Icteria virens
(Yellow-breasted Chat)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Parulidae
Family Description: Wood Warblers

Physical Description:
6 1/2-7 1/2" (16-19 cm). Grayish-brown above, gold below with light gray belly-band. Short, white eyebrow and mustache; white eye ring. Long legs and tail.

Similar Species- Male Common Yellowthroat

A variety of chucks, hollow whistles, high pitched squawks, and loud flute-like notes.

Breeds east across portions of Canada and northern U.S. to northern New England, and south to Gulf Coast and portions of Mexico. Winters from portions of northern Mexico, southern Texas, and southern Florida, south to portions of Central America.

Found in second growth, shrubby old pastures, thickets, brushy areas, scrub, woodland undergrowth, and fencerows. Often found in low, wet places near streams, pond edges, or swamps.

Eats mostly insects, but will also eat small fruits, particularly in winter.

Builds nests in shrubs and sometimes on ground. Sedentary and solitary during winter. May form loose nesting colonies. Southern Indiana study found 5-8 breeding males (plus 2-5 territorial nonbreading males) per 18 ha of upland deciduousClick word for definition scrub; territory averaged 1.24 ha; and very few individuals returned to study area in years following first capture.

Female incubatesClick word for definition 3-6 eggs (usually 5), for 11-12 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest at 8- 11 days. Southern Indiana study found that nests begun in late June and July were more successful than nests begun earlier; nearly all nest failures were attributed to predators.

Element Code: ABPBX24010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.

Photo by C. S. Robbins. ©2002.
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.