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Yellow-rumped Warbler


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Yellow-rumped Warblers are impressive in the sheer numbers with which they flood the continent each fall. Shrubs and trees fill with the streaky brown-and-yellow birds and their distinctive, sharp chips. Though the color palette is subdued all winter, you owe it to yourself to seek these birds out on their spring migration or on their breeding grounds. Spring molt brings a transformation, leaving them a dazzling mix of bright yellow, charcoal gray and black, and bold white.


  • Song (Myrtle)
  • Song (Audubon's)
  • Song (Audubon's)
  • Courtesy of Macaulay Library
    © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Males sing a slow, soft, sweetly whistled warble or trill. The pitch is mostly even but may rise or fall slightly, speeding up as it ends. Songs last 1-3 seconds and consist of up to 21 individual notes.


  • Songs, calls
  • Call (Myrtle)
  • Courtesy of Macaulay Library
    © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Yellow-rumped Warblers have two main calls. The more common one, a sharp chek, differs between the myrtle and Audubon's races. Both forms are quite recognizable and are a key call to learn for a bird watcher hoping to start sorting out migrating warblers in fall. Both sexes make this call frequently, both while foraging and while flying. Yellow-rumped Warblers also make a soft psit and a high tsee in flight.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Backyard Tips

Yellow-rumped Warblers winter across much of central and southeastern U.S., and they sometimes come to bird feeders. To attract them, try putting out sunflower seed, raisins, suet, and peanut butter. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

Find This Bird

Visit the north woods or middle elevation conifer forests of the West to find Yellow-rumped Warblers during summer. They're often perched on the outer limbs of trees and are very conspicuous as they fly out after insects, often making long, aerobatic pursuits and flashing their yellow rumps and white patches in the tail. But the easiest time to see Yellow-rumped Warblers is probably on migration, when hordes of Yellow-rumped Warblers sweep down the continent, particularly along the Eastern Seaboard, where wax myrtles are abundant.

Get Involved

Keep track of any Yellow-rumped Warblers that visit your feeder from November through early April with Project FeederWatch

Record your warbler sightings online with eBird for your personal records – and for the birding community

Enhance your yard to attract warblers and other birds. Visit our web pages on landscaping for birds.

Top 10 Ways to Help Birds in Cities

Learn more about bird photography in our Building Skills section. Then contribute your images to the Birdshare flickr site, which helps supply All About Birds and our other websites with photos.

You Might Also Like

Yellow-rumped Warbler: This Bird is Bound to Berry (Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center)

Wood-Warbler Tree of Life: DNA sheds light on evolutionary relationships, showing the new family tree for Dendroica, the Yellow-rumped Warbler’s genus

Yellow-rumped Warbler from Bent's Life Histories of North American Birds (1953)

The New Birds of Winter, All About Birds blog, February 5, 2015.

Species Abundance Map: Yellow-rumped Warbler, The State of North America’s Birds 2016.



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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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