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Number of species: 80

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Golden-winged Warbler - Vermivora chrysoptera

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

Golden-winged Warbler frequently hybridizes with Blue-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 throat and cheeks - on AHY/ASY males both are solid black, on HY/SY males they are blackish to black, on AHY/ASY females they are gray but distinct, and on HY/SY females they are pale gray and sometimes the throat patch is indistinct
  • Check out the primary coverts - on AHY/ASY individuals they are dark with grayish edging, while on HY/SY birds they are brownish and without edging
  • Consider the crown - on AHY/ASY males it is bright yellow, on HY/SY males it is yellow, on AHY/ASY females it is greenish-yellow, and on HY/SY females it is largely greenish
  • 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 / Male
Cheeks black, throat mostly black (chin unusually white) and crown yellow; primary coverts brownish without pale edging; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48187-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2441.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48187-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2439.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48187-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2440.jpg
Date: Sep 11
Hatch year / Female
Cheeks gray, throat pale gray almost blending into breast, and crown olive-yellow; primary coverts brownish without pale edging; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
Thumbnail - MG2-2530-52047-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2438.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2530-52047-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2436.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2530-52047-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2437.jpg
Date: Aug 10
Second year / Male
Cheeks black, throat mostly black (occasionally some white on chin) and crown yellow; primary coverts brownish without pale edging; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48809-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2444.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48809-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2442.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48809-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2443.jpg
Date: May 17
After second year / Male
Throat and cheeks black and crown bright yellow; gray edging on primary coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48806-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2924.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48806-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2922.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2520-48806-Vermivora_chrysoptera_AOU_7_52-2923.jpg
Date: May 16

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 Throat and cheeks gray and crown greenish-yellow; gray edging on primary coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
Juvenile / Unknown Grayish to brownish-olive above, grayish-yellow below with a grayish throat; olive-green wing bars
Second year / Female Throat and cheeks gray and crown greenish-yellow; primary coverts brownish without pale edging; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
After hatch year / Male Throat and cheeks black and crown bright yellow; gray edging on primary coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
After hatch year / Female Throat and cheeks gray and crown greenish-yellow; gray edging on primary coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
Number of species: 80

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