Black-throated Gray Warbler

photo by Phil Swanson

Dendroica nigrescens
L 5″ (13 cm).

Song or calls:
Song is buzzy series, rising in pitch and intensity, then falling: “zee zee bzz bzz.” 

Description: Black-and-white striped head; slate gray back streaked with black; white underparts with black streaking on sides; black throat and upper breast; two white wing bars; and small yellow spot between eye and bill. Female is slightly duller, and has less black on upper breast.

Habitat: Migrants normally associated with dry slopes, thickets, and oak or pine woodlands.

Where in Nebraska: Rare casual spring and fall migrant west; one spring record east.

Field Notes: The drab colors of the Black-throated Gray Warbler is a good adaptation to the bluish gray-green of western junipers.

Fun Facts: Has been recorded performing a distraction display, pretending to be injured to lure predators away.

Black-throated Gray Warbler - photo by Phil Swanson Black-throated Gray Warbler - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)