COMMON YELLOWTHROAT – (Geothlypis trichas)
The Common yellowthroat is a new world warbler that, as the name implies, 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 female’s top plumage is also olive green and the under parts are light yellow-creamish, and they lack the black mask. The common yellowthroat is about 13 cm (5 in.) long.
As opposed to other warblers, the common yellowthroat breeds and feeds in open habitats such as scrubland and shrubs near marshes or other watery areas with low vegetation. As a defence against the brown-headed cowbird’s parasitic behavior, the common yellowthroat will either abandon its nest or build a second, sometimes even a third, nest on top of the first. Common yellowthroats feed on insects, sometimes caught on the fly.
The common yellowthroat breeds in PEI and is very common in PEI in spring and summer, as well as in North America. This bird migrates to Mexico and Central America for the winter. Common yellowthroat numbers have declined due to habitat degradation where pesticides are used against mosquitoes, or when wetlands are converted for agriculture.