Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler


Profile Yellow Warbler     Literature page Yellow

[order] Passeriformes | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Dendroica petechia | [UK] Yellow Warbler | [FR] Paruline jaune | [DE] Goldwaldsänger | [ES] Chipe Amarillo | [IT] Dendroica gialla | [NL] Gele Zanger

Gele Zanger determination

copyright: Don DesJardin

Male has his face, throat, and underparts bright yellow. Streaked with chestnut below throat. Upperparts yellow-green to olive. Wings edged in yellow. Yellow tail spots. The female has the Underparts bright yellow. Back and most of face greenish-yellow. Indistinct yellow eyering. Narrow and indistinct chestnut streaks on breast, sides, and flanks. Yellow tail spots.

Throughout their range, Yellow Warblers use a variety of brushy habitats on forest edges. In Washington, their breeding habitat is restricted to hardwood thickets near water, especially those with willow, alder, and cottonwood. They use similar habitat during migration, but can be found in more varied habitats also. In winter, they can be found in semi-open tropical habitats and are often associated with mangroves.

They are the most extensively yellow of warblers, with golden yellow plumage and rusty streaks on the breast. Yellow warbler males and females are similar with golden yellow upper parts tinged with olive, yellow under parts, and thin pointed beaks. Males are generally brighter, especially during the breeding season. Yellow warblers reach an average size of 10 to 12 cm in length

It is first and foremost an insect feeder but occasionally supplements the diet with some berries. By gleaning and hawking D. petechia forages for insects and spiders on the limbs of trees and bushes. Small insect larvae and caterpillars are preferred foods.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 330,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 39,000,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2003). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from]

Yellow warblers are primarily monogamous, but there are occasional polygynous matings. Although yellow warblers are generally single-brooded, if their first nesting attempt fails they will breed again. Yellow warblers usually breed in late May and early June.
Females lay 4 to 5 eggs, incubation lasts 10 to 14 days, nestling period lasts from 8 to 12 days, and parental feeding may extend to two weeks after the young leave the nest, sometimes longer. Females and males first attempt to breed in their first year after hatching. Both male and female parents participate in feeding the young, usually providing them with geometrid, chironomid and other lepidopteran larvae. The responsibility of incubation, construction of the nest, and most feeding of the young lies with the female, while the male contributes more as the young develop. After they mature, some of the fledglings may follow the mother while the rest remain with the father.
The Yellow Warbler is a regular host of the Brown-headed or Shiny Cowbird, a nest parasite, and it has evolved strategies to combat such nest parasitism. Upon discovering a cowbird egg laid in its nest, the warbler will often build a new layer to the nest, covering up the cowbird egg (and its own eggs, if they have been laid). In other circumstances, the bird may desert the nest altogether.

Yellow warblers spend the majority of the year throughout much of North America, including Alaska, northern Canada, and the northern 2/3 of the United States. A highly migratory bird, Dendroica petechia winters in southern California, southern Florida, and south through the Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia, and Peru


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 0 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 0 cm
  4. size min.: 11 cm
  5. size max.: 12 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 11 days
  8. incubation max.: 13 days
  9. fledging min.: 9 days
  10. fledging max.: 11 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 4
  13. eggs max.: 5
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Gele Zanger status Least Concern
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