Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca)


French: Paruline à gorge orangée German: Fichtenwaldsänger Spanish: Reinita gorjinaranja

Motacilla fusca

Statius Müller

, 1776,

Guyane = French Guiana


Affinities within genus uncertain; some suggestions that closest relative may be S. cerulea, based mainly on similarity of songs, but a molecular phylogeny recovered this species as sister to S. castanea. Has hybridized with S. castanea and at least once with Mniotilta varia, also possibly with S. pensylvanica and possibly with S. kirtlandii. Monotypic.


S Canada (C Saskatchewan, locally from Alberta, E to S Newfoundland and Nova Scotia) S in NE USA to C Wisconsin and New England, and in Appalachians to extreme N Georgia. Migrates to Central America and NW South America, S in Andes to C Peru and, less commonly, C Bolivia.

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; 9·7 g. Male breeding has crown and ear-coverts black, orange lower eye-crescent, fiery orange forecrown patch, supercilium, neck side, throat and upper... read more


Two song types. Type 1 song a series of thin, very high-pitched, whistled “swee” notes... read more


Breeds in mature coniferous and mixed forests, especially where hemlocks (Tsuga) dominate... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds mainly on insects and other arthropods; occasionally takes berries in winter. Forages mainly by gleaning in canopy, also sometimes... read more


Season May–Jul. Nest a cup of small twigs, grass and plant down or Usnea lichen, lined with rootlets, hair and fine grass,... read more


Long-distance migrant. Leaves breeding grounds mostly during Aug, moving S chiefly through... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common throughout range. Breeding densities vary with habitat, with 0·7–1·1 pairs/ha in mature red spruce... read more

Recommended citation

Curson, J. (2020). Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 January 2020).