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Common Yellowthroat

From Opus

Male, subspecies G. t. arizelaPhoto by digishooterBolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, California, USA, March 2009
Male, subspecies G. t. arizela
Photo by digishooter
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, California, USA, March 2009
Geothlypis trichas



  • 11-15 cm (5 ins)
  • Upper parts Olive-brown
  • Throat and upper breast bright yellow
  • Male has bold black mask, bordered above with white.
  • Females and young males lack the face mask, but retain yellow throat.


Breeding Alaska, Ontario, and Newfoundland south throughout United States.
Winters in southern states and in tropics.
Accidental vagrant to Great Britain (5 records).

The bird is the northernmost member of a group of yellowthroat species that occurs as far south as Argentina.

FemalePhoto by Terry O'NolleyHughes Hollow, Potomac, Maryland, September 2007
Photo by Terry O'Nolley
Hughes Hollow, Potomac, Maryland, September 2007



Male, subspecies G. t. campicolaPhoto by DarrenMcKennaMurray Lake, Alberta, Canada, June 2009
Male, subspecies G. t. campicola
Photo by DarrenMcKenna
Murray Lake, Alberta, Canada, June 2009

yukonicola is not generally recognised.

Hybridization occurred once with Mourning Warbler.


JuvenilePhoto by bhowdyKyker Bottom Refuge, Tennessee, USA, August 2008
Photo by bhowdy
Kyker Bottom Refuge, Tennessee, USA, August 2008

Moist thickets and grassy marshes, almost anywhere where it is damp or with water.


Rather wren-like.


Three to five white eggs, with brown and black spots, in a loose mass of grass, sedge, and bark, lined with rootlets, hair, and fine grass, and concealed on or near the ground in a dense clump of weeds or grass, in a marshy area.

At the height of the breeding season, the males perform an attractive flight display, mounting into the air while uttering a jumble of high-pitched notes, then bouncing back into the grass while giving the usual song. To foil predators, parents drop down into the thick of the grasses or weeds, secretly approach their well-hidden nest, deliver the food, and depart by another route.


Song: Loud, fast witchity-witchity-witchity-witchity-wit or which-is-it, which-is-it, which-is-it.
Call: a sharp chip.


  1. Dunn, Jon; Garrett, Kimball. 1997. A Field Guide to Warblers of North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 9780395783214
  2. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at
  3. e-Nature

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