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Number of species: 72

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Blue-winged Warbler - Vermivora cyanoptera

Both age and sex of Blue-winged Warbler can usually be determined by overall plumage, with molt limits on the wing providing the most reliable indicator of age.

Blue-winged Warbler frequently hybridizes with Golden-winged Warbler; the appearance of hybrids can be somewhat variable, but the general principles of ageing and sexing can usually be applied.

Quick Tips:

  • Look at the crown and nape - on AHY/ASY males the bright yellow crown contrasts sharply with the greenish nape, on HY/SY males and AHY/ASY females the yellow crown fades in to the greenish nape, and on HY/SY females the greenish-yellow crown shows little contrast with the nape
  • Check out the primary coverts - on AHY/ASY individuals they are dark gray with pale edging, while on HY/SY birds they are brownish and without edging
  • Consider the eye line - on AHY/ASY males it is bold black, on HY/SY males and AHY/ASY females it is blackish, and on HY/SY females it is dark gray
  • Examine the rectrices - on HY/SY birds they are relatively narrow and tapered to a point with relatively small white patches on the outer feathers, while on AHY/ASY birds they are more broad and rounded toward the tip, with larger white patches

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 / Female
Crown greenish-yellow, only weakly distinct from the greenish nape; dark eye line; primary coverts brownish gray and generally lacking edging; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered with relatively small white patches; bill brownish-pink
Thumbnail - MG2-2330-10967-Vermivora_cyanoptera_AOU_7_52-2311.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2330-10967-Vermivora_cyanoptera_AOU_7_52-2313.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2330-10967-Vermivora_cyanoptera_AOU_7_52-2312.jpg
Date: Aug 27
Second year / Male
Crown yellow, fading into the greenish nape; blackish eye line; primary coverts brownish gray and generally lacking edging; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered with moderately large white patches
Thumbnail - MH3-2530-54702-Vermivora_cyanoptera_AOU_7_52-323.jpg Thumbnail - MH3-2530-54702-Vermivora_cyanoptera_AOU_7_52-324.jpg Thumbnail - MH3-2530-54702-Vermivora_cyanoptera_AOU_7_52-325.jpg
Date: May 14
After second year / Male
Crown bright yellow, contrasting with greenish nape; bold black eye line; primary coverts dark gray with distinct pale edging; rectrices relatively broad and rounded and with extensive white patches
Thumbnail - MG2-2550-58412-Vermivora_cyanoptera_AOU_7_52-2308.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2550-58412-Vermivora_cyanoptera_AOU_7_52-2310.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2550-58412-Vermivora_cyanoptera_AOU_7_52-2309.jpg
Date: May 18

Additional age / sex class descriptions

The following additional age / sex class descriptions were found for this species:
Age / Sex   Age / Sex class description
After second year / Female Crown yellow, fading into the greenish nape; blackish eye line; primary coverts dark gray with distinct pale edging; rectrices relatively broad and rounded and with moderately large white patches
Juvenile / Unknown Dull olive above and dull yellow below; dusky lores; weak yellow wing bars
Hatch year / Male Crown yellow, fading into the greenish nape; blackish eye line; primary coverts brownish gray and generally lacking edging; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered with moderately large white patches; bill brownish-pink
Second year / Female Crown greenish-yellow, only weakly distinct from the greenish nape; dark eye line; primary coverts brownish gray and generally lacking edging; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered with relatively small white patches
After hatch year / Male Crown bright yellow, contrasting with greenish nape; bold black eye line; primary coverts dark gray with distinct pale edging; rectrices relatively broad and rounded and with extensive white patches; bill blackish
After hatch year / Female Crown yellow, fading into the greenish nape; blackish eye line; primary coverts dark gray with distinct pale edging; rectrices relatively broad and rounded and with moderately large white patches; bill dark brown
Number of species: 72

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