Fun Black-And-White Warbler Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Feb 29, 2024 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla
Caterpillars, flies, bugs, beetles, and spiders
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.1 Min

The black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia) is a bird species that is found in deciduous forests and other forests across the globe. The main locations where this medium-sized warbler is seen are in North America. In the winter, when they migrate, they are seen traveling to southern America. These birds are also referred to as 'creepers' because of their natural ability to climb trees. Their status of conservation is currently Least Concern, showing that their population is currently relatively stable.

Bird banding is quite common among this species. This is when researchers attach a plastic or metal band to a bird's feet to study its movements. Males of this species are known to sing songs for females in order to attract them. Males and females mate during the breeding period and take care of one brood together. The black-and-white warbler got its name because of its colors and there are a plethora of fun facts associated with it. Go through this article to find out more about this species of warblers and the interesting beliefs attached to them.

If you like reading these facts, you can also check other facts on the kestrel bird and the frigate bird.

Black-And-White Warbler Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black-and-white warbler?

The black-and-white warbler is a wild bird that is found in North America and northern South America. This bird falls under the class of Aves just like other birds and is quite famous for its appearance and the songs that it sings in its natural habitat: the deciduous and mixed forests out in the wild.

What class of animal does a black-and-white warbler belong to?

The black-and-white warbler bird species belong to the order Passeriformes, family Parulidae, and class Aves. Like other members of this class, this species of birds can fly, build nests, and lay eggs on breeding grounds to raise their young.

How many black-and-white warblers are there in the world?

Black-and-white warblers are common birds that are often seen on trees in search of food. The North American Breeding Bird Survey reported a 33% decline in their populations from 1966 to 2014. The estimated global breeding population is around 20 million individuals, with one-quarter of the population spending a few months of the year in the USA. 75% of the population is observed breeding in Canada during the breeding season, and 43% of the population spend the winter in Mexico after migration. There are more than 20 million individuals living across the world in their natural habitat and these birds are therefore far from rare.

Where does a black-and-white warbler live?

Black-and-white warbler birds are seen living in various rainforests, deciduous forests, and mixed forests across North America and South America. This species of birds are quite common in America and the species has an estimated worldwide population of more than 20 million breeding individuals. These birds engage in migration to northern South America, Florida, and Peru during the winter.

What is a black-and-white warbler's habitat?

A typical black-and-white warbler habitat includes dense deciduous forests and mixed forests. These birds are known to prey on insects like beetles, flies, worms, caterpillars, bugs, and spiders and are generally seen living on trees and branches, which they mark as their territory. They also occupy various coffee plantations as their wintering grounds.

Who do black-and-white warblers live with?

This species of birds are known to live in groups and travel in flocks during migration. A black-and-white warblers group is known as a 'dichotomy'. These birds are very territorial and keep other warblers and animals away from their territory and when they start eating in flocks, they can tend to start fighting. Generally, pairs of parents are seen living together.

How long does a black-and-white warbler live?

The average black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia) lifespan is not known precisely as the survival of this bird species depends on a lot of factors like their habitat and the food source availability. The oldest black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia) was 11 years and three months old. The adaptability of this bird has helped its population to increase over the years, and it is now known to live in places like the branches of trees, tree trunks, and even in the base of a tree or a fallen log.

How do they reproduce?

A female black-and-white warbler is attracted by a male during the breeding season (during spring), and the mating pair builds a nest. The nest is mostly built by the female, who then lays about four to six eggs in the nest. The eggs are taken care of by the female in the nest. They have an incubation period of 12 days, and the male feeds the female with insects found in the forest. Both parents take care of the young birds after hatching (after 12 days of incubation). The young birds can fly only 18-20 days after hatching. How adorable!

What is their conservation status?

The black-and-white warbler's conservation is of Least Concern according to the IUCN, as there are many breeding individuals present in different parts of the world, mostly in North America. For this reason, they are also sometimes described as North American birds.

Black-And-White Warbler Fun Facts

What do black-and-white warblers look like?

Black-and-white warblers are black and white in color and are medium-sized warblers with white eyebrows, small legs, and sharp beaks.

Black-and-white warblers have streamlined bodies with short tails and wide wingspans.

How cute are they?

Black-and-white warblers are pretty cute thanks to their body color and their small size. The male is often seen singing for the female during the breeding season (in spring). If you are ever lucky enough to see this then you will surely agree that these birds are adorable.

How do they communicate?

Black-and-white warblers (Mniotilta varia) are known to communicate with each other by making various sounds and by singing songs. Male black-and-white warblers are known to sing a song that sounds like 'weeeeesy-weeesy-weesy', which lasts for about three seconds. Both male and female black-and-white warblers make sharp 'chit-pit' calls to communicate with each other too. This is mostly observed during the spring season or in winter.

How big is a black-and-white warbler?

Black-and-white warblers have a length of 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm) and a weight of 0.3-0.5 oz (8-15 g). This species of birds are very small but they can be up to 20 times the size of their food, which is made up of tiny bugs and other insects found in forests.

How fast can a black-and-white warbler fly?

The exact black-and-white warbler flight speed is not specified or known, but we do know that the average warbler speed is 27 mph (43 kph). This bird also has the ability to creep up trees very fast in its natural habitat. Due to this creeper behavior, this bird (Mniotilta varia) is often described as and called a 'flying humbug'.

How much does a black-and-white warbler weigh?

Black-and-white warblers are medium-sized warblers that weigh around 0.3-0.5 oz (8-15 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female black-and-white warblers do not have any specific names, but all birds of this species (both male and female) are referred to as white-and-black creepers sometimes.

What would you call a baby black-and-white warbler?

The babies of black-and-white warblers (Mniotilta varia), after hatching from their egg, are known as chicks.

What do they eat?

Both female and male black-and-white warblers are insectivores, meaning that they generally feed on insects like bugs, beetles, spiders, worms, and caterpillars. During migration, this species is known to travel and eat in flocks. As well as eating lots of forest insects, this high-pitched bird species is at risk itself from other animals in the forest. A few black-and-white warbler predator animals include chipmunks, deer mice, blue jays, bears, squirrels, and raccoons.

Are they friendly?

This bird (Mniotilta varia) species is known to be very territorial and aggressive when it comes to defending their territories or nests from other bird species in the forests. Currently, no bird of this species has been known to attack humans, and they have not spent a lot of time in close proximity to humans. When it comes to saving their own family, nest, or eggs from predators, they can become quite aggressive.

Would they make a good pet?

The black-and-white warbler species is known to be quite aggressive during their breeding season during spring. During migration and feeding, they are even seen fighting with other members in the flocks. Therefore, keeping these North American birds as pets is not a great choice.

Did you know...

Bird banding is a common practice in this bird species.

These birds have been seen building nests in some surprising places, like a fallen log for example! A black-and-white warbler nest is cup-shaped.

Male black-and-white warblers sing songs for females during the breeding season (during spring).

What does a black-and-white warbler sound like?

Males are known to make the distinctive black-and-white warbler call, a thin, repetitive, high-pitched 'weeeesy-weeesy-weesy' kind of song that lasts for about three seconds. The song gets longer, faster, and is at a higher pitch when they are in their breeding grounds. During nest-building, males are also known to sing faintly when they are near females. This black-and-white warbler song is quite famous in the wild and is heard quite often.

With many variations in their calls, both male and female black-and-white warblers are also heard giving a sharp 'pit-chit' call. Females are heard giving the call when males are away from the nest, and males often give the call in search of mating partners.

What does it mean when you see warblers?

Male and female black-and-white warblers symbolize two very important things. These birds symbolize the use of endurance, perseverance, and patience and many believe that these warblers teach us never to give up and to walk the extra mile if it means we can get a step closer to our goals.  These cute tiny birds teach us how to be persistent. The black-and-white warbler was also once known as the black-and-white creeper and this name describes the behavior of this warbler quite well as it is often seen on the branches of a tree like a creeper in search of food like insects and worms.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds, including the yellow-billed cuckoo, or the kagu.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our black-and-white warbler coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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