- Sexual Dimorphism
- male larger
- Range mass
- 9 to 15 g
- 0.32 to 0.53 oz
- Range length
- 11 to 13 cm
- 4.33 to 5.12 in
- Average basal metabolic rate
- 0.12727 W
is most likely monogamous.
- Mating System
is one of the first warblers to arrive in the spring. There is some evidence that it will return to the same territories in successive years. Preferred breeding habitat includes deciduous and deciduous-conifer forests, especially on hillsides, in ravines and swampy forests.
typically breeds between April and August. Males arrive first in the spring. Soon after arriving, they set up territories and begin courting a mate. The courting male pursues the female intermittently over a long period of time, with much song and display of plumage. After pursuing the female, the male will perch near the female with fluttering wings.
The female is the principal nest builder. The nest is a cup, generally on the ground at the base of a tree or fallen log and concealed under dead leaves or branches. The nest is made of leaves, coarse grass, and other fine materials used for lining.
The female lays 4 to 6 (usually 5) white eggs that are flecked with brown and 16 to 18 mm long. Incubation, completed by the female only, takes 10 to 12 days. The male sometimes feeds the incubating female. Both parents feed the young and defend the nest. The young leave the nest 8 to 12 days after hatching. They remain in the parents' territory for 2 to 3 weeks after fledging. Generally there is only one brood per year, although two broods per year is possible. (Anderson and Maxfield, 1967; Ehrlich, et al., 1988; Kricher, 1995)
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Most black-and-white warblers raise one brood per summer. Some pairs are able to raise two broods.
- Breeding season
- Black-and-white warblers breed between April and August.
- Range eggs per season
- 4 to 6
- Average eggs per season
- Range time to hatching
- 10 to 12 days
- Range fledging age
- 8 to 12 days
- Parental Investment
The oldest known black-and-white warbler lived at least 11 years. One study estimated annual adult survivorship to be 71%. ()
- Range lifespan
- 11 (high) years
- Range lifespan
- Average lifespan
- 135 months
- Bird Banding Laboratory
- Average lifespan
is diurnal and migratory. It is also generally solitary, although it joins mixed-species flocks in winter and during migration.
- Range territory size
- 0.009 to 0.066 km^2
The home range of black-and-white warblers is unknown.
Communication and Perception
- Animal Foods
- terrestrial non-insect arthropods
Little information is available about predation of M. tilta is probably vulnerable to predation by a wide variety of predators, particularly during the breeding season. Probable nest predators include common forest bird and mammal species such as blue jays, deer mice, eastern chipmunks, northern flying squirrels, red squirrels, raccoons and black bears. (Ehrlich, et al., 1988). As a ground nesting species,
M. tilta hosts external and internal parasites, including feather mites, lice and blood parasites. (Ehrlich, et al., 1988)affects the populations of insects it eats. It also provides food for its predators. Finally,
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
We do not know of any way thataffects humans.
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known negative effects of Mniotilta varia on humans.
cowbird parasitism, of which is a frequent host. There is also evidence that pesticide use has had a negative effect on populations.is very sensitive to fragmentation of forested breeding habitat. Populations of have been increasing as forests have regenerated after massive 19th century deforestation. The worldwide population of is estimated at about 14,000,000 individuals. Regional declines have occurred where forest fragmentation is again occurring. These declines may be compounded by
The scientific name (Kricher, 1995)derives from the unique bark-foraging behavior (Mniotilta refers to "moss-plucking") and the unique plumage evident in all seasons (varia refers to "variegated"). No subspecies are presently recognized.
Kari Kirschbaum (author, editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Jacob Foster (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Terry Root (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
Anderson, K., H. Maxfield. 1967. Warbler returns from southeastern Massachusetts. Bird Banding, 43: 218-233.
Blake, C., J. Cadbury. 1969. An old warbler. Bird Banding, 40: 255.
Burtt, E. 1980. Overwing and underwing head scratching by a male Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia). Ibis, 122: 541.
Dunn, J., K. Garrett. 1997. A field guide to warblers of North America. Peterson Field Guide Series. NY: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Ehrlich, P., D. Dobkin, D. Wheye. 1988. The birder's handbook: A field guide to the natural history of North American birds. NY: Simon & Schuster Inc.
Kricher, J. 1995. Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia). Pp. 1-20 in A Poole, F Gill, eds. The Birds of North America, Vol. 158. Philadelphia, PA: The Academy of Natural Sciences, and Washington DC: The American Ornithologists' Union.