Common Yellowthroat

General description.

The male "Common Yellowthroat" is olive brown above with a whitish belly. The face mask is bordered above with white. This bird rarely takes to tall trees, but prefers skulking around in the grass or weeds of some marshy spot.

Female appearance.

The female is also olive brown above with a yellow throat, but lacks a face mask, and is noted for her wren-like behavior.

Juvenile appearance.

Looks similar to the female Yellowthroat.

Breeding habits.

During breeding season, the male "Common Yellowthroat" performs an attractive flight display, rising into the air while uttering a jumble of high pitched notes, then bouncing back into the grass.

Calls or song.

To attract a mate, this male warbler sings a cheerful song of "wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty, wich-i-ty". Both male and female Yellowthroats sound an alarm when threatened: a sharp, "nshtip, tick" or "chit".

Population and distribution.

Large numbers of migrating "Common Yellowthroat" sometimes perish in storms. Once it was reported they had dashed themselves against the Washington Monument. These birds breed and live throughout the United States. They winter in the southern part of the country and in the tropics.

Nesting habits.

In a dense clump of weeds, the female "Common Yellowthroat" hides a large, bulky nest of just about anything she can find: leaves, grass, bark strips, cattail shreds, weed stems and animal hair. Often, she will incubate cowbird eggs along with her own three to five white eggs with brown and black spots.
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