Birder’s Notebook; Yellow Warbler

Birders Notebook by Bob Andrini; 25 June entry. One of the few of the warbler species that nest in our area is the yellow warbler. Some of the field marks of the yellow warbler include yellow body, black bill, and yellow fringes to the primary feathers. The male has red streaks on its breast (female may have faint red streaks or none).

Although they may be parasitized by the brown-headed cowbird, the yellow warbler apparently can recognize the ‘foreign’ egg and will either abandon the nest or build another nest over the violated nest. In fact, they might build multilayered nests if the cowbirds continue laying eggs in their nests.

The song of the yellow warbler is a high-pitched sweet-sweet-sweeter-than-sweet. Its scientific name is Dendroica petechia: Dendroica from the Greek meaning tree dwelling, and petechia from the Italian meaning spot on skin containing blood (apparently in reference to their red streaks).

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