Black-Throated Gray Warbler

Setophaga nigrescens
Range Map

The Black-Throated Gray Warbler breeds in western North America, its range extending from southwestern British Columbia along the Pacific coast south to southern California, and the mountains of northern Baja California (Mexico). The breeding range extends east to include the Great Basin and the southwestern Rocky Mountain states. They spend winters mostly in Mexico.

Formerly classified as a member of Dendroica (wood warbler), the genus of many new world warblers was changed in 2011, when geneticists weighed in with results of ongoing studies of avian genomes. The new genus for this bird is Setophaga (moth eater).

Today’s science officially recognises no subspecies for the Black-Throated Gray Warbler (i.e. they are monotypic).

I’ve met Black-Throated Gray Warblers in California, Utah, Arizona, and Texas. I’ve even had them as yardbirds at my southern California home. My best experiences have come from Santa Rosa Mountain in southern Riverside County (California), where I first met them. But my most surprising meeting was while I visited Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen (Texas) in February 2021. It must have been a wayward traveller, because it was far afield from its appointed rounds for winter.

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