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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Yellow-rumped Warbler -- Dendroica coronata


RANGE: The northern and eastern (Myrtle) race breeds from western Alaska and central Mackenzie to north-central Labrador south to northern British Columbia, southeastern Saskatchewan, central Michigan, and Massachusetts, and in the Appalachians to eastern West Virginia. The western (Audubon's) race breeds from central British Columbia and southwestern Saskatchewan south to southern California across to western Texas. The Myrtle race winters from southwestern British Columbia through the Pacific States, southern Arizona, and Colorado, and from Kansas east across the central United States to New England, and south to Panama. The Audubon's race winters from southwestern British Columbia and Idaho south to Central America.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Generally inhabits coniferous forests throughout its range, but also found in aspen forests in the Rocky Mountains. In the West, prefers timbered sites with a low percent canopy cover, and forest edges such as those around meadows or lakes. In the East, prefers spruce-fir woodlands, but also frequents young coniferous growth near the edges of woods, mixed woods, and evergreen plantations.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Coniferous trees for nesting.

NEST: Builds nest well out on a horizontal branch in a conifer tree, screened from above by clumps of needles. Typically locates nest 15 to 20 feet above the ground, but sometimes 4 to 50 feet.

FOOD: Eats insects gleaned from foliage and caught by hawking. Also searches for food on the ground. In winter, largely subsists on berries.

REFERENCES: Beal and McAtee 1912, Bent 1953a, DeGraff et al. 1980, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Johnsgard 1979, Kaufman in Farrand 1983c, Verner and Boss 1980.


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