Black-and-white Warbler

photo by Phil Swanson

Mniotilta varia
L 5 1/4″ (13 cm).

Song or calls:
Song is slow series of high, thin notes; “wee-see” sounds like a squeaky wheel.

Description: Bold black striping on head, most of body, and undertail coverts; white on rest of body. Male has black throat and cheeks in breeding plumage; in winter chin is white. Females and immatures have gray cheeks and a white throat.

Behavior: The only warbler that creeps along branches and up and down tree trunks like a nuthatch.

black-and-white warbler
Habitat: Migrants occur in deciduous woodlands along rivers and streams, and in parks and residential areas. Nests in semiopen stands of forest, especially those with immature or scrubby trees and in hillside groves with thin understories.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant across the state. Local and uncommon summer resident in forested valleys of Missouri and Niobrara Rivers, and in Pine Ridge area.

Fun Facts: They have an unusually long hind toe and claw on each foot to help them climb on trees.

Black-and-white Warbler - photo by Phil Swanson Black-and-white Warbler - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)