Warblers Page 2

Black-and-white Warbler

The Black-and -white Warbler is 5 inches long. This species has striping like a zebra. The Black-and-white Warbler also has distinctive black and white colored stripes on the head of the bird. Black-and-white Warblers are the only species of Warbler that walk down headfirst on a tree. Black-and-white Warblers usually build the nest on the ground. When a predatory animal gets too close to the nest, the female bird will do a dance to distract the predator and draw it away from the nest. The nest is usually placed under dead leaves as a form of protection. The female lays 4 or 5 eggs in the nest and it is her job to keep the eggs warm. For food, Black-and-white Warblers eat insects and insect eggs. Black-and white Warblers are usually seen around the Outer Banks July through September.

American Redstart

The American Redstart ranges in length between 4 ½ and 5 ½ inches long. The male American Redstart is black in color with bright orange patches around the tail and wings of the bird. The female is much duller in color. The orange patch on the tail and wings of the male develops after the bird reaches a year old. American Redstarts prefer to live in forests with young trees. The American Redstart is one of the most commonly seen warblers because of the availability of its' habitat. The nest of the American Redstart is usually placed in the trunk of a tree. The female American Redstart then lays 4 eggs in the nest. The diet of the American Redstart consists of insects. The American Redstart will suddenly drop down out of the sky to chase after its' prey. American Redstarts are most commonly seen around the Outer Banks August through October.

Prothonotary Warbler

The Prothonotary Warbler is 5 ½ inches long. The bird is golden-orange in color with blue-gray wings. Prothonotary Warblers can be seen living in woodlands near swamps, flooded areas, and streams with dead trees. The bright color of the bird makes it easy to spot in this particular habitat. Unlike most species of warblers, the Prothonotary Warbler builds the nest in holes of trees. This species will also build nests in man made structures such as mailboxes. The female Prothonotary Warbler lays 6 eggs in the nest. For food, Prothonotary Warblers eat seeds and fruit. Prothonotary Warblers are a fairly common sight around the Outer Banks March through July.

Worm-eating Warbler

The Worm-eating Warbler is 5 ½ inches long. It is mostly a plain brown color. It does have noticeable dark and light colored stripes running along the top of the head. The Worm-eating Warbler likes to live in dry wooded hillsides. Worm-eating Warblers are mainly ground dwelling birds. The nest of the Worm-eating Warbler is built on the ground and is made out of dead leaves and grass. The female lays 4 or 5 eggs in the nest. For food, Worm-eating Warblers mainly eat insects and insect eggs. Worm-eating Warblers are not very frequently seen in North Carolina.


The Ovenbird is 6 inches long. It is mostly an olive green color on top and white with black streaks on the belly of the bird. The Ovenbird also has a distinctive white ring around the eye and black stripes running through the orange-brown feathers on the head of the bird. Ovenbirds prefer to live in dry forests with very little growth on the ground. Ovenbirds build their nest on the ground. A male Ovenbird can have up to 3 different mates during breeding season. The male bird also is involved in the process of feeding the young birds. The female Ovenbird lays 4 or 5 eggs in the nest, which is made of dead leaves and twigs. Ovenbirds primarily eat insects. Ovenbirds are found along the Outer Banks all year round, but are fairly infrequently seen.

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Terms: The Birds of the Outer Banks: Warblers Page 5

The Birds of the Outer Banks;Warblers Page 5

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