Nature Journal
with Photos

          
Yellow-rumped Warbler Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
 
General Information
- Small, active bird
- Bright yellow rump
- Thin, pointed bill-but sturdier and thicker than most warblers
- White spots in tail
- Winters farther north than other warblers
- Eastern (formerly called "Myrtle Warbler") and western
  forms (formerly called "Audubon's Warbler") were
  previously separate species

Adult male - Eastern (Myrtle Warbler)
- Black mask
- White supercilium and broken eye ring
- Small, yellow, crown patch
- Blue-gray crown, nape, back and wing coverts with black
  streaks
- White throat
- Yellow patch at side of breast
- Black patches on upper breast extend as streaks onto flanks
- White underparts
- White wing bars

Basic, female and immature - Eastern (Myrtle Warbler)
- Broken eye ring
- Head and back brown to brownish-gray with black streaks
  on back (browner in the fall)
- Indistinct to absent yellow patch on side of breast
- Blurry dark streaking on breast and flanks
- White throat
- White wing bars

Adult male - Western (Audubon's Warbler)
- Dark gray head and back
- Broken eye ring
- Small, yellow, crown patch
- Yellow throat
- Yellow patch at side of breast
- Black patches on upper breast extend as streaks onto flanks
- White underparts
- White wing patch

Basic, female and immature - Western (Audubon's Warbler)
- Broken eye ring
- Head and back brown to brownish-gray with black streaks
  on back
- Indistinct to absent yellow patch on side of breast
- Blurry dark streaking on breast and flanks
- Yellow to buffy throat
- White wing bars

Similar species

The male Yellow-rumped Warbler is quite distinctive with its yellow patches at the sides of the breast and black upper breast. Magnolia Warblers have yellow bellies. Females and immatures are less colorful and more difficult to identify.

The often obvious yellow rump is brighter than other species with yellow rumps (Magnolia, Palm, and Cape May). When present, the yellow patches at the sides of the breast are not found in these other species. Cape May Warbler has finer and more extensive streaking on the breast and a yellow neck patch. Palm Warbler has yellow undertail coverts and actively pumps its tail. Magnolia Warblers have much more yellow below.
 
 
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