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Common Yellowthroat

Geothlypis trichas

The Common Yellowthroat is a bird usually found near waterways or marshes, and one of the few new world warblers who will nest there. They are abundant breeders in North America, ranging from southern half of Canada to Panama. Many of these birds, especially those in the southern end of their range are non-migratory. This has contributed to regional genetic variations, and as many as thirteen subspecies are recognized by science.

The witchety-witchety-witchety song of the Common Yellowthroat and the distinct chuck call of these birds will clue the attentive birder to their presence. Favorite haunts are marshes and wetland edges, but sometimes they will make their homes in dry brushy areas. These birds are rarely found high in the canopy. They’d rather spend their time lurking in low foliage a few feet from the ground.

Unlike many warblers species, the Common Yellowthroat has evolved a defensive strategy for the brood parasitic Brown-Headed Cowbird. If the cowbird lays an egg in its nest, the yellowthroats with either build a new nest on top of the old one, or abandon the nest completely.

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