English and Scientific names:

Black-throated Gray Warbler (Dendroica nigrescens)

Number of individuals: 

1, immature female by plumage

Locality: LOUISIANA: 

Cameron Parish

Specific Locality:

Peveto area

Date(s) when observed:


Time(s) of day when observed:  

ca. 1 PM

Reporting observer and address:

Paul Conover

Lafayette, LA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Mac Myers, Dave Patton

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Bright light, poor visibility but seen from all angles to sun. Seen well.

Optical equipment: 

Zeiss 10s, Nikon D50 w/ 200mm lens.

Distance to bird(s): 

15 feet-150 feet

Duration of observation:

off an on about ˝ hour


Foraged in live oaks. Coastal woods had been hit shortly before by Hurricane Ike surge; mud and sand covered the floor of the woods. No live understory plants. Most trees brown and withered.

Behavior of bird: 

Worked the exterior of live oaks, from about 10 feet up to the treetops.


The bird first appeared in response to Screech Owl tape. It landed high above me almost directly in the sun, about 40 feet up. I had a limited look at the undersides only. The light was horrible and bright, and the colors were washed out, but I could see it had a white belly, and a hint of a neck collar. I told Mac it was possibly a Cerulean Warbler--either that, or a Black-throated Gray. Either would’ve been nice, so we locked on it. However, it flew, then flew again, and we had to chase and relocate it. Mac got a distant look and saw it was indeed a BT Gray.


It foraged in company with a Yellow-throated Warbler, sometimes chasing it off. It was very active, very hard to get a still look at.


A black and white warbler with dusky black auriculars, broad white supercilia, dusky black crown. The crown and auricalrs joined on the hindneck, sealing off the white supercilia. Dark eye, dark bill, yellow spot on lores. Back basically color of crown and auriculars, a dusky black. The dark color almost seemed frosted. Two strong white wingbars (tips of greater and median coverts). Wing coverts otherwise dusky black, flight feathers slightly paler or more worn. Tail dusky black with white on outer rects at least. Underparts white with exception of dingy partial collar on sides of throat, and narrow dark streaking on flanks. Undertail coverts fluffy white. Legs dark.  

The narrow flank streaking and partial collar seems to make sense best for an immature female.


I can’t recall if it called.

Similar species:

At this season, only Black-and White Warbler.

From BAWW by yellow loral spot, unstreaked back and undertail coverts, behavior.



Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Photos by Conover and Patton

Previous experience with this species: 

Seen a few times in LA, a few out west.

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 

Memory, photos.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 




Paul Conover

Date and time: 

Sep 29, 2008