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golden-winged warbler

golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) [female]
Photo ©

golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) [male]
Photo © Rob Curtis/The Early Birder

Features and Behaviors

The golden-winged warbler is about four and three-fourths inches long (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). Like all warblers, it has a thin bill. Both the male and female have gold wing bars, gray back feathers and white belly feathers. The male has black facial and throat feathers while the female has gray feathers in the same locations.

This species is a common migrant through the state and a rare summer resident in northern Illinois. It is possible that a few of these birds nest in the state, but most golden-winged warblers travel farther north to do so. Spring migrants begin arriving in April, while fall migrants reach Illinois starting in August. The golden-winged warbler winters from Mexico south to northern South America. This species eats insects and fruits.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Parulidae

Illinois Status: common, native