• WildlifeWildlife WatchingVermont Bird Records CommitteeYellow-throated Warbler

    Vermont Rare Bird Reports 2019

    Common NameYellow-throated Warbler
    Scientific NameSetophaga dominica
    Type of ReportRare Species
    Date of Observation12/20/2018
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed1 adult male
    Reporting Observer's NameTheodore Murin
    Mailing Address71 Irish Cove Road
    South Burlington, VT 05403
    United States
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    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed12/21/2018
    Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers

    Tyler Pockette, Paul Wieczorek, Dick Lavallee, Qing Ren

    Latitude of Observation44.01286
    Longitude of Observation-73.17184
    Place Name13 Mill Street
    Time of Day11:29 AM
    Length of Time Observedabout 20 minutes
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)50
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)20
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    sunny, relatively calm wind, upper 30s Fahrenheit

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Zeiss 8x42 TFL binoculars, Nikon Coolpix P900 digital camera

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    Have seen before in North Carolina and Florida

    I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event​​.
    Description of Habitat

    Suburbia with fully stocked bird feeders

    Behaviors Observed

    Bird was initially seen feeding on suet feeder, then began hunting insects around ground next to sunny side of house and on roof near sunny wall. Bird was briefly seen with group of Black-capped Chickadees but then went on its own to feed on the ground, and remained by itself for the bulk of our observation. It appeared unconcerned with the observers presence at roughly 20 feet away.

    Description of Vocalizations

    Chip notes were heard several times. They sounded essentially like "chip" and were more full and with more musical tone than the chickadees' calls. The bird's voice distinguished quite nicely from other birds in the neighborhood.

    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    We first saw the bird on a suet feeder, the bird then came into trees above our heads, returned to the feeder, back to the trees, and then proceeded to forage near the house foundation, where we were able to enjoy seeing it for 10-15 minutes with an unobstructed view and at fairly close range (see photos). The bird was overall striking - generally gray above and white below with a bright yellow throat, a distinct black and white face pattern and two white wing bars (see photos some more).

    Relative Size & Shape

    Small, roughly the size of a Black-capped Chickadee but more slender and warbler-shaped.


    Gray nape and crown fading to black on the forehead; dark eyes, bright yellow throat; distinct black and white face pattern with black strip from bill to nape, black on front half of face under eye, white crescent under eye, white behind ear, white supercilium with pale yellow toward front - somewhat more apparent on left side of bird.

    Feet & Bill

    Feet golden with darker tops, bill dark and probably above average heft for warbler.

    Upper Back


    Lower Back & Rump



    Gray with two white wing bars; not seen extended.

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    Upper breast bright yellow adjacent to bright yellow throat, lower breast and belly white, flanks white with dark gray streaks, under tail coverts white.


    Gray on top, white underneath, details not noted.

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    Distinguished from Grace's Warbler by white supercilium with yellow limited to in front of eye, extent of black on face, and gray, unstreaked back.

    Other Notes & Comments

    Clean white flanks distinguish as adult male.

    This bird was first reported at this location by Ron Payne on 12/18/18.

    (Report written from memory and photos.)

    This report was written from notes taken:Written from Memory