Singing from an exposed perch atop a sapling in an old field, the male blue-winged warbler is a stunning sight. The male’s bright yellow head and body contrast with its blue-gray wings, which have large white wing bars. A slim black line runs through the eye. Females are duller overall. In flight, both edges flash white outer edges in the tail.
The male blue-winged warbler sings beee-buzzzz! A frequently given alternative song is a short trill followed by an up-slurred buzz: ch-ch-ch-ch-tzeee! Call note is a sweet, sharp chick!
Several warblers have songs similar to the blue-winged warbler’s. Time spent listening and learning warbler songs before the birds return in the spring can really pay off.
Blue-winged warblers sometimes interbreed with the closely related golden-winged warbler, producing two general hybrids: the Lawrence’s warbler and the Brewster’s warbler.
Blue-winged warblers prefer open habitat such as brushy woodlands, woodland edges, and overgrown pastures for nesting and foraging. Territorial males often sing all day long in spring and summer.