Common Name: Common
The Common Yellowthroat is a member of
the Order Passeriformes, which includes the perching
birds. It is in Family Parulidae, which consists of the
New World wood warblers. The Common Yellowthroat is in
the Genus Geothlypis, which includes other
Yellowthroats are small songbirds with plain olive green
backs, wings, and tails. They have a yellow throat and
upper chest. Males have whitish bellies, dusky flanks,
and bright yellow undertail coverts. Males also have a
broad black mask from the side of the neck to the
auricular area and from the eye to the forehead. A
whitish/grayish line above the black mask separates it
from an olive crown. Females have olive faces and their
underparts are paler. They also have an indistinct
eyering and may occasionally have a faint black mask.
Immature males resemble the adult females. Common
Yellowthroats are generally 4.5-5.5 inches long.
Common Yellowthroats live in thick vegetation from
wetlands to prairies to pine forests. They are frequently found
near water. They breed throughout the continental United States and
in parts of all Canadian provinces. They winter in Mexico and the
Caribbean. The diet of the Common Yellowthroat consists of insects
and spiders. They generally pick their food off of foliage.
Common Yellowthroats can be seen moving by hopping
among branches. They may shuffle or side-step along a branch.
Their flights are usually short and direct. On breeding grounds,
they are active from sunrise to sunset, with peak activity in the
morning and evening. On wintering grounds, they are most active in
the late morning and late evening. Interactions between males
include rapid chases, sometimes followed by wing- or tail-flicking
and grappling with the intruder.
are monogamous within a breeding season. Females
perform a copulation solicitation display in which they
flutter their wings and give a rapid series of chipping
notes. Females choose nest sites and build the nests.
Nests are usually on or near the ground in vegetation to
conceal the nest and protect it from the sun. They are
cup-shaped and made from plant materials. A clutch
usually contains four eggs and one egg is laid per day
until the clutch is complete. The female incubates
the clutch for 12 days. Chicks are born altricial
and hatch at various times during a day. Both parents feed the chicks
and chicks are ready to leave the nest after 10 days. .
Yellowthroat’s song is described as a bright rapid chant
of “witchity-witchity-witchity-witch.” The typical call
of males and females is a “tchat,” “stagt,” “schick,” or
“chit.” This call is given year-round, specifically
when a potential predator approaches the territory or if
a male conspecific is nearby.