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Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata


This warbler’s breeding ranges extends across the northwestern US, Canada and includes Alaska, the Yukon, and Northwest Territories. Yellow-rumped Warblers migrate through the southern prairies and central US. They over-winter in the southern US and Central America.


This is a large warbler (4.7 to 5.5 inches length) and has a narrow tail. There are two subspecies of Yellow-rumped Warbler. The myrtle subspecies is distinguished by its’ white throat and its’ breeding range is found throughout the eastern US. The Audubon subspecies is identified by an obvious yellow throat and its’ breeding range is found throughout the Canadian boreal forest. Interbreeding occurs where ranges overlap in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Adult Male: Adult Males are generally grey with a white belly and white wing bars. Yellow patches are located on the throat (in the Audubon subspecies), forehead, flanks, and upper rump. The breast and belly is mottled with black markings. Males have a black eye mask with a white eye crescent, eyebrow and throat (in the myrtle subspecies). Contrast between colours is much stronger amongst males than females.

Adult Female: Adult females are similar in size and shape but typically have duller colouration. Most females are pale grey or brown with darker mottling on their breast. They lack the black face mask but retain the white eye crescent. Females are still identified by an obvious yellow rump patch however the yellow on the forehead and flanks is reduced.

Juvenile: Juvenile Yellow-rumped Warblers are similar to adult females in that they are overall a pale grey or brown colour with a paler belly. They are also identified by a white eye crescent and wing bars. Yellow patches are located on the rump and flanks. The mottling on the breast is less distinctive in juveniles than in adults.

Similar Species: The Yellow-throated Warbler looks similar to the Yellow-rumped but is lacking yellow colouring on the forehead, flanks and rump. The yellow on the throat also extends further down than would be observed on the Audobon subspecies of the Yellow-rumped Warbler. The Magnolia Warbler has the same black face mask and white eyebrow as does the Yellow-rumped, however it is distinguished by a complete yellow throat, breast and belly.

Behaviour: Yellow-rumped Warblers forage on outer tree canopies. They typically catch a variety of insects while in flight and males are known to forage higher than females. Their typical diet includes caterpillars, beetles, weevils, ants, and aphids. During migration and in the winter, this species will eat fruit, berries, seeds and will occasionally feed from feeders.

Habitat: In the summer, this warbler species inhabits open coniferous forests and forest edges. Occasionally they will be observed in deciduous forests. In the fall and winter, Yellow-rumped Warblers are located in open woods or shrubby streamside habitats, coastal vegetation, parks, and residential areas.


Yellow-rumped Warblers build cup nests for breeding which are composed of twigs, pine needles, grasses, moss, lichens and moose, horse, or deer hair. The nest is lined with hair and feathers. A typical clutch has one to six eggs that are white with brown speckling. Incubation lasts 12 to 13 days and nestlings fledge after 10 to 14 days.

Conservation Status:

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is listed as Least Concern with globally, nationally, and provincially secure.
Capture Rates

A relatively short distance migrant, the Yellow-rumped Warbler migrates through Colony Farm in large numbers. Capture rate (2010-2012; standardized as birds captured per 100 net hours) is highest during Spring Migration as seen by the peak in April and May and slightly lower during Fall Migration.

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