[order] Passeriformes | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Geothlypis trichas | [UK] Common Yellowthroat | [FR] Paruline masquée | [DE] Weidengelbkehlchen | [ES] Chipe de Cara Negra | [IT] Parula golagialla comune | [NL] Maskerzanger

Maskerzanger determination

copyright: Don DesJardin

Close in size to Chiffchaff but with plumper form enhanced by frequent raising of tail. Quite small Nearctic wood warbler; perky but skulks in ground cover. Uniform bright yellowish-olive upperparts and yellow and buff underparts. Male has diagnostic black mask; Female has short dull supercilium and eye-ring. Behaviour recalls both Wren and small Sylvia warbler.

Breeds in temperate and subtropical regions of Nearctic in dense low cover in variety of sites, especially near water and in rank vegetation of marshes, such as cattails and bulrushes, and streamside thickets of willows. Despite preference for vicinity of water, occasionally occupies upland thickets of shrubs and small trees, poorly tended orchards, retired croplands, and weedy residential areas.

Breeds from south-east Alaska across western and southern Canada to Newfoundland, and southward throughout USA to Oaxaca and Vera Cruz in Mexico. Accidental. Britain. Single 1st-winter males: Lundy (Devon), November 1954; Isles of Scilly, October 1984; Kent, January-April 1989; male, Fair Isle, June 1984.

The yellowthroat is generally an insectivore. It gleans leaves of shrubbery, grasses or weeds for adult and larval insects such as grasshoppers, dragonflies, beetles, butterflies, and spiders. Seeds are sometimes eaten as well

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 11,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 32,000,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2003). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

The female yellowthroat lays her eggs between April and July, and incubates 3-5 eggs for 12 days. The eggs are white or cream-white and are speckled brown, black, or grey at the large end. The cup-shaped, bulky nest made from dead leaves, coarse grass and weed stems, with a lining of fine black rootlets, is located low to the ground, in shrubbery. While only the female incubates the eggs, both the male and female tend the young. The young are altricial and leave the nest 8 days after hatching.

Varies from fully migratory to resident. In east, northern populations winter furthest south, overflying both short-range migrants and residents. Winters in southernmost states of USA, extending north to California in west and Virginia in east, also through Mexico to Panama, and in West Indies. Migration on broad front, including major movements through Florida and across Mexican Gulf.