A highly variable olive-yellow warbler with two white wing bars; dark legs and heavy bill. Incomplete spectacles (yellow on adults, whitish on juveniles), dark auriculars, and pale neck patch distinctive on all birds. Adult male: Underparts bright yellow from throat to belly with varying amounts of blurry dusky-olive streaking on the breast; lower belly and undertail coverts white. Olive-greenish head and back, and dark wings and tail. Adult female: Similar to male but paler yellow on underparts and less streaking; upperparts have a slightly brownish cast. Immature: Extremely drab gray-brown with faint streaks below and two white wingbars. Hatch-year males usually show some yellow below, whereas females are essentially devoid of color. In flight, shows white tail spots and mostly white undertail; wings fairly rounded. Similar to Blackpoll and Bay-breasted Warbler, especially in fall, but lacks streaking on upperparts, dark auriculars contrast with much paler throat to create a helmeted look. Also shows a distinctive pale neck-patch that frames the dark auriculars, a proportionally longer tail, and less contrasting wingbars and a larger bill.
Length: 13 (cm) Wingspan: 22 (cm)
Song is an uneven, musical trill; similar to that of a Dark-eyed Junco. Call a soft, slurred tsip.
Almost always found in pines; migrants may be found in deciduous woods.
Birds from northern portions of their range flock with resident birds or mixed species flocks in the south. Found at feeding stations, especially seed feeders, more frequently than other warblers. Feeds by methodically working along branches in the canopy. Opens seeds by hammering on tree bark.
Diet largely consists of insects and seeds; occasionally eats fruit.
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