Yellow warbler

Dendroica petechia

SUBFAMILY

Parulinae

TAXONOMY

Dendroica petechia Linnaeus, 1766, Barbados. More than six subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Summer yellow bird, wild canary; French: Paruline jaune; German: Goldwaldsänger; Spanish: Reinita Amarilla.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.5-5.5 in (11.4-14 cm). Primarily bright yellow bird with olive hint on upperparts. Breast of male is streaked with rusty color, female has no or only light streaking. Two yellow wing bars are present on its yellow-and-olive-colored wings.

DISTRIBUTION

Breeds in most of North America from Alaska and far northern Canada south to northwest Mexico. Winters from Mexico to Peru.

HABITAT

Often seen in gardens, its wild habitat includes woods and brushy areas near water.

BEHAVIOR

Songs are bright and repeated during the breeding season and beyond, often beginning before sunrise. The songs draw the

attention of birders, but the birds seldom sit still long enough for a thorough viewing.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mainly arthropods.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Begin mating shortly after arriving on the breeding grounds in early spring. Occasionally females will socially pair with one male, but mate with another. Eggs can be sired by either male. Nests are typically constructed of grass and plant materials in the crook of a branch about 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) above the ground in small trees or shrubs. Eggs number four or five, often have a grayish or greenish white hue, and hatch in about a week and a half.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Their numbers, however, have been affected by cowbird brood parasitism. Yellow warblers often readily rear cowbird young, but occasionally will reject the parasitized brood altogether and built a new nest, often on top of the old one.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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