black and white warbler
This bird is small. The male has distinctive bold black and white striping on back, sides, and flanks, and two heavy white wingbars. The female and immature birds are more muted versions of the male. The beak is relatively long and slightly curved.
These warblers forage on leaves as do other warbler species, but in addition they poke around under bark for hidden insects, much like nuthatches or woodpeckers. These double-barreled strategies are thought to confer some flexibility in seeking the primary element in their diet: insects. They prefer mature or second-growth deciduous forest habitat with a thick understory. Though they spend their foraging time up in the trees, they nest on the ground, well hidden under a bush, log, or rock.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food, shelter, perhaps nesting sites. Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and their caterpillars furnish an important food source for the Black-and-White Warbler, and of course SBG is a good source since its purpose is to create butterfly habitat. Other insects also abound. A Black-and-White warbler observed in the SBG in late August was likely a migrant. It is possible that there are breeding birds in the habitat, but studies suggest that likely breeding sites are more thickly forested and often wetter.
When can I see it?
Spring, possibly summer, and fall. The Black-and-White Warbler migrates in winter to Mexico, Cuba, and northern South America.