Photo: Greg W. Lasley/Vireo

Yellow-throated Warbler

Setophaga dominica

A clear-voiced singer in the treetops in southern woodlands. Yellow-throated Warblers return very early in spring to the pine woods and cypress swamps, where they may be seen foraging rather deliberately along branches high in the trees. In the Midwest, they are typically found in riverside groves of sycamores. During the winter in Florida and other tropical areas, they are commonly seen creeping about in the crowns of palms, probing among the fronds with their long bills.
Conservation status Has undoubtedly disappeared from some areas with loss of breeding habitat, but current populations probably stable.
Family Wood Warblers
Habitat Open woodlands, groves, especially live oaks, pines, sycamores. Breeds in a variety of southern forest types. On southern Atlantic coastal plain, occurs in old live oaks covered with Spanish moss. In south, lives in pine forest and cypress swamps. In Mississippi Valley, also breeds along streams in bottomland woods, especially of sycamores. During winter, often forages in palm groves.
A clear-voiced singer in the treetops in southern woodlands. Yellow-throated Warblers return very early in spring to the pine woods and cypress swamps, where they may be seen foraging rather deliberately along branches high in the trees. In the Midwest, they are typically found in riverside groves of sycamores. During the winter in Florida and other tropical areas, they are commonly seen creeping about in the crowns of palms, probing among the fronds with their long bills.
Photo Gallery
  • adult male, Central
  • adult male, Eastern
  • adult male, Central
Feeding Behavior

Favorite method of foraging includes much creeping along on branches and leaning trunks. Probes into crevices in bark with its long bill. Also flies out to catch flying insects in mid-air. In winter in the tropics, frequently seen searching for insects by hanging upside down among leaves of palms.


Eggs

Usually 4, sometimes 5. Dull grayish white, with spots of purple, red and brown. Incubation period is probably 12-13 days. Female incubates, and possibly male does also. Young: Probably both parents feed nestlings, but details (including age at which the young leave the nest) are not well known. Usually 2 broods per year.


Young

Probably both parents feed nestlings, but details (including age at which the young leave the nest) are not well known. Usually 2 broods per year.

Diet

Mostly insects. Feeds on many insects including beetles, moths, caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, flies, mosquitoes, ants, scale insects, aphids, and others; also spiders.


Nesting

Arrives on breeding grounds early in spring, and males defend nesting territory by singing. Nest: Placed in Spanish moss at end of branch. Where Spanish moss does not occur, nest is placed on high branch of pine, sycamore, or cypress, usually 30-60' up, sometimes 4-120' above ground. Nest is an open cup made of grass, moss, bark strips, weeds, caterpillar webs, and lined with plant down and feathers. Built by both sexes, but mostly by female.

Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
Learn more about these drawings.

Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

Migration

Migrates mostly at night. A very early migrant in spring, reaching many parts of the breeding range in March. Also moves south early, departing many areas during August.

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Migration

Migrates mostly at night. A very early migrant in spring, reaching many parts of the breeding range in March. Also moves south early, departing many areas during August.

  • All Seasons - Common
  • All Seasons - Uncommon
  • Breeding - Common
  • Breeding - Uncommon
  • Winter - Common
  • Winter - Uncommon
  • Migration - Common
  • Migration - Uncommon
Songs and Calls
A series of clear ringing notes descending in pitch and increasing in speed, rising abruptly at the end, teeew-teeew-teeew-teeew-tew-tew-twi.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
Learn more about this sound collection.

How climate change could affect this bird's range

In the broadest and most detailed study of its kind, Audubon scientists have used hundreds of thousands of citizen-science observations and sophisticated climate models to predict how birds in the U.S. and Canada will react to climate change.

Learn more

Read more: climate.audubon.org
Wood Warblers Perching Birds

Yellow-throated Warbler

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.

Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
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