YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER

Setophaga coronata

Flashing its trademark yellow rump patch as it flies away, calling check for confirmation, this is one of our best-known warblers. While most of its relatives migrate to the tropics in fall, the Yellow-rump, able to live on berries, commonly remains as far north as New England and Seattle; it is the main winter warbler in North America. Included in this species are two different-looking forms, the eastern “Myrtle” Warbler and western “Audubon’s” Warbler.

Conservation Status

Still abundant and widespread.

Habitat

Conifer forests. In winter, varied; open woods, brush, thickets, gardens, even beaches. In the North, breeds in coniferous and mixed forests, preferring more open stands and edges in pine, fir, spruce, aspen; also spruce-tamarack bogs. In West, breeds up to 12,000′ in mountain conifer forests. In winter, common in many lowland habitats, especially coastal bayberry thickets in East and streamside woods in West.

Diet

Insects and berries. Feeds on caterpillars, wasps, grasshoppers, gnats, aphids, beetles, and many other insects; also spiders. Feeds in winter on berries of bayberry, juniper, wax myrtle, poison ivy, and others. Can winter farther north than most warblers because it can digest the wax in berry coatings.