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October 6, 2012 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Yellow-rumped Warbler

For the past few week warblers have been passing through in large numbers on their migration south. The most common warbler is the yellow-rumped. A large number of them were at the nature park yesterday flitting around the shrubs and trees and hopping around the edge of the muddy pond making their distinctive chipping sound. While most warblers prefer to stay hidden in the foliage, the yellow-rumped are more approachable and will venture out near people.

Their plumage varies between the eastern and western forms and changes again during breeding season. The birds in these photos are in winter plumage. I can’t tell if they are male or female as they look similar this time of the year.

During breeding season they molt to bright yellow, charcoal gray and black, and bold white. This little guy below was showing off the yellow patch on his rump from which they get their name.

In the summer their diet consists of mostly insects but in the winter they will also eat seeds and berries. They will occasionally venture into backyards and stop at a feeder for seeds or suet or a drink at the bird bath.

The yellow-rumped has a large range and can be seen at various times of year over most of the North American continent. A lot of the birds I’m seeing now are only passing through, but their winter range has been creeping further north and some will remain in the Chicago area. We have seen them during the winter bird counts for the past few years.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. Cipriano / Oct 6 2012 2:54 am

    That first shot. The slant of the eye.
    That bird knows something that I need to know….. but haven’t learned yet, saddled as I am in my human stupidity.


    • Leslie / Oct 6 2012 10:38 am

      He does have a pensive look on his face. Perhaps he’s planning his route to a warmer climate. I can’t help anthropomorphizing even though I know migration is just instinct.


  2. Paulita / Oct 6 2012 4:34 am

    I love the name, even though I misread it at first and thought it was a yellow rumpled warbler. This must be a thrilling time for bird watchers as birds make their journeys from north to south. I’m glad I get to be a bird watcher on your blog. Here’s Mine


    • Leslie / Oct 6 2012 11:20 am

      Spring and fall migration are definitely an exciting time for birders. These are the only times of the year we get to see a lot of different species. It’s kind of a silly season for me… I get obsessed with finding “new-to-me” birds.


  3. Louise / Oct 6 2012 5:18 am

    What cheery little warblers they are with that flash of yellow.


  4. BermudaOnion / Oct 6 2012 5:33 am

    The little touches of yellow make him so handsome! Great photos, as usual.


  5. Christine Harding / Oct 6 2012 5:35 am

    Gorgeous photos, and I love that flash of yellow – you can see how the bird got its name. My Snapshot is at


  6. Susan / Oct 6 2012 6:10 am

    And that rump certainly is yellow! What a pretty little bird!


  7. thekeytothegate / Oct 6 2012 6:14 am

    This bird is lovely! Thanks for sharing the background information on them as well!
    Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate


  8. Beth F / Oct 6 2012 6:57 am

    What cuties! It looks like the migrate right through central PA — I’ll have to check my bird feeders to see if I get any visitors.


    • Leslie / Oct 6 2012 11:43 am

      I get the yellow-rumps stopping for a drink. If you have a bird bath, keep an eye on it for migrants.


  9. laurelrainsnow / Oct 6 2012 7:41 am

    Lovely birds…and such fun facts! You are such a great source of information….and you capture the birds so well!



  10. Arti / Oct 6 2012 9:53 am

    It’s great that you could take these photos. I spotted a warbler the other day, but as you said he/she hid behind leaves and moved too quickly for me to take a picture. I like your photos here.


    • Leslie / Oct 6 2012 11:53 am

      I have a lot of blurred pictures of warblers. The Yellow-rumps are one of the few that will pose, or even venture out of the shrubs and trees.


  11. dyane / Oct 6 2012 9:58 am

    Thanks for sharing the info


  12. Sheila (Book Journey) / Oct 6 2012 10:07 am

    I was just thinking about your bird pics this morning as I looked at the birds on the deck in the light layer of snow.


    • Leslie / Oct 6 2012 12:04 pm

      I’m not ready for snow yet. To be honest, I’m never ready!


  13. Alyce (@AtHomeWithBooks) / Oct 6 2012 12:29 pm

    You always have such fantastic bird photos! When I see them I usually think, surely I haven’t seen that bird before. Then I see that they are supposed to live in my area and realize I probably have seen them and just not known what they were. 🙂


  14. notesoflifeuk / Oct 6 2012 1:44 pm

    Excellent shots. They’d be perfect for the Camera Critters meme too 🙂


  15. Suko / Oct 6 2012 1:45 pm

    Exquisite photos! I would love to see a collection of your photos in book form.


  16. edgar / Oct 6 2012 2:03 pm

    It’s a joy to look at the photos. I learned a lot about the warbler. Thank you..


  17. Bev@My Reader's Block / Oct 6 2012 2:12 pm

    I love the touches of yellow. What cute little birds! Thanks for stopping by.


  18. Sim@chapter1-take1 / Oct 6 2012 2:35 pm

    Hilarious name! It reminds me of the old kids joke which I can’t remember except to say it involved replacing the name Gladys with Happy Bum. The Gladys was pronounced Glad Ass. Anyway, that’s what your cute yellow rump warbler pictures reminded me of from my childhood.


  19. Ginny / Oct 6 2012 2:47 pm

    I think your bird photos are amazing. Bet you have to sit and wait patiently for hours.


  20. lmkazmierczak / Oct 6 2012 8:00 pm

    Great shots and fascinating info….happy weekend♥


  21. Wrighty / Oct 7 2012 1:16 am

    Beautiful photos! They look so professional. You always find the most interesting subjects! 🙂


  22. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Oct 8 2012 11:03 am

    Relatives of this little girl recently appeared around here as well:) cute shot.


  23. Carol / Oct 8 2012 3:58 pm

    Beautiful photos and thanks for the info.



  1. Weekend Birding: Winter Birdbaths | Under My Apple Tree

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