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Yellow-rumped Warbler

Common Name: Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Scientific Name: Setophaga Coronata.

What to look for?  The Yellow-rumped Warbler is a small songbird. And – yes, it has a yellow rump. The adult male has a black mask, a white throat and yellow patches on their sides. Females are more brownish above with yellow patches on their sides and a white throat. In winter, their color palette is more subdued. But on their spring migration, the spring molt leaves them a mix of bright yellow, charcoal gray and black, and bold white.

Where can they be found at Carillon Stonegate Pond? Yellow-rumped Warblers are usually only seen here during spring and fall migration. They may be spotted in shrubs and bushes that bear berries and fruit. And they occasionally appear at a bird feeder.

How big are they? The Yellow-rumped Warbler averages around five inches in length. And their wingspan is approximately eight inches. They weigh in at ½ of one ounce.

What are their flight patterns? The Yellow-rumped Warbler's flight is agile and swift, and the birds often call as they change direction. As Yellow-rumped Warblers fly away, they will flash their trademark yellow rump patch.

How else do they behave? Yellow-rumped Warblers will search for insects among twigs and leaves, forage on ground and cling to tree trunks and branches. They will typically forage in the outer tree canopies mid-way up. You will often see them charge out from a tree to catch insects in midair. Or they may hover while taking insects from foliage.

What’s for dinner? Yellow-rumped Warblers eat mainly insects in the summer. On migration and in winter, they spend lots of time eating berries from shrubs.

Where do they take up residence? In summer, Yellow-rumped Warblers reside in open coniferous forests and edges, and to a lesser extent deciduous forests in the northern U.S. and Canada. In fall and winter, they move to open woods and shrubby habitats, including coastal vegetation, parks, and residential areas in southern U.S. and Mexico.

When and where do they breed and nest? They breed in Canada and northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. An estimated 63% of the global population of Yellow-rumped Warbler breeds in Canada's boreal forest.

Where do they migrate? Yellow-rumped Warblers only visit Carillon Stonegate Pond area during migration – spring and fall. Heading north, they summer in northern U.S. and Canada. In the winter, they head south.

What is their conservation status? There is low concern. According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the Yellow-rumped Warbler has seen stable populations. Partners in Flight estimates the global breeding population at 170 million.

Do they make any interesting sounds? The more common call of a Yellow-rumped Warbler is a sharp “chek” while foraging and while flying. They also make a soft “psit” and a high “tsee” in flight. Here is a link to the sounds of the Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Interesting Facts About the Yellow-rumped Warbler:

  • The Yellow-rumped Warbler can digest the waxes found in bayberries and wax myrtles, allowing it to winter farther north than other warblers.

  • Male Yellow-rumped Warblers tend to forage higher in trees than females do.

  • The oldest recorded Yellow-rumped Warbler was seven years old.

For more information on the Yellow-rumped Warbler and sources of information used in this blog (these are the sources that I am using to learn as I blog), please visit All About Birds, Audubon Society and National Geographic.  And the Cornell Lab of Ornithology provides a wonderful source of information for anyone interested in learning more about birds.

The Carillon at Stonegate community is very fortunate to have a variety of wetland, forest and prairie environments conducive to a variety of birds and other wildlife, plants and insects. Our community and the Kane County Forest Preserve do an exceptional job in maintaining this natural environment – both for the benefit of the birds and wildlife and for our residents to enjoy.


Take a hike and see what you can find – and identify!

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