The Common Yellowthroat,
Geothlypis trichas, is a New World warbler. It is an abundant
breeder in North America from southern Canada to central Mexico.
Northern races are migratory, wintering in the southern parts
of the breeding range, Central America and the West Indies. Southern
forms are largely resident. This species is a very rare vagrant
to western Europe. The Common Yellowthroat has a brown back, yellow
throat and white belly. The summer male has a black facemask,
bordered above with gray. Females are similar, but lack the black
mask. There are 13 races, which differ mainly in the male's face
pattern and the brightness of the yellow underparts. The southwestern
forms are the brightest and most yellow below. The breeding habitat
is marshes and other wet areas with dense low vegetation. They
may also be found in other areas with dense shrub, but are less
common in dry areas. Females appear to prefer males with larger
masks. Common Yellowthroats nest low in vegetation, laying 3-5
eggs in a cup nest. Both parents feed the young.
These birds feed
on insects, which are usually captured in dense vegetation, but
sometimes caught in midair. The song is a loud wichety wichety
wichety wich. The call is a soft jip. Despite a decline in numbers
in some areas due to loss of favoured habitat, this species is
still very common.
Above Images From The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service