Description ADULT MALE Bright yellow overall, darkest on back and with two subtle pale wing bars. Breast and flanks are marked with bold reddish streaks. Caribbean subspecies (seen in Florida) is similar, but has a subtly darker crown and more intense streaks on underparts. ADULT FEMALE Recalls respective regional male, but is more uniformly yellow overall and with little or no streaking below. IMMATURE Recalls adult female with washed out colors; many individuals are olive-gray overall.
Dimensions Length: 4 1/2-5" (11-13 cm)
Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly Apr-Aug) to wet thickets (especially willow) and secondary woodland edges. Winters in Central and South America.
Observation Tips Easy to see.
Range New England, Rocky Mountains, Texas, Plains, Alaska, Great Lakes, Western Canada, California, Southwest, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Eastern Canada, Northwest
Voice Song is a whistling swee'swee'swee'swee-swit-su-su; call is a sharp tchup.
Discussion Colorful and familiar wood-warbler showing subtle regional plumage variation; northern birds are typically darker than southern ones. Often forages at relatively low levels and easy to observe. Sexes are separable, but all adults are slightly brighter in spring than fall.
Migration Info It is difficult to characterize the migration of this widespread species, because of its extreme geographic variability (there are seven migratory subspecies in North America). The first Yellow Warblers to arrive in the United States are those that reach southern California in mid-March. These birds, representing two subspecies, pass up the Pacific coast and reach southern Alaska by mid-May. The other five subspecies arrive in the United States in early April. This wave of birds passes through the southern states along a broad front stretching from Arizona to Florida. Their movement is rapid; some of these birds will reach the Great Lakes region before the end of April, and others may arrive in interior Alaska by mid-May.