While fairly distinctive in alternate plumage, young Blackpoll Warblers in their first fall plumage are very similar to young Bay-breasted and Pine warblers. In all plumages, legs and feet show at least some yellow or yellow-orange. The legs and feet of Bay-breasted and Pine are usually all dark. Long wings make this species appear short-tailed. Alternate Male: An extensive black cap and bold black malar stripe frame a white cheek. Upperparts are gray with blackish streaks and two white wing bars. White spots on outer tails feathers are visible in flight. Underparts are white with bold black streaks along the sides. Alternate Female: Upperparts light gray with dark streaks and two white wing bars. Underparts are mostly white with gray wash on the flanks; very fine black streaks on the malar and sides. Some individuals washed with olive-yellow. Basic Male and Female: Upperparts are olive-gray with darker streaking, and a dark line through the eye. Dark malar line and side streaks are paler and more diffuse than in alternate plumage. Underparts washed with pale dull yellow. Juvenile: Dull olive-yellow upperparts, variably streaked on the back, with two white wing bars. Underparts are pale olive-yellow to dull yellow on the breast, fading to white on the belly and undertail coverts with indistinct streaks on the sides of the breast and upper flanks. Similar immature Bay-breasted Warbler is dingier and unstreaked below with a buffy wash on the flanks and undertail. Immature Pine Warbler lacks streaking in the back, has an extensive dark auricular patch with no eyeline (creates a hooded look), and is generally less colorful or somewhat brownish above.
Length: 13 (cm) Wingspan: 22 (cm)
Song is a series of extremely high-pitched notes, all on one pitch, usually accented in the middle of the series.
High latitude boreal forest; tundra-forest transition zone.
One of the later species to arrive in spring. In autumn, initially migrates east, then makes a long flight from the Mid-Atlantic or New England states over the Atlantic Ocean to South America, completing one of the more arduous migrations of any North American songbird.
Moves methodically along foliated branches as it gleans insects. Takes some fruit in autumn.
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