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Black-throated green warbler

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Black-throated green warbler
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Parulidae
Genus: Setophaga
S. virens
Binomial name
Setophaga virens
(Gmelin, 1789)
Range of S. virens (note: missing distribution on Hispaniola and Puerto Rico)
  Breeding range
  Wintering range

Dendroica virens

The black-throated green warbler (Setophaga virens) is a small songbird of the New World warbler family.



It has an olive-green crown, a yellow face with olive markings, a thin pointed bill, white wing bars, an olive-green back and pale underparts with black streaks on the flanks. Adult males have a black throat and upper breast; females have a pale throat and black markings on their breast.


  • Length: 4.3–4.7 in (11–12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3–0.4 oz (8.5–11.3 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.7–7.9 in (17–20 cm)
Quintana, Texas Male
Black-throated green warbler with chicks

Habitat and distribution


The breeding habitat of the black-throated green warbler is coniferous and mixed forests in eastern North America and western Canada and cypress swamps on the southern Atlantic coast, with preference for dense stands of conifers.[3] These birds' nests are open cups, which are usually situated close to the trunk of a tree.

These birds migrate to Mexico, Central America, the West Indies and southern Florida. One destination is to the Petenes mangroves of the Yucatán. Some birds straggle as far as South America, with the southernmost couple of records coming from Ecuador.



The black-throated green warbler has been reported to hybridize with the congeneric Townsend's warbler where their range overlaps in the Rocky Mountains.[4]



Black-throated green warblers forage actively in vegetation, and they sometimes hover (gleaning), or catch insects in flight (hawking). Insects are the main constituents of these birds' diets, although berries will occasionally be consumed.

The song of this bird is a buzzed zee-zee-zee-zooo-zeet or zoo-zee-zoo-zoo-zeet. The call is a sharp tsip.[5]

This bird is vulnerable to nest parasitism by the brown-headed cowbird.[6][7]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2018). "Setophaga virens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22721689A132146396. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22721689A132146396.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Black-throated Green Warbler Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology". www.allaboutbirds.org. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  3. ^ Robichaud, Isabelle; Villard, Marc-Andre (1999). "Do black-throated green warblers prefer conifers? Meso- and microhabitat use in a mixedwood forest". The Condor. 101 (2): 262–271. doi:10.2307/1369989. JSTOR 1369989.
  4. ^ Toews, David P.L.; Brelsford, Alan; Irwin, Darren E. (2011). "Hybridization between Townsend's Dendroica townsendi and blackt-hroated green warblers D. virens in an avian suture zone". Journal of Avian Biology. 42 (5): 434–446. doi:10.1111/j.1600-048X.2011.05360.x.
  5. ^ "Black-throated Green Warbler | Audubon Field Guide". www.audubon.org. Retrieved 2024-06-14.
  6. ^ Pitelka, Frank A. (1940). "Breeding Behavior of the Black-throated Green Warbler". The Wilson Bulletin. 52 (1): 3–18. JSTOR 4156892.
  7. ^ Morse, D. H. 1993. Black-throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens). In The Birds of North America, No. 55 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences, Washington, DC: The American Ornithologists’ Union.
  • Curson, Jon; Quinn, David; Beadle, David (1994). New World Warblers. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-3932-6.
  • Stiles; Skutch (1989). A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Comstock. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4.
  • World Wildlife Fund (2010). "Petenes mangroves". In Mark McGinley; C. Michael Hogan; C. Cleveland (eds.). Encyclopedia of Earth. Washington, DC: National Council for Science and the Environment.