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Yellow-breasted Chat

Icteria virens ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Despite its bright yellow chest, loud song, and conspicuous display flights, the Yellow-breasted Chat is easily overlooked because of its skulking nature and the denseness of its brushy haunts.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
7.1 in
18 cm
Wingspan
9.8 in
25 cm
Weight
0.8–1.1 oz
23–31 g
Other Names
  • Paruline polyglotte (French)
  • Griton Pechiamarillo, Reinita Grande, Chipe Piquigrueso (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • In one study in central Kentucky, DNA fingerprinting revealed that 17% of 29 Yellow-breasted Chat nestlings were not sired by the male of the social pair and 33% of 9 broods contained at least 1 extra-pair nestling.

Habitat


Scrub

Dense second-growth, riparian thickets, and brush.

Food


Insects

Small invertebrates, fruits.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–6 eggs
Egg Description
White or off-white covered in dark speckles.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless.
Nest Description

Bulky cup of grasses, leaves, strips of bark, stems of weeds; lined with finer grasses, wiry plant stems, pine needles, and sometimes roots and hair. Placed in dense shrubs.

Nest Placement

Shrub

Behavior


Foliage Gleaner

Gleans prey from foliage of low, dense shrubs, or from ground. Holds food with foot.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Declining in northeastern part of range, but increasing in western part. Through much of 20th century, range has been fairly stable, but peripheral, regional, and local populations have fluctuated, sometimes leading to dramatic declines and local extirpations.

Credits

  • Eckerle, K. P., and C. F. Thompson. 2001. Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens). In The Birds of North America, No. 575 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Yellow-breasted Chat Range Map
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