Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Jim Parrish
Photo Copyright Jim Parrish

The black-and-white warbler, Mniotilta varia, breeds in Canada and much of the eastern United States, and winters from the southeastern United States to northern South America. It is a very rare migrant through Utah, having been reported from a few scattered locations. Its breeding habitat is forests, and in migration it utilizes a wider variety of habitats, but mostly forests and riparian areas; similarly, on its winter range, it uses a variety of habitats, mainly forests. Its foods are mainly insects, especially caterpillars.

This species nests on the ground, and the nest is usually well hidden at the base of a tree or shrub or next to a log. Four to six eggs, usually five, are incubated by the female parent for ten to twelve days. The young are fed by both parents and leave the nest eight to twelve days after hatching. This species is commonly subject to brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds.


  • Kricher, J. C. Black-and-white warbler. Birds of North America 158: 119.

  • Behle, W. H., E. D. Sorensen, and C. M. White. 1985. Utah birds: a revised checklist. Utah Museum of Natural History, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. vi + 108 pp.