Goldenwinged warbler

Vermivora chrysoptera

SUBFAMILY

Parulinae

TAXONOMY

Vermivora chrysoptera Linnaeus, 1766, Pennsylvania.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Paruline à ailes dorées; German: Goldflugel-Wald-sanger; Spanish: Reinita Gusanera.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.5-5 in (11.4-12.7 cm). The very thin-billed golden-winged warbler has a yellow crown, and two yellow wing bars. The remaining plumage has a white, black, and gray pattern reminiscent of a chickadee, with a gray back and wings, white underside, and black eye mask and throat. The female is similar, but duller, with more olive coloration than gray and black.

DISTRIBUTION

Breed in northern United States, winter in Central America. HABITAT

Forest edges and swamps.

BEHAVIOR

Has a buzzing song. Often seen hanging upside-down on branches, much as chickadees do.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET Mainly insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds in low bushes, building cup-shaped nests on or close to the ground. Average clutch is five to seven speckled eggs that hatch in less than two weeks. Sometimes occurs side by side with blue-winged warblers, and the two produce viable hybrid offspring, known by the common names of Brewster's and Lawrence's warblers.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, but appears to be on the decline where its habitat overlaps with that of blue-winged warblers.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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