Yellow Warblers

The Yellow Warblers, Setophaga petechia, occur naturally across most of North America and range south to northern South America. Different races have been identified.

Mangrove Warbler / Crimson-hooded Manakin (Pipra aureola) - ID: rufous hood or crown

Subspecies and Ranges

The Mangrove Warblers (erithachorides group) – includes 12 subspecies

  • Range: Resident. Found in the mangrove swamps of coastal Middle America and northern South America.
  • ID: Reddish-brown hood or crown on breeding males. Larger size.

The American Yellow Warblers (aestiva group) – includes 6 subspecies

  • Range: Migratory. Breed in temperate North America as far south as Central Mexico; and migrate south to Central and South America for the winter. Vagrants have been reported in Western Europe.
  • ID: Head all yellow

The Golden Warblers (petechia group) – includes 17 subspecies

  • Range: Mostly resident. Found in the mangrove swamps of the West Indies. Breeding colonies of the Cuban Golden Warbler have now established themselves in the Florida Keys.
  • ID: Reddish-brown hood or crown on breeding males

Yellow Warbler


  • Average Length (including tail): 4.5 inches or 11.5 cm
  • Weight Range: 0.23 – 0.35 oz (6.5 – 10 g)
  • Plumage: Upper parts are greenish-yellow and yellow below. Brighter in breeding males. Some subspecies have reddish crowns.

Breeding / Nesting:

Yellow Warblers nest in trees. Their cup nests are made out of twigs and grasses.

The average clutch consists of 3 to 6 eggs. Those occurring in the tropics typically lay fewer eggs.

This species is a regular victim of the Brown-headed Cowbird, a nest parasite.


They primarily feed on insects and spiders, but northern races will also take some berries.

Song / Call:

  • Songs: musical sweet sweet sweet – sometimes rendered as I’m so sweet
  • Calls: soft or harder ship.
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