Yellow-rumped WarblerSetophaga coronata

adult male, Myrtle, breeding
Rob Curtis/VIREO
adult female, Audubon's, breeding
Brian E. Small/VIREO
immature female (1st winter), Myrtle (1st year)
Richard Crossley/VIREO
adult male, Audubon's, breeding
Laure W. Neish/VIREO
adult female, Myrtle
Arthur Morris/VIREO
adult male, Audubon's, breeding
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
immature male (1st winter), Myrtle(1st fall)
Johann Schumacher/VIREO
immature male( (1st winter) Audubon's (1st year)
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Family

Description

5-6" (13-15 cm). Breeding male dull bluish above, streaked with black; breast and flanks blackish. Rump, crown, and small area at sides of breast yellow. Western male ("Audubon's Warbler") has yellow throat, large white patch in folded wing. Eastern male ("Myrtle Warbler") has white throat, 2 white wing bars. Females, fall males, and young are streaked gray-brown but always have yellow rump and white spots in tail.

Voice

A colorless buzzy warble; a sharp chek!

Listen

Myrtle seep calls
Audubon's songs #2
Myrtle songs #1
Myrtle songs #2
Myrtle
Myrtle songs #3
Myrtle tchep calls
Audubon's songs #1
Audubon's chwit calls

Habitat

Coniferous and mixed forests; widespread during migration and in winter.

Range

Breeds from northern Alaska, northern Manitoba, central Quebec, and Newfoundland south in West to northern Mexico and in East to Michigan, northern New York, Massachusetts, and Maine. Winters from southern part of breeding range southward into tropics.

Discussion

Until recently, the eastern and western populations of the Yellow-rumped Warbler were thought to be two distinct species, respectively the "Myrtle Warbler" and "Audubon's Warbler." However, it has been found that in the narrow zone where the ranges of the two come together, the birds hybridize freely. In the East, the "Myrtle Warbler" is an abundant migrant, and the only warbler that regularly spends the winter in the northern states. Yellow-rumped Warblers are vivid and conspicuous birds that search for food both high and low in Douglas firs or pines. They most often sing from the high canopy of trees. During winter they disperse in loose flocks, and usually two or three birds at most are observed at a time. The birds constantly chirp a "contact call" that keeps the flock together.

Nesting

4 or 5 white eggs, spotted and blotched with brown, in a bulky nest of twigs, rootlets, and grass, lined with hair and feathers and placed in a conifer.

Similar Species

adult male

Grace's Warbler

4 1/2-5" (11-13 cm).

adult male, breeding

Magnolia Warbler

5" (13 cm). Male bright yellow below with heavy black streaks, black facial patch, large white wing patch, and yellow rump. Female and immature birds similar, but duller.

adult, breeding, Yellow (Eastern)

Palm Warbler

5 1/2" (14 cm). An olive-drab, streaked, ground-feeding warbler with bright olive rump, bright yellow undertail coverts, and distinctive habit of wagging its tail.

adult male,breeding

Chestnut-sided Warbler

5" (13 cm). Sexes similar: yellow-green crown; long chestnut line on sides; white underparts; streaked back.

adult male

Pine Warbler

5 1/2" (14 cm). Unstreaked olive above, with yellow throat and breast; blurry streaking below; white belly; inconspicuous eye stripe; 2 white wing bars.

adult male, breeding

Cape May Warbler

5" (13 cm). In breeding plumage, male yellow below with conspicuous chestnut cheek patch; yellow neck patch; white wing patch; yellow rump; heavy black streaks on underparts.

adult male,breeding

Black-throated Green Warbler

5" (13 cm). Crown and upperparts olive green, throat and sides of breast black, face yellow. Female similar but duller.

adult male

American Redstart

4 1/2-5 1/2" (11-14 cm). Male black with bright orange patches on wings and tail; white belly. Females and young birds dull olive-brown above, white below, with yellow wing and tail patches.

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