The Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia, formerly Dendroica petechia) is a New World warbler species. Sensu lato, they make up the most widespread species in the diverse Setophaga genus, breeding in almost the whole of North America and down to northern South America.
The summer males of this species are generally the yellowest “warblers” wherever they occur. They are brilliant yellow below and greenish-golden above. There are usually a few wide, somewhat washed-out rusty-red streaks on the breast and flanks. These markings are a scientific namesake of the species since petechia roughly translates to “liver spotted,” of which the reddish markings of the male were apparently reminiscent of for ornithologists. [Wikipedia]
North America has more than 50 species of warblers, but few combine brilliant color and easy viewing quite like the Yellow Warbler. In summer, the buttery yellow males sing their sweet whistled song from willows, wet thickets, and roadsides across almost all of North America. The females and immatures aren’t as bright and lack the male’s rich chestnut streaking, but their overall warm yellow tones, unmarked faces, and prominent black eyes help pick them out. [All About Birds]
Yellow Warbler Facts [All About Birds]
- In addition to the migratory form of the Yellow Warbler that breeds in North America, several other resident forms can be found in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Males in these populations can have chestnut caps or even chestnut covering the entire head.
- The nests of the Yellow Warbler are frequently parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird. The warbler often builds a new nest directly on top of the parasitized one, sometimes resulting in nests with up to six tiers.
- Life can be dangerous for a small bird. Yellow Warblers have occasionally been found caught in the strands of an orb weaver spider’s web.
- The oldest-known Yellow Warbler was a female and was at least 11 years old when she was re-caught and rereleased during banding operations in New York.