These birds are migratory, wintering in northwestern South America. They are rare vagrants to western Europe, although their northerly range and long-distance migration put them in one the category of more frequent transatlantic passerine wanderers.
The summer male Blackpoll Warblers have dark-streaked brown backs, white faces and black crowns. Their underparts are white with black streaks, and they display two white wing bars. The adult females essentially resemble washed-out versions of the summer males, and in particular, the females lack the strong head patterns, and their crowns and faces are shades of gray.
Non-breeding birds of this species have greenish heads, dark-streaked greenish upperparts and yellowish breasts, with the yellow extending to the belly in young birds. Their wing bars are always present.
Their breeding habitats are coniferous woodlands, especially those in which spruce trees grow. These birds' breeding ranges extends to the taiga. Blackpoll Warblers commonly nest in a relatively low site which can be found in a conifer, and they lay 4-9 eggs in a cup-shaped nest.
These birds are insectivorous, but will opt for berries in winter. They often forage high in trees, and sometimes catch insects while in flight.
Their songs are simple repetition of high tsi notes. Their calls are thin sits.