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Species Guide
A photo of a Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata), male
Myrtle Warbler, Male

Myrtle Warbler

Setophaga coronata

The Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) is a North American bird with a striking plumage that varies among its subspecies. The bird's name is derived from its distinctive yellow rump, a feature present in all its forms. Adult males typically exhibit a slate-blue back and a yellow crown, while females are more subdued with streaked backs and less vibrant yellow patches.

Identification Tips

To identify the Yellow-rumped Warbler, look for the characteristic yellow rump patch, which is visible in flight or while perched. The throat color varies between subspecies, with the Audubon's Warbler displaying a yellow throat and the Myrtle Warbler showing a white throat with a black cheek patch. The bird's size ranges from 12 to 15 cm in length, with a wingspan of 19 to 24 cm.


Habitat in Breeding Range

During the breeding season, these warblers favor coniferous or mixed woodlands, often in mountainous regions or at sea level where conifers are present.

Habitat in Non-breeding Range

In winter, the Yellow-rumped Warbler can be found in open areas with shrubs or scattered trees that provide food sources such as berries and insects. Habitats may include agricultural lands, residential areas, secondary forests, and shrublands.


The Yellow-rumped Warbler breeds from eastern North America to the Pacific and into Western Mexico. The Myrtle Warbler's breeding range extends from Alaska to Newfoundland and south to the New England region and Virginia. The Audubon's Warbler is found in the western part of the continent, aligning with the Rocky Mountains. Some subspecies, such as the Goldman's Warbler, are non-migratory and endemic to specific regions like the highlands of Guatemala.


The Yellow-rumped Warbler is a versatile forager, catching insects in flight or gleaning them from foliage. It is known for its adaptability to various foraging environments, including beaches, rivers, and even manure piles. The bird's diet also includes fruits and seeds, particularly in winter when insects are scarce.

Song & Calls

The song of the Yellow-rumped Warbler is a trill-like series of 4-7 syllables, and it also emits a "check" or "chip" call note.


Females construct the nest, which is a cup made of twigs, pine needles, grasses, and rootlets, lined with fine hair and feathers. Nests are typically located on horizontal conifer branches. The eggs are incubated for 12 to 13 days, and the young fledge after 10 to 14 days.

Similar Species

The Yellow-rumped Warbler can be confused with other warblers, but its yellow rump, throat color, and white wing patches are distinctive features that aid in identification.

Diet and Feeding

The diet consists mainly of insects and, when available, fruits such as juniper berries. The bird's ability to digest waxy berries allows it to winter farther north than other warblers.

Conservation Status

The Yellow-rumped Warbler is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, indicating that it is not currently at significant risk of decline.

Myrtle Warbler Sounds

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Myrtle Warblers on Birda


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