COMMON YELLOWTHROAT

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT(Geothlypis trichas)
DESCRIPTION: The Common yellowthroat is a New World warbler that has a yellow throat in both sexes, but the yellow is more vivid in the male. In breeding plumage the latter has a wide black mask across the eyes, its top parts are olive green and the under parts are yellow. The bill is black. The female’s top plumage is also olive green and the under parts are light yellow-creamy, and it lacks the black mask. Its bill is grey. The bird legs are pinkish grey. The length is about 13 cm (5 inches).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Geothlypis-trichas
NAME: The English name refers to the throat color. The Latin genus name ‘Geothlypis’ is ancient Greek referring to the ground habitat of this warbler, and to a small bird of some kind. The Latin species name ‘trichas’ means ‘thrush‘, but this would be a naming mistake by Linnaeus (Choate).
HABITAT: Open spaces such as scrub land and shrubs near marshes or other watery areas with low vegetation.
DIET: Insects, sometimes caught on the fly.
NESTING: As a response against the Brown-headed Cowbird’s frequent parasitic behavior, the common yellowthroat will either abandon its nest or build a second, sometimes even a third, nest on top of the first. The nest is built near the ground, sometimes near water. It is a well-concealed cup-like structure made of various plant materials. Between two and six white eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Chicks are fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range covers most of Canada up to the tree line, as well as most of the contiguous USA. Migrates to Mexico and Central America for the winter.
ON PEI: The common yellowthroat breeds on Prince Edward Island, and is very common in the spring and summer.
CONSERVATION: Common yellowthroat numbers have declined due to habitat degradation where pesticides are used against mosquitoes, or when wetlands are converted for agriculture. However there are more than 80 million of them, and they are not currently considered at risk.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Nashville Warbler (female), Mourning Warbler (female)
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/common-yellowthroat
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/common-yellowthroat
American Bird Conservancy (Common Yellowthroat)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_yellowthroat
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Yellowthroat/maps-range
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/common-yellowthroat (Missouri Department of Conservation)

Common Yellowthroat, male - Afton Road, PEI - May 19, 2018 - © Roberta Palmer
Common Yellowthroat, male – Afton Road, PEI – May 19, 2018 – Roberta Palmer
Common yellowthroat nest with eggs - PEI - June 23, 2017 - © Chris Rice
Common yellowthroat nest with eggs – PEI – June 23, 2017 – Chris Rice
Common yellow throat - Kensington area - Aug. 8, 2016 - by Chris Rice
Common yellowthroat, female – Kensington area – Aug. 8, 2016 – by Chris Rice
Common Yellowthroat - Central PEI - Oct. 9, 2017 - © Chris Rice
Common Yellowthroat – Central PEI – Oct. 9, 2017 – Chris Rice

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