes that are subsequently repeated. Ovenbirds vocalize a sequence of notes that progressively ascend and descend, while Hooded Warblers produce clear notes. The Chestnut-sided Warbler’s song consists of a series of clear, descending notes that accelerate towards the end. Yellow-rumped Warblers generate a series of clear notes that gradually fade away, while the Yellow Warbler’s song speeds up. Northern Parulas enchant with their rising trill, which concludes with a distinct note resembling a final punctuation mark. Lastly, Wilson’s Warblers emit a series of clear, descending notes that progressively quicken.
Idaho is home to a magnificent array of 14 warbler species. Let us delve into the characteristics of each fascinating species:
1. Yellow-rumped Warbler
During the breeding season, Yellow-rumped Warblers grace the northern regions of Idaho, while their numbers surge during migration in May and from September to October. These vibrant creatures feature gray feathers adorned with flashes of yellow on their faces, sides, and rumps, complemented by white wings. Female Yellow-rumped Warblers may exhibit a slight brownish hue, while winter birds boast paler brown plumage, with bright yellow rumps and sides that transition back to yellow and gray in spring. Notably, two subspecies exist: the Myrtle Warbler, which lacks a yellow throat and primarily inhabits the eastern United States and boreal forests in Canada, and the Audubon’s Warbler, found in the western regions, featuring more extensive white wing patches.
Scientific Name: Setophaga coronata
Length: 4.7-5.5 inches (12-14 cm)
Weight: 0.4-0.5 ounces (12-13 g)
Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 inches (19-23 cm)
Yellow-rumped Warblers primarily breed in Canada, the Rockies, and the Appalachian mountains. Throughout migration, they traverse the Midwest before settling in southern and southwestern states of the United States, as well as the Pacific Coast, Mexico, and Central America. They inhabit coniferous forests during summer, feasting primarily on insects, while they switch to a diet consisting predominantly of fruit, including bayberry and wax myrtle, during migration and winter.
Take a moment to immerse yourself in the enchanting song of the Yellow-rumped Warbler through the provided audio recording. Their nests, carefully crafted by females using twigs, pine needles, grass, and lined with soft materials such as grass, moss, and hair, are typically situated within conifer trees. Yellow-rumped Warblers lay up to six eggs, requiring approximately two weeks to hatch, followed by another two weeks for the young to fledge.
To attract Yellow-rumped Warblers to your backyard, entice them with sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter. It’s noteworthy that these sociable creatures often form flocks numbering in the thousands during winter, displaying an aggressive nature towards other species encroaching upon their space.
2. Yellow Warbler
During the breeding season, Yellow Warblers reign supreme as the most commonly observed yellow birds in Idaho. Their presence is predominantly noted from mid-April to September, accounting for up to 30% of summer checklists.
Yellow Warblers captivate with their petite, bright yellow bodies, complemented by a yellow-green back. Male Yellow Warblers sport chestnut streaks on their breasts, while females and juveniles display a less vibrant appearance devoid of such streaks.
Scientific Name: Setophaga petechia
Length: 4.7-5.1 inches (12-13 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.4 ounces (9-11 g)
Wingspan: 6.3-7.9 inches (16-20 cm)
Yellow Warblers embark on extensive migrations to breed in Canada and the United States, excluding southeastern states. Subsequently, they journey back to Central and South America for the winter season. However, one may still encounter them during migration in the southeastern states.
Their preferred habitats include stream banks, wetlands, thickets, and field edges, where they diligently search for insects such as caterpillars, midges, beetles, bugs, and wasps.
Delight in the captivating song of the Yellow Warbler by listening to the provided audio recording. These resourceful avian architects construct nests using bark, grass, and plant materials intricately woven together and secured with spider webs, forming a cozy cup-shaped structure. The nests are then lined with softer materials like hair, feathers, and plant down. Yellow Warblers lay up to seven eggs, requiring approximately twelve days for incubation, followed by an additional ten days for the young to fledge.
To entice Yellow Warblers to visit your backyard, offer suet, oranges, peanut butter, and plants bearing berries. Creating a welcoming environment through the cultivation of native plants that attract insects, while refraining from pesticide use and excessive tidiness, can also work wonders. Additionally, consider incorporating birdbaths with fountains near secluded areas of planting to provide a sense of security.
An intriguing fact about Yellow Warblers is that they often fall victim to the parasitic tendencies of Cowbirds. When these interlopers’ eggs are detected, Yellow Warblers build new nests on top of the old ones, restarting the nesting process up to six times!
3. Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warblers make their presence known during the breeding season in Idaho, with their numbers increasing during migration in May and September. They account for approximately 4% of summer checklists and up to 9% of checklists during migration.
Orange-crowned Warblers may not boast the flamboyant colors of their counterparts, but their yellow-olive plumage, with a greater prevalence of yellow on the Pacific Coast, renders them uniquely captivating. Males and females exhibit similar appearances, while juveniles possess grayer hues.
Scientific Name: Leiothlypis celata
Length: 4.3-5.5 inches (11-14 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.4 ounces (7-11 g)
Wingspan: 7.5 inches (19 cm)
Breeding occurs in Canada, western United States, and parts of Alaska, followed by migration to regions encompassing the Pacific, East and Gulf Coasts, Mexico, and Central America. Notably, Orange-crowned Warblers can be observed during migration across all states, except the northeastern region.
These elusive creatures can be spotted amidst shrubs and low vegetation, while their preferred breeding grounds consist of open woodlands. Their diet predominantly consists of spiders and insects, including caterpillars and flies. Additionally, they occasionally indulge in fruits, berries, and seeds, often frequenting backyard feeders.
Dive into the mesmerizing song of the Orange-crowned Warbler through the provided audio recording. Nests, concealed near the ground, are meticulously constructed using dead leaves, twigs, and stems, and subsequently lined with soft grass and animal hair. Orange-crowned Warblers lay up to six eggs, initiating a hatching process lasting approximately eleven days, followed by an additional ten days for the fledglings to leave the nest.
To attract Orange-crowned Warblers to your yard, offer suet and peanut butter, or provide hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water nectar.
A fascinating tidbit about these warblers is their proclivity for sipping sap from the wells created by sapsuckers and woodpeckers.
4. Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroats grace the landscapes of Idaho predominantly during the breeding season, observed primarily from May to September. They make appearances on approximately 6% of summer checklists.
These small songbirds exhibit a brownish hue on their backs, contrasted by a bright yellow underside and long tails. Males proudly display a distinctive black mask across their faces, while the intensity of yellow may vary geographically, with some individuals possessing a more olive tone underneath.
Scientific Name: Geothlypis trichas
Length: 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.3 ounces (9-10 g)
Wingspan: 5.9-7.5 inches (15-19 cm)
Common Yellowthroats undertake extensive summer migrations across most of North America, excluding Alaska and northern Canada. Some individuals choose to remain year-round along the Gulf Coast and Pacific Southwest, while others embark on southward journeys for the winter.
These captivating creatures can be found amidst marshy areas, wetlands, and brushy fields, favoring habitats with dense, tangled vegetation.
Take pleasure in the unique song of the Common Yellowthroat by listening to the provided audio recording. Females construct nests in marshy areas near the ground, supported by reeds. These nests are skillfully fashioned from grass and sedges, forming a platform with leaves and grass. Up to six eggs are laid, requiring approximately twelve days for incubation, followed by an additional ten days for the young to fledge.
To attract Common Yellowthroats to spacious backyards, ensure the presence of dense vegetation and native plants that attract insects.
A captivating fact about Common Yellowthroats is that the presence of a black mask serves as a signal to male suitors, leading to attacks when artificial decoy birds lacking the mask are introduced. However, no aggression is exhibited when the decoy bird possesses the mask-like feature.
5. MacGillivray’s Warbler
MacGillivray’s Warblers delight in their summer residency in Idaho, typically observed from April to October, accounting for approximately 5% of checklists during this period.
These compact and robust birds exhibit slate gray heads in males, adorned with black bands spanning across the eyes. Grayish spots on the throat gradually darken to black, extending from beneath the bill. Females possess light-gray heads and throats, lacking the black markings present in males. Olive-gray backs, yellow bellies, and partial eyerings shaped like white crescents complete their captivating appearance.
Scientific Name: Geothlypis tolmiei
Length: 5.25 inches (13 cm)
Weight: 0.4 ounces (11 g)
Wingspan: 8.25 inches (21 cm)
MacGillivray’s Warblers primarily breed in northwestern United States, western Canada, and parts of Alaska before embarking on migratory journeys to Mexico and Central America.
These delightful warblers can be found in areas abundant with dense shrubbery, thickets, streams, logged forests with fallen trees, or burned areas with remnants of charred trees. They devote their time to foraging on the ground, either hopping or flying low, in search of delectable insects like beetles and caterpillars.
The enchanting song of the MacGillivray’s Warbler can be appreciated through the provided audio recording. Nests, skillfully concealed within thick shrubs, are typically situated one to five feet above the ground, nestled in upright forks of scrub oaks or fir saplings. Constructed from weed stems, barks, and dry grass, the nests are lined with feathers and animal hair. MacGillivray’s Warblers lay up to six eggs, commencing a hatching period lasting around eleven days.
To entice MacGillivray’s Warblers to your backyard during winter, provide
mealworms, peanut butter, and suet. These delightful visitors often gravitate towards backyard feeders during chilly temperatures.
A fascinating fact about MacGillivray’s Warblers is that their name is derived from Dr. W. MacGillivray, a close associate of renowned ornithologist John James Audubon. Interestingly, John Kirk Townsend had already bestowed a name upon this species, “Tolmie’s Warbler,” as a tribute to Dr. W. T. Tolmie. Consequently, the scientific name “tolmiei” was chosen as a compromise.
6. Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-breasted Chats brighten the breeding season in Idaho, with their presence predominantly noted from mid-April to September, accounting for 6% of summer checklists.
Distinguished by their bright yellow breasts and long tails, Yellow-breasted Chats exhibit an olive-gray hue on their backs, accompanied by gray heads adorned with white eye and chin markings. Their lower bellies showcase a crisp white coloration.
Scientific Name: Icteria virens
Length: 7.1 inches (18 cm)
Weight: 0.8-1.1 ounces (23-31 g)
Wingspan: 9.8 inches (25 cm)
Yellow-breasted Chats breed across a significant portion of the United States, reaching into southern Canada. They spend the winter in Central America and coastal regions of Mexico.
These charming birds can be observed in blackberry bushes, fields, and forest edges, diligently foraging for a delectable feast of spiders, insects, and berries.
Immerse yourself in the melodious song of the Yellow-breasted Chat by listening to the provided audio recording. Nesting habits entail the construction of cup-shaped structures woven from grass, leaves, and plant materials. These nests are carefully positioned within shrubs and are often targeted by Brown-headed Cowbirds, who lay their eggs in Yellow-breasted Chat nests. Yellow-breasted Chats lay up to six eggs, requiring approximately eleven days for incubation, followed by an additional ten days for the young to fledge.
To attract Yellow-breasted Chats to your yard, offer suet and peanut butter, or consider providing hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water nectar.
An intriguing aspect of Yellow-breasted Chats’ behavior is their ability to drink from sapwells created by sapsuckers and woodpeckers.
7. Wilson’s Warbler
Wilson’s Warblers grace Idaho during the spring and fall migration seasons, with some individuals also choosing to spend the breeding season in the northern parts of the state.
These delightful warblers exhibit a petite and rounded stature, adorned in a vibrant yellow plumage with a prominent black cap in males and a smaller black cap in females.
Scientific Name: Cardellina pusilla
Length: 3.9-4.7 inches (10-12 cm)
Weight: 0.2-0.3 ounces (5-10 g)
Wingspan: 5.5-6.7 inches (14-17 cm)
Breeding primarily occurs in Canada, Alaska, and northwestern regions of the United States. During migration, Wilson’s Warblers can be observed across all states. For the winter, they embark on a journey to Mexico and Central America.
These delightful birds can be found along streams, nestled amidst thickets and forest edges, where they diligently search for insects, including beetles, caterpillars, bugs, and leafhoppers.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting song of the Wilson’s Warbler through the provided audio recording. Nests are skillfully concealed high up in trees, often placed atop sturdy branches. Constructed from grass, moss, and bark, the nests are meticulously lined with feathers and animal hair. Wilson’s Warblers lay approximately five eggs, initiating an incubation period lasting around eleven days, followed by an additional ten days for the fledglings to leave the nest.
Attracting Wilson’s Warblers to your backyard during winter can be accomplished by providing native trees and shrubs, although they do not typically visit feeders.
A fascinating fact about Wilson’s Warblers is their remarkable ability to distract potential nest predators. They achieve this by feigning a broken wing, drawing the predator away from the nest before swiftly flying off.
8. Townsend’s Warbler
Townsend’s Warblers are frequently observed in Idaho from May to October, accounting for 3% of checklists during this period.
These striking warblers display a distinctive black and yellow plumage. Males boast a captivating black crown, cheeks, and throats, complemented by vibrant yellow eyebrows and a crescent-shaped yellow mark beneath the eye. Yellow bellies, black-spotted yellow upper backs, and black wings adorned with two white wingbars complete their charming appearance. Females exhibit a lighter coloration, while still showcasing similar patterns. However, they lack the prominent black throat observed in males. Juveniles possess even lighter hues, featuring olive-green backs, crowns, and cheeks, and light-colored streaks on their chests.
Scientific Name: Setophaga townsendi
Length: 4.75-5 inches (12-13 cm)
Weight: 0.3 ounces (9 g)
Wingspan: 7.5-8 inches (19-20 cm)
Townsend’s Warblers predominantly breed in western Canada, northwestern regions of the United States, and Alaska. Their migratory journeys lead them to the Pacific Coast, Mexico, and Central America.
These delightful warblers thrive in tall and dense coniferous forests along the coastal regions and mountains. They exhibit a preference for areas abundant with pine, oak, alder, madrones, and laurels.
Townsend’s Warblers skillfully forage among twigs and branches, searching for insects such as caterpillars, bugs, beetles, and leafhoppers. They may also hover among foliage to secure their food. During winter, they are known to feed on the sugary excretions of scale insects, exhibiting territorial behavior around these sources.
Appreciate the delightful song of the Townsend’s Warbler through the provided audio
recording. Nests are typically positioned high in trees, often placed on top of branches. Constructed from grass stems, mosses, and barks, the nests are lined with feathers and animal hair.
To entice Townsend’s Warblers to your backyard during winter, consider providing mealworms, peanut butter, and suet. These delightful visitors are inclined to visit backyard feeders when temperatures plummet.
An intriguing fact about Townsend’s Warblers is that their name pays tribute to American ornithologist John Kirk Townsend.
9. Nashville Warbler
During the summer months, the delightful Nashville Warblers make appearances in Idaho, typically from April to September, accounting for approximately 2% of checklists during this period.
Nashville Warblers showcase predominantly yellow plumage with a green back and a gray head adorned with a white eyering. Females and juveniles exhibit less vibrancy compared to males. Notably, they possess distinctive white bellies nestled between their yellow breasts and tails.
Scientific Name: Leiothlypis ruficapilla
Length: 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm)
Weight: 0.2-0.5 ounces (6.7-13.9 g)
Wingspan: 6.7-7.9 inches (17-20 cm)
These charming warblers breed in northeastern United States and Canada, with a smaller population found in northwestern U.S. states and British Columbia. During migration, Nashville Warblers can be observed across most states.
Nashville Warblers are commonly found in scrubby habitats, low deciduous forests, and areas with dense vegetation. They actively forage for insects, including caterpillars, among twigs and branches.
Immerse yourself in the delightful song of the Nashville Warbler through the provided audio recording. Nesting habits involve constructing cup-shaped structures woven from bark, moss, and grass, delicately lined with pine needles, soft grass, and animal hair. Nashville Warblers typically lay around five eggs, with an incubation period lasting approximately twelve days, followed by an additional ten days for the young to fledge.
To attract Nashville Warblers to your backyard during winter, consider providing suet feeders.
A fascinating fact about Nashville Warblers is that during their first migration, they primarily travel along the Atlantic Coast. Subsequently, they opt for inland routes for subsequent migrations.
10. American Redstart
American Redstarts grace Idaho during the breeding season, primarily from May to September, with a significant presence in the northern regions of the state.
These captivating warblers exhibit predominantly black plumage adorned with striking orange patches and a contrasting white belly. Females showcase an olive-gray coloration instead of black, accompanied by yellow patches.
Scientific Name: Setophaga ruticilla
Length: 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm)
Weight: 0.2-0.3 ounces (6-9 g)
Wingspan: 6.3-7.5 inches (16-19 cm)
Breeding occurs predominantly in eastern United States and Canada, extending into northwestern U.S. states. During migration, American Redstarts can be observed across central and western states. They spend the winter in Mexico and Central America.
These delightful warblers inhabit deciduous woodlands and backyards, often foraging for insects and indulging in berries such as serviceberry and magnolia.
Listen to the enchanting song of the American Redstart through the provided audio recording. Nests are strategically placed near the trunk of trees or large shrubs, constructed from bark, grass, and plant materials. American Redstarts lay up to five eggs, with an incubation period of approximately two weeks, followed by a week or two for the fledglings to leave the nest.
To attract American Redstarts to your backyard, provide berry-producing plants such as magnolia and serviceberry.
An intriguing behavior exhibited by American Redstarts is their selective feeding approach, wherein they feed only certain chicks at a given time rather than distributing food to all.
With their vibrant plumage and melodious songs, these warblers bring joy and enchantment to the natural landscapes of Idaho during their respective seasons.
11. Black-throated Gray Warblers
Idaho welcomes the presence of Black-throated Gray Warblers during the summer season, specifically from May to September in the southern part of the state.
Witness these striking black-and-white streaked warblers with gray backs and a yellow spot in front of their eyes. The males boast more black on their throats compared to the females.
Scientific Name: Setophaga nigrescens
Length: 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.3 ounces (7-10 g)
Wingspan: 7.5-7.8 inches (19-19.7 cm)
Black-throated Gray Warblers breed in western and south-central states of the United States, as well as along the coast of British Columbia, before embarking on their winter migration to Mexico.
These charming warblers can be found searching for insects on trees in woodlands and shrubby areas.
Listen to the captivating song of the Black-throated Gray Warbler through the provided audio recording. Nesting is done by the female using bark, grass, and moss to create well-concealed nests in trees. They typically lay up to five eggs.
A fascinating fact about Black-throated Gray Warblers is that despite their observable presence and lack of shyness, there is still much to learn about these intriguing birds.
12. Northern Waterthrush
In the northern regions of Idaho, you may come across the Northern Waterthrush during the summer months, although they are not particularly common in the state.
Northern Waterthrushes exhibit characteristics reminiscent of thrushes, with both males and females boasting brown heads adorned with thick, white eyebrows, dark brown backs, and white bellies with prominent dark streaking from their throats to their rumps.
Scientific Name: Parkesia noveboracensis
Length: 5.75 inches (15 cm)
Weight: 0.8 ounces (23 g)
Wingspan: 8.75 inches (22 cm)
Breeding primarily takes place in Canada, Alaska, and northeastern states of the United States before migrating to Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Some individuals may remain in Central and South America throughout the year.
Northern Waterthrushes can be found in dark, woody swamps, thickets, and bogs. They have a strong affinity for areas with still or sluggish water, making them commonly found near such water sources in forests. During the winter, they tend to reside among mangroves in tropical regions.
These aquatic and terrestrial foragers employ their long legs to walk on shallow water while searching for water beetles, mosquitoes, slugs, crustaceans, snails, and occasionally small fish. They also feed on caterpillars, moths, and ants, which they find beneath leaves.
Listen to the melodic song of the Northern Waterthrush through the provided audio recording. Nests are typically located in hollows or crevices near water sources and are skillfully concealed among ferns. Females construct the nests using materials such as moss, twigs, pine needles, bark strips, and roots, where they lay three to six eggs. The female alone incubates the eggs for approximately two weeks.
An interesting behavior displayed by Northern Waterthrushes is their preference for walking rather than hopping. While walking, they bob their tails, lending an appearance of imbalance.
13. Virginia’s Warblers
While not abundantly found, Virginia’s Warblers can be spotted in the southeast region of Idaho during the summer season.
These petite and easily overlooked birds exhibit captivating colors. Males and females share similar gray heads, backs, and bellies, with a reddish patch on the crown of their heads. Their eyes stand out with a look
of perpetual surprise, surrounded by a white eyering. Their white throats contrast with yellow chests and rumps, while their wings and tails showcase a striking black hue.
Scientific Name: Leiothlypis virginiae
Length: 4.5-4.75 inches (11-12 cm)
Weight: 0.3 ounces (9 g)
Wingspan: 7.25-7.75 inches (18-20 cm)
Virginia’s Warblers are primarily found in the southwestern states of the United States, and their name pays homage to Virginia Anderson, the person who discovered them. They inhabit pinyon-juniper brushlands, pine and oak woodlands, as well as woodlands near streams. During winter, they can be found among dry scrub in their tropical wintering grounds.
Due to their diminutive size, observing Virginia’s Warblers can be challenging, leading to limited knowledge about their dietary preferences. They have been observed hopping from branch to branch in mid-level tree foliage, where they presumably feed on insects like other warblers.
Listen to the delightful song of the Virginia’s Warbler through the provided audio recording. Nests are intricately concealed among dead leaves at the base of shrubs or trees. The female constructs the nests using coarse grass, bark strips, roots, and moss. She typically lays around three to five eggs and incubates them alone for about two weeks.
A notable characteristic of Virginia’s Warblers is their frequent tail-wagging while perched on branches of pine and oak trees, which may aid in spotting these elusive birds.
14. Black-and-white Warblers
Although sightings are infrequent in Idaho, you may come across Black-and-white Warblers during their migratory periods.
Black-and-white Warblers possess distinctive and easily recognizable striped patterns. Males feature a prominent black patch across their eye and cheek, appearing darker than the females.
Scientific Name: Mniotilta varia
Length: 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm)
Weight: 0.3-0.5 ounces (8-15 g)
Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 inches (18-22 cm)
These warblers breed in the eastern United States and Canada, and during the winter, they can be found in regions such as Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Mexico, Baja California, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Their migratory route often takes them through central states of the United States.
Black-and-white Warblers exhibit their unique foraging behavior by hopping up and down tree trunks and branches within forested areas, actively searching for insects.
Listen to the captivating song of the Black-and-white Warbler through the provided audio recording. Nests are cleverly concealed near or on the ground, often tucked under logs or shrubs. The nest construction involves weaving bark, grass, and pine needles into a cup-shaped structure. The females typically lay around five eggs, which hatch after approximately eleven days, and the young birds fledge within an additional ten days.
It is noteworthy that Black-and-white Warblers are less frequently observed compared to other songbirds at backyard feeders. However, you can create an inviting habitat by providing trees, leaving brush piles for insect habitat, avoiding the use of pesticides or herbicides, offering a clean water source, and providing bird feeders with sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and suet to attract these delightful warblers.
How Frequently Warblers Are Spotted in Idaho During Summer and Winter
To gain insights into the common warbler species recorded in Idaho, checklists compiled on eBird provide valuable information. The following percentages represent the prevalence of different warbler species on the checklists during summer and winter seasons in Idaho:
Warblers in Idaho during summer:
– Yellow Warbler: 30.0%
– Yellow-rumped Warbler: 15.8%
– Common Yellowthroat: 6.4%
– Yellow-breasted Chat: 6.2%
– MacGillivray’s Warbler: 5.6%
– Orange-crowned Warbler: 4.8%
– Townsend’s Warbler: 3.3%
– Wilson’s Warbler: 3.0%
– Nashville Warbler: 2.8%
– American Redstart: 0.7%
– Black-throated Gray Warbler: 0.6%
– Northern Waterthrush: 0.6%
– Virginia’s Warbler: 0.3%
– Black-and-white Warbler: <0.1%
Warblers in Idaho during winter:
– Yellow-rumped Warbler: 5.7%
– Orange-crowned Warbler: 0.4%
– Common Yellowthroat: <0.1%
– Yellow-breasted Chat: <0.1%
– Wilson’s Warbler: <0.1%
– Nashville Warbler: <0.1%
– MacGillivray’s Warbler: <0.1%
– Black-and-white Warbler: <0.1%
– Townsend’s Warbler: <0.1%
Attracting Warblers to Your Backyard
While warblers may not be as commonly attracted to backyard feeders as other songbirds, you can take specific steps to create an inviting environment for these melodious creatures:
1. Provide Trees: If your yard has sufficient space, plant trees that warblers prefer, such as oak, pine, or fruit-bearing trees.
2. Embrace Brush Piles: Leave brush piles in your yard, offering a natural habitat for insects that warblers feed on.
3. Avoid Pesticides and Herbicides: Refrain from using chemical pesticides or herbicides, as they can reduce the availability of insects, which are a vital food source for warblers.
4. Clean Water Source: Offer a clean and shallow water source, such as a birdbath or small pond, for warblers to drink and bathe.
5. Offer Mealworms: Provide live mealworms or dried alternatives as a supplemental food source for warblers.
6. Bird Feeders: Set up bird feeders stocked with sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and suet, which can attract warblers along with other bird species.
By implementing these practices, you can increase the chances of attracting warblers to your backyard and create a welcoming space for their presence and vibrant songs.