Species Spotlight: By Wes Tallyn

Common Yellowthroat

The Common Yellowthroat is a small warbler that is usually found around wetland areas and near waterbodies. The Yellowthroats are migratory, but they can be found in Florida year-round. They spend the Summer throughout most of the United States and Canada. The birds winter in the southern United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. During the Winter months, they are much more common throughout Florida.

They are more often heard than seen, because they tend to be very secretive.  Male Common Yellowthroats have a black “mask” around their eyes, a white “eyebrow” and bright yellow feathers around the throat. Female Yellowthroats are overall gray and white, but they too have yellow feathers on the throat.

Yellowthroats are insect eaters and can be seen feeding on ground dwelling insects or fluttering up into the air to catch flying insects. The heavy cover that they live in makes them extremely difficult to photograph at times.  Certain individuals like the two in these pictures are bolder and will sometimes offer a quick glimpse for a photo opportunity.

Parks around lakes or creeks offer the best opportunities for viewing yellowthroats.  While walking, listen closely for a buzzy type of call. A great way to identify birds by their calls is to download some of the birding apps available today. The apps offer photos of the birds and oftentimes a couple of their different calls.