THE BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER IS AN UNUSUAL WINTER VISITOR

black-and-white-warbler-male

One of the most unusual winter visitors to Georgia backyards is the black-and-white warbler.

Although the vast majority of black-and-white warblers winter in Florida southward throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America to Peru and Venezuela, small numbers of this distinctively marked warbler winter in Georgia. In the Peach State, during the winter months the bird is considered rare to uncommon below the Fall line, with more being seen along the coast and in extreme south Georgia than elsewhere. North of the Fall Line, the black-and-white warbler is deemed accidental to rare in winter.

Do not look for this bird at your feeders. In spite of the fact that it will sometimes visit hummingbird feeders, more than likely, if you are lucky enough to spot one, you will see it climbing up, down, and around the trunk or large limbs of a deciduous tree. Here is uses its bill, which is longer than that of most other warblers, to pluck insects hiding in bark crevices.

This five and a quarter-inch warbler is easy to identify; it is the only zebra-striped warbler that you are likely to see during the winter months. Both the male and female have stripes running down the length of their heads, backs, and sides. The streaks on the female are more muted than those of the male.

The call of this warbler is often difficult to hear. It is best described as sounding something like weesee, weesee, weesee. Some have suggested that it sounds somewhat like a squeaking wheel.

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