Dendroica petechia
(Yellow Warbler)

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

Physical Description:
4 1/2-5 1/4" (11-13 cm). Most extensively yellow warbler. Almost completely yellow; wings and tail darker olive-yellow. Males have rust-colored streaks on breast. Both sexes have black eyes and bill.

Similar Species- Female Wilson's Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler

Song begins with three similar notes followed by a varied, emphatic ending of notes.

Breeds from northern Alaska, east across northern Canada to Labrador, and south to Panama and northern coast of South America. Winters from southern California, southern Arizona, northern Mexico, and southern Florida, south to central Peru, northern Bolivia, and Amazonian Brazil.

Found in open scrub, second-growth woodlands, thickets, farmlands, and gardens, especially near water. During migrationClick word for definition and in winter, found in open woodlands, plantations, brushy areas, and forest edges. Several Idaho studies have found this species to be a riparianClick word for definition habitat generalist.

Eats insects (especially caterpillars) and spiders. In southern range, occasionally eats small fruits or nectar.

Takes most food from vegetation; may fly from perch to capture prey. Builds cup-shaped nest in shrub. Territories as small as 0.16 ha have been reported. Migrants are solitary and territorial in winter. Species is one of most common cowbird hosts. Reduced grazing apparently results in increased population size.

Female incubatesClick word for definition 3-6 eggs (usually 4-5), for 11-12 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest at 9- 12 days.

Element Code: ABPBX03010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
Douglas, D.C., J.T. Ratti, R.A. Black, and J.R. Alldredge. 1992. Avian habitat associations in riparian zones of Idaho's Centennial Mountains. Wilson Bull. 104:485-500.

Photos by Peter S. Weber,© 2000, and Jason Karl,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.