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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 12:41 EDT

Golden-winged Warbler

The Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), is a species of New World Warbler that breeds in eastern North America in southeastern Canada and the eastern USA. Its range is extending northwards, but in the south it is being replaced by the very closely related Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora pinus. It is migratory, wintering in southern Central America and the neighboring regions in Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. This is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, with a single record of a bird wintering in a supermarket car park in Maidstone, Kent in 1989.

The breeding male Golden-winged Warbler is unmistakable. It is gray above and whitish below. The crown and wing patches are yellow and the eye mask and throat are black, separated by white. Females are duller, with the black of the face pattern replaced by gray. It is 4.5 inches long and weighs about 8.5 grams (0.3 oz).

The breeding habitat is open scrubby areas. Golden-winged Warblers nest on the ground or low in a bush, laying 4-5 eggs in a cup nest. These birds feed on insects, and spiders. The song is a trilled bzzzz buzz buzz buzz. The call is a sharp chip.

Golden-winged Warbler