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Number of species: 80

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Yellow-rumped Warbler - Setophaga coronata

Although multiple features can be considered when attempting to age or sex Yellow-rumped Warblers, there is considerable variability among individuals, and some individuals are best left as unknown if criteria are inconsistent, especially age in spring, and sex of HY birds in fall

The two races of Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's Warbler, S.c. auduboni, and Myrtle Warbler, S.c. coronata) are generally separable by plumage, but guidelines for age and sex determination are largely applicable to both

Quick Tips:

  • Check the wing for a molt limit on HY/SY individuals either between pale gray to (in spring) brownish primary and dark grayish greater coverts, or among the outer greater coverts; AHY/ASY birds have a more uniformly bluish-gray wing
  • Look at the back - it is bluish-gray on AHY/ASY males (sometimes with a bit of brown in fall), a mix of brown and blue-gray on AHY/ASY females and HY/SY males, and mostly brownish on HY/SY females
  • Examine the uppertail coverts - they have broad black centres with mostly blue edging on AHY/ASY males, moderately large black centres with a mix of brown and blue edging on AHY/ASY females and HY/SY males, and narrow black centres with mostly brown edging on HY/SY females
  • Check the shape of the outer rectrices - on HY/SY birds they are sometimes relatively narrow and pointed, while on AHY/ASY birds they tend to be broader and more rounded, but relatively many intermediates occur that are unhelpful for ageing

Species account prepared by McGill Bird Observatory

Click on any image below to bring up the side-by-side comparison tool.
Age / Sex  Image sets 
Hatch year / Male
Myrtle Warbler: Upperparts brownish with some blue-gray; lacking yellow on the crown and with limited yellow patches on sides; dark uppertail coverts with a mix of blue-gray and brown edging; distinct molt limit between primary and greater coverts or amon
Thumbnail - MG2-2640-14824-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2558.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2640-14824-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2556.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2640-14824-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2557.jpg
Date: Oct 3
Hatch year / Female
Myrtle Warbler: Upperparts brownish-gray; no yellow on crown, and little to none on sides; uppertail coverts with mostly brown edging; distinct molt limit between primary and greater coverts or among greater coverts. Audubon's Warbler: similar, but with
Thumbnail - MG2-2560-24831-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2549.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2560-24831-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2547.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2560-24831-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2548.jpg
Date: Sep 13
After hatch year / Male
Myrtle Warbler: Upperparts brownish with a fair amount of blue-gray; yellow crown patch; auricular sometimes mottled with black; black uppertail coverts with mostly blue edging; primary coverts dark with silvery edging. Audubon's Warbler:  similar, but w
Thumbnail - MG2-2640-15374-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2573.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2640-15374-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2571.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2640-15374-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2572.jpg
Date: Oct 8
After hatch year / Female
Myrtle Warbler: Upperparts brownish with some blue-gray; generally lacking yellow on the crown and with limited yellow patches on sides; dark uppertail coverts with mostly blue edging and some brown; primary coverts moderately dark with silvery edging. A
Thumbnail - MG2-2640-14890-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2564.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2640-14890-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2562.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2640-14890-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2563.jpg
Date: Oct 4
Second year / Male
Myrtle Warbler: Upperparts bluish gray, but often tinged brownish; yellow crown patch; blackish auricular; white throat; black uppertail coverts with mostly blue edging; often three generations of feathers among the greater and primary coverts.  Audubon's
Thumbnail - MG2-2650-25946-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2534.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-25946-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2532.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-25946-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2533.jpg
Date: May 13
Second year / Female
Myrtle Warbler: Upperparts brownish-gray; limited yellow on crown; gray and indistinct auricular; white throat; uppertail coverts with mostly brown edging; often three generations of feathers among the greater and primary coverts. Audubon's Warbler: sim
Thumbnail - MG2-2600-16007-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2528.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2600-16007-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2526.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2600-16007-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2527.jpg
Date: May 15
After second year / Male
Myrtle Warbler: Upperparts bluish gray; bright yellow crown patch; black auricular; white throat; black uppertail coverts with mostly blue edging; primary coverts dark with silvery edging. Audubon's Warbler:  similar, but with gray face and yellow throat
Thumbnail - MH3-2500-65253-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-418.jpg Thumbnail - MH3-2500-65253-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-419.jpg Thumbnail - MH3-2500-65253-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-420.jpg
Date: May 9
After second year / Female
Myrtle Warbler: Upperparts mostly gray with some brown; indistinct yellow crown patch; gray auricular; white throat; dark uppertail coverts with mostly blue edging and some brown; primary coverts moderately dark with silvery edging. Audubon's Warbler: S
Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41153-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2543.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41153-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2541.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2650-41153-Setophaga_coronata_AOU_7_52-2542.jpg
Date: May 9

Additional age / sex class descriptions

The following additional age / sex class descriptions were found for this species:
Age / Sex   Age / Sex class description
Unknown / Unknown Upperparts largely brown with a bit of blue-gray; auricular grayish and indistinct; wing relatively dull, with greater coverts contrasting moderately with brownish flight feathers; rectrices sometimes narrowish; narrow dark centres to uppertail coverts wit
After hatch year / Unknown Upperparts brownish with some blue-gray; auricular brownish-gray; relatively dark greater coverts contrasting with brownish flight feathers; rectrices sometimes narrowish; blackish uppertail coverts with a mix of blue-gray and brown edging.
Juvenile / Unknown Brownish and streaked, with relatively dull and uniform wings.
Number of species: 80

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