The black-cheeked warbler (Basileuterus melanogenys) is a New World warbler which is a resident breeding bird endemic to the mountains of central and southern Costa Rica and western Panama.

It is normally found in oak forests with a dense bamboo understory from 2500 m altitude to the timberline, but occasionally occurs as low as 1600 m. The breeding pair builds a bulky domed nest with a side entrance on a sloping bank or in a gully, and the female lays two white eggs.

The black-cheeked warbler is 13-13.5 cm long and weighs 13 g. It has a rufous crown, long white supercilia and black cheeks. The upperparts are dull olive, the breast is olive-grey, and the belly is yellow-white. The sexes are similar, but the young bird is browner on the upperparts, has a dull supercilium, a greyer breast, and shows two cinnamon wingbars.

Despite this species’ restricted range, it has three subspecies.

B. m. melanogenys, the nominate race described above, breeds in central and southern Costa Rica.

B. m. eximius is highly localised in a small area of western Panama, and is slightly whiter on the belly than melanogenys.

B. m. bensoni is highly localised in a small area of west-central Panama, and is whiter below than eximius, and a purer grey above.

The black-cheeked warbler primarily feeds on insects, spiders and other small invertebrates, taken low in the undergrowth.

The call note of the black-cheeked warbler is a hard tsit, and the male’s song is a lisping spluttered tsi tsi wee tsi tsi wu tsi wee.



Black-cheeked Warbler
Date Location Count
2020-07-24 13:07Zona Protectora El Chayote4
2020-07-17 06:10Road Bajos del Volcan2
2020-08-06 09:00Cerro Chompipe2
2020-08-07 05:45Refugio de Vida Silvestre Cerro Dantas--Camino de entrada8
2020-08-04 13:14Volcán Turrialba--El Tapojo1
2020-08-07 09:56Monserrat de Coronado3
2020-07-24 08:39Paraiso Quetzal Lodge - Km 702
2020-07-11 19:52Iyok Ami4
2020-07-30 07:24PN Los Quetzales4
2020-07-12 07:00San Gerardo de Dota--Quetzal Valley
2020-07-24 07:00Quetzal Education Research Center (QERC)1