Beak of the Week: Common Yellowthroat

This brilliantly colored songbird is a perfect example of why birding can be so exciting! While out birding in Southern California a few weeks ago, Danielle, Jonathan, and I spotted this vibrant beauty.

A Common Yellowthroat

When I see a flash of color, in this case yellow, among a canvas of greens and browns, I know I have caught a glimpse of something special. Needless to say, I was immediately satisfied.

A female Common Yellowthroat

The good news is this little warbler is not uncommon to many areas in the United States; hence, its name – the Common Yellowthroat.  So, at the appropriate time of year, with some attention and a bit of luck, you too can spot one of these gems!

A Common Yellowthroat at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in California

Common Name: Common Yellowthroat

Latin Name: Geothlypis trichas

Range:   Summers (breeding season) throughout the United States and Canada. Winters throughout Mexico.  Year-round resident along the coast of Southern California, along the coast of south eastern states of the U.S., including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Habitat: Areas of dense, low vegetation, often near a source of water.

Diet: Insects and Spiders

Conservation Status: Although listed as a species of “Least Concern,” populations of non-migratory Common Yellowthroats appear to be decreasing on account of habitat loss.  In fact, in some areas this species could be facing extinction.

Have you heard this sound in your backyard? If so, you have identified the Common Yellowthroat by ear! If not, don’t worry—keep your eyes and ears alert to the sight and sound of this beautiful songbird!

Happy Birding!


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