This small bird has a lot of different looks. The breeding male is bold black and white: it has a black cap, white cheeks, black streaks on sides, back, and throat; two white wing-bars; and a relatively long bill, for a warbler that is. Immature males and non-breeding females are greenish overall, with the two white wing bars, faint black streaks on the upper back, faint streaks on a yellowish breast, and a faint eyestripe. Breeding females have grayer coloring and bright orange legs.
The Blackpoll Warbler nests in the far north in boreal forest habitat. It eats mainly insects, but fattens up on seeds and fruits just before its exhausting migration. It may double its weight so that it can survive an 80 plus hour ocean crossing between its breeding grounds and its South American wintering habitat.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food and cover during migration. The SBG offers plenty of seeds, fruits, and insects.
When can I see it?
Spring and fall. This little bird is probably the longest-distance migrant of all the warblers we observe. It is listed as a Common Bird in Steep Decline, though, so it may be harder to find in the coming years.