What About Blackpolls?
All warblers are cool; the Blackpoll Warbler is very cool.
The two photos show the same species, just different plumages at different times of year. No North American warbler is as different in summer and winter plumage as the Blackpoll. The black cap – the “poll” that gives the species its common name – disappears. Only the two strong, white wing bars are the same.
No North American warbler has a higher pitched song. The “seet-seet-seet-seet” call is so high pitched that it is the first call that, ahem, aging birders are unable to hear.
No North American warbler migrates further. The Blackpoll Warblers that breed in the boreal forest of Alaska, in fall migration, will fly to the Northeastern U.S., then along the Atlantic coast to North Carolina or so, and then launch themselves on a non-stop flight to South America, wintering in Brazil. Call it 8,000 miles, nearly 2,000 of them in a non-stop, over water flight that lasts an estimate 88 hours.
All this is a tiny little warbler, barely 5 1/2 inches long. Very cool.