Yellow-rumped Warbler, male in spring (subspecies Myrtle Warbler
This morning we saw several Yellow-rumped Warblers coming through on migration, the first of the year (FOY) we have seen. Our excitement begins to mount because this is just the start of the warbler bonanza to come.
If you're going to learn warblers, start by learning Yellow-rumped Warbler, one of the most ubiquitious and abundant warblers. Learning warblers in spring is easier because they are in their colorful breeding plumage. The males in particular are easy to ID because they have bold colors and patterns, females have the same patterns in more subtle colors .
The male yellow-rump has bold yellow side patches, a yellow rump and crown patch, white throat and heavy black streaking on breast. There are now 2 subspecies of yellow rumps, which were formerly considered one species. Above is the subspecies ("Myrtle Warbler", Dendroica coronata coronata) which we see here in NH. If you live in much of the west you will see the subspecies, "Audubon's Warbler," Dendroica coronata auduboni, which has a yellow throat.
Our yellow rumps were singing their weak trill song. If you really want to get ready to ID spring warblers see our new The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, which has the most complete warbler section of any field guide, which is getting rave reviews. AND it comes with a free downloadable CD of common bird songs (over 600 sounds by Lang Elliott and Kevin Colver). Listen to the sound of the Yellow-rumped Warbler on track 108 and tune-up for spring.