This warbler is a fairly common migrant in Essex County in May, late August and September. They prefer more wooded areas and are often near the tops of the trees feeding on insects – look for the fiery orange throat on males and the paler orange throats on females in sharp contrast with the black and white patterning on the rest of the bird.
A bird of the coniferous forests of the Northeast, the Blackburnian Warbler is breathtaking in its brilliant orange-and-black breeding plumage.
Brilliant orange throat.
Orange yellow eyebrow.
Small black face mask.
Broad white wingbars.
Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Throat and upper breast deep orange. Sides of neck, eyestripe, line on forecrown, and eye arc yellow-orange. Face patch, crown, and back black. Lower breast yellowish with black streaks on sides. Belly white or yellowish. Wings black with broad white wingbars that run together into a white patch. Back black with two creamy white lines. Tail black with large white patches in outer tail feathers.
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: Similar to breeding, but oranges less intense and more yellow. Olive edges to black back feathers. Wingbars more distinct and less of a continuous white patch.
Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Throat, upper breast, eyestripe, forecrown stripe, and sides of neck orange yellow. Crown, face patch, and flank streaks greenish gray. Back gray with dark and light streaking. Two broad white wingbars.
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: Similar to breeding, but more olive-brown above and with less white in the wing.
Immature similar to adult female. Immature male with more yellow throat, some black in eyeline, and more yellow onto flanks. Immature female much paler, with yellowish throat and eyeline, blurry streaking on sides, grayer face patch and crown, and narrower wingbars.
*Image and description were sourced from: allaboutbirds.org