- Setophaga petechia
Includes: Mangrove Warbler, Golden Warbler
12·5 cm (5 in); A widespread New World warbler, with great geographical variation.
- Length 12.5-13 cm, weight 7.4-16 g
- Thin, pointed bill
- Mostly yellow plumage
- Upperparts greenish-yellow
- Yellowish legs
- Plain yellow face with yellow eye ring
- Golden yellow
- Rusty streaks on breast and flanks
- In the tropical parts of its breeding range this bird (especially the male) may have a chestnut head or crown patch.
- Plain yellow
- Streaks on breast absent or barely present
- Notice yellow tail spots on undertail (white in most species where present)
Some have pale gray wash to plumage (southwestern US)
- Can be confused with some Common Yellowthroats; distinguish using structure, especially bill shape. (More extensive/contrasting yellow fringing to flight feathers is not necessarily a reliable character.)
Breeds within North America from Alaska east across Canada to Newfoundland and south to southern California, northern Oklahoma, and northern Georgia; local in southern Florida; these subspecies which belong to the S. p. aestiva group of subspecies which winters in tropics. Additionally found in a number of largely non-migratory subspecies in the Caribbean (the S. p. petechia = "golden warbler" group), and in Mexico, Central America and northern South America (the S. p. erithachorides = "mangrove warbler" group). In total, there are thirty-four subspecies. The three groups mentioned have previously been considered separate species but are now considered one wide-ranging species.
Accidental (S. [p.] aestiva) to Greenland (2 records), Iceland (1 record), and Great Britain (3 records).
Sometimes split into two species, American Yellow Warbler (Setophaga aestiva) and Mangrove Warbler (Setophaga petechia)3. Formerly placed in the genus Dendroica.
Consists of as many as 34 subspecies1:
- American Yellow Warbler S. p. aestiva Group - breeds North America; strongly migratory, wintering interior northern South America
- S. p. rubiginosa - South Alaska to western British Columbia; winters to southern Baja California and Panama
- S. p. amnicola - Alaska, Canada and Newfoundland; winters to northern South America
- S. p. aestiva - South-central Canada and central US; winters to South America
- S. p. morcomi - Southeast British Columbia, western US and northern Baja California; winters to northern South America
- S. p. sonorana - Southwest US to northwest Mexico; winters to western Panama, Colombia and Ecuador
- S. p. dugesi - Central plateau of Mexico
- Mangrove Warbler S. p. erithachorides Group - breeds Central America, Caribbean, northern South America; non-migratory
- S. p. oraria - Mangroves of eastern Mexico (southern Tamaulipas to western Tabasco)
- S. p. bryanti - Mangroves of Yucatán Peninsula to Belize and Costa Rica
- S. p. erithachorides - Atlantic coast of Panama and Caribbean coast of northern Colombia
- S. p. chrysendeta - Northeast Colombia (Guajira Peninsula) and north-western Venezuela (Zulia)
- S. p. paraguanae - Northwest Venezuela (Paraguaná Peninsula of Falcón)
- S. p. cienagae - North Venezuela (coastal Carabobo and Aragua) and offshore islands
- S. p. castaneiceps - Mangroves of coastal southern Baja California (south of latitude 27°N)
- S. p. rhizophorae - Mangroves of northwest Mexico (Sonora to Nayarit); winters to Oaxaca
- S. p. xanthotera - Pacific coast of western Guatemala to Costa Rica
- S. p. aequatorialis - Pearl Islands and adjacent mainland Panama
- S. p. peruviana - Extreme southwest Colombia (Nariño) to western Ecuador and northern Peru (Lima)
- Galapagos Yellow Warbler Setophaga p. aureola Group - Galapagos and Cocos Islands; non-migratory
- S. p. aureola - Cocos Islands (off Costa Rica) and Galapagos Islands
- Golden Yellow Warbler Setophaga p. petichia Group - Caribbean Islands; non-migratory
- S. p. rufivertex - Cozumel Island (off Quintana Roo)
- S. p. armouri - Isla Providéncia (western Caribbean Sea)
- S. p. flavida - Isla San Andrés (western Caribbean Sea)
- S. p. eoa - Jamaica and Cayman Islands
- S. p. gundlachi - Lower Florida Keys, Cuba, Isle of Pines and Bahamas
- S. p. albicollis - Hispaniola, Gonâve and adjacent islands
- S. p. cruciana - Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands
- S. p. bartholemica - Montserrat and northern Lesser Antilles
- S. p. melanoptera - Guadeloupe, Dominica and central Lesser Antilles
- S. p. ruficapilla - Martinique (Lesser Antilles)
- S. p. babad - St. Lucia (Lesser Antilles)
- S. p. petechia - Barbados (Lesser Antilles)
- S. p. alsiosa - Grenadines (Lesser Antilles)
- S. p. rufopileata - Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, and adjacent islands
- S. p. obscura - Islas Los Roques (off northern Venezuela)
- S. p. aurifrons - Coastal north-central Venezuela, Islas La Tortuga, Tortuguillas and Piritu
In the US, inhabits moist thickets, especially along streams and in swampy areas, gardens, overgrown pastures, and woodland edges, it is more limited to riparian habitat in the west than the east.
The Mangrove Warbler is sometimes further subdivided into Mangrove Warbler (S. p. erithachorides group) mainly in mangroves, and Golden Warbler (S. p. petechia group), which exhibits geographical variation in its habitat choice, ranging from mangroves to coastal scrub to highland moist forest depending on the island.
Four or five pale blue eggs, thickly spotted with brown, in a well-made cup of bark, plant fibers, and down, placed in an upright fork in a small sapling. The main species to be paratisized by cowbirds (Brown-headed Cowbird in temperate North America and Shiny Cowbird in tropical areas). If the female finds an alien egg in the nest she may cover it and lay another clutch. This strategy is not known in the Far Western part of their range.
Feeds mainly on insects and other arthropods; also some berries. Forages by gleaning, hovering and flycatching.
Song: Cheery, melodic sweet-sweet-sweet, sweeter-than-sweet; there is some geographical variation
Call: A sharp chip
Resident in the South. In the north generally short-distance to long-distance migrants. Vagrant to Britain, Ireland, Iceland, the Azores, Salvages Is and France .
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Dunn, J., & Garrett, K. (1997). A Field Guide to Warblers of North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 9780395783214
- Gill F, D Donsker & P Rasmussen (Eds). 2020. IOC World Bird List (v10.1). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.10.1. Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
- Lowther, P. E., C. Celada, N. K. Klein, C. C. Rimmer, and D. A. Spector (2020). Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.yelwar.01
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Yellow Warbler. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 10 June 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Yellow_Warbler
GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1