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Common Yellowthroat

Posted on May 19, 2016

This male Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) and I are rather close…or at least we were for about 30 seconds on a recent May morning. This bird is a migrant, though you may end up with a resident in a yard near you. Their common name does betray their abundance, and gardens, marshes, fields, forests or anywhere they can skulk about in dense, low vegetation works for them.

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Being a habitat generalist has helped the species end up as one of our most common warblers. It also makes them a frequent target of Brown-headed Cowbirds and brood parasitism, like the abundant Yellow Warbler. There are numerous predators – mammals, birds, and reptiles – of the species in its breeding range. Interestingly and unfortunately these various threats combined with development, habitat conversion, pesticides and so forth have the Common Yellowthroat declining at a rate of about 1% per year according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Here’s hoping they continue to live up to their name.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator