Look and listen for a vibrant migrating yellow warbler in spring. Learn what yellow warblers eat and what their nests look like.
What Does a Yellow Warbler Look Like?
Warblers are small songbirds. A male yellow warbler is bright lemon yellow with chestnut/orange streaks on its breast. Females are a less vibrant, soft yellow color. They measure 5 inches long with a wingspan of 8 inches.
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What Do Yellow Warblers Eat?
Warblers feed mostly on insects, insects, such as caterpillars, beetles and leafhoppers, so they generally aren’t attracted to feeders. Instead, entice them to your garden by adding a water feature like a birdbath or, even better, a natural looking pond with flowing water. They also may eat a few wild berries.
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Yellow Warbler Song
Courtesy Chantal Taunton
Listen for the cheerful sweet, high and clear notes of yellow warblers. The song sounds like sweet-sweet-sweet, I am so sweet! The bird may repeat its lovely song up to 10 times per minute.
Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
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Yellow Warbler Nest
The female builds a tidy nest out of plant fibers in a low shrub and lays four to five eggs. Yellow warblers tend to like willow trees. They often nest in them, too. These nests are cup-shaped and made of grasses, bark and plant matter.
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Habitat and Range Map
Courtesy Trisha Snider
While many warblers spend their time at the tops of trees, yellow warblers prefer dense shrubs. Increase your chances of attracting one by providing backyard shelter, like small, low trees and bushes. These birds prefer open woods, streamsides, orchards and willow thickets in wet areas.
With the largest breeding range of any warbler species, these birds are common in most of North America and as far south as Peru.
Range maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.
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Originally Published: March 17, 2022