Mariton: Common Yellowthroat

July 21, 2011

The Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) is a beautiful warbler that breeds in our area during the summer, and winters as far south as Central America.  It has a loud, brilliant song to proclaim its territory.  Of course, the male’s trademark is the “Lone Ranger” mask, but both males and females have the bright yellow throat.  It can be found in marshes and thickets.  At Mariton, it likes the meadows on top of the hill and the brushy area under the powerlines.  We also hear them along the edge of the yard.

The Common Yellowthroat is just one of nine different species of Yellowthroats.  This group of warblers is found in Central and South America.  As far as I can tell, only the Common Yellowthroat migrates to North America.  (So, the common in its name refers to its broad range, and not the appearance of this stunning bird.)

The Common Yellowthroat can be tough to see in the spring.  They skulk in the underbrush, vines, and tall grasses.  As the spring progresses, and their young fledge, they suddenly become more visible.  We tend to get better views of them on the Butterfly Census, than we do on the different bird censuses.  (All photos by Carole Mebus.)