Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)

Golden-winged Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Parulidae | [latin] Vermivora chrysoptera | [UK] Golden-winged Warbler | [FR] Sylvette a ailes dorees | [DE] Goldflugel-Waldsanger | [ES] Verdin alidorado | [NL] Geelvleugelzanger


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Gray above and white below. The only warbler with the combination of yellow wing patch and black throat
(in female, throat gray, not black). Note also the yellow forehead, black ear patch.

Listen to the sound of Golden-winged Warbler

[audio: Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 19 cm wingspan max.: 21 cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 14 cm
incubation min.: 9 days incubation max.: 10 days
fledging min.: 9 days fledging max.: 10 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


North America : East


Open woodlands, brushy clearings, undergrowth. Breeds in brushy areas w
ith patches of weeds, shrubs, and scattered trees (such as alder or pine). This habitat type is found in places where a cleared field is growing up to woods again, as well as in marshes and tamarack bogs. In winter, in the tropics, lives in forest edges a
nd open woodland.


Courtship includes male chasing female, raising his crown feathers, slow wingbeats as male flies away, and gliding flight as male flies toward female.
Nest: Built by female on the ground at base of shrub or in a tussock of grass or sedge, usually hidden by foliage. Open cup nest constructed of leaves, grapevine bark, and grass; lined with fine plant material.
Eggs: 5, sometimes 4-7. Pale cream or pink with streaks and blotches of brown and lilac. Incubation by female, 10-
11 days. Up to 30 percent of nests have cowbird eggs. Few warbler eggs hatch when cowbirds are present, but cowbird nestlings do not necessarily fare better than the warbler nestlings.
Young: Leave nest after 8-9 days, are fed by parents for up to another month. Parents may divide fledglings into two groups, each parent attending only part of brood. 1 brood per year.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects. Diet is not known in detail, but feeds on many caterpillars and adult moths, especially Tortricid moths, also other insects and spiders.
Behavior: Forages mostly in the upper level of trees and shrubs in sum
mer. Feeds by probing and picking among foliage, sometimes hanging head down. Probes in curled leaves and pries them open in search of insects. May forage with Black-capped Chickadees on breeding territories and in migration. On wintering ground, mainly f
eeds fairly low in trees, in mixed flocks with other species.


This species has declined rapidly in southern parts of its breeding range in recent years. Northern populations faired better but overall moderately rapid declines have been recorded. Therefore, it qualifies as Near Threatened, but if declines continue to worsen in the north of its breeding range it may warrant uplisting to Vulnerable in the future.
Golden-winged Warbler status Near Threatened


Eastern United States. Winters Guatemala to Colombia. In West, accidental in Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California. Migration:
Migrants are seen most commonly in late April and May, and during September. Probably migrates mostly at night.

Distribution map

Golden-winged Warbler distribution range map

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