Bird of the Week, December 2, 2011
Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler by Greg Lavaty

The Blackpoll Warbler, named for the black forehead and crown of the breeding male, has one of the highest pitched songs of any bird – in fact, the sound is so high that many people have difficulty hearing it at all.


Blackpolls have the longest migration of any North American warbler. In the fall, they depart from the northeastern United States and head out over the Atlantic in a grueling, nonstop flight that averages 1,800 miles and can take more than 80 hours.


The Blackpoll’s boreal breeding grounds are at risk from tar sands development, which destroys nesting habitat and releases high volumes of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming – an incipient threat to boreal forests. Collisions with towers and buildings also kill thousands of migrating Blackpoll Warblers each year.


Canada has taken steps to protect large areas of its boreal forest, preserving millions of acres of habitat for the Blackpoll and hundreds of other bird and animal species.



Photo: Blackpoll Warbler; Range Map, NatureServe