Yellow Warbler

Setophaga petechia

Image of a male yellow warbler (Setophaga petechia) feeding a yellow warbler fledgling while perched on a branch.
Image by Keith Williams on Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

Physical: Yellow Warblers are enchanting little birds, measuring between 4.7 to 5.1 inches in length. Their wingspan gracefully stretches from 6.3 to 8.7 inches. Cloaked in a sunlit yellow, these warblers truly live up to their name. While the entire bird radiates this golden hue, males often display streaks of rusty-red on their chest, which adds to their charm. Their eyes, bright and curious, are framed by thin, pointed beaks adept for insect-catching.

Habitat: These warblers are often found flitting around in open woodlands, gardens, and near willows or wetlands. Their melodious songs add a touch of magic to places ranging from North American forests to tropical regions during migration.

Feeding: With a penchant for insects, Yellow Warblers pick their meals off leaves, often hovering or diving in mid-air to snatch an insect. They enjoy a diverse menu that includes beetles, caterpillars, midges, and sometimes will also munch on berries or nectar, particularly during their migratory journeys.

Breeding: The art of nest-building is truly captivating in Yellow Warblers. The female meticulously crafts a cup-shaped nest using grass, bark, and plant fibers, often placing it in shrubs or trees. After laying a clutch of 3-5 eggs, the female assumes primary responsibility for incubation. Both parents, however, actively feed their chicks once they hatch, ensuring they’re well-prepared for the world outside.

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