Skip to main content

yellow-rumped warbler

yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata) [female]
Photo © Rob Curtis/The Early Birder

yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata) [male]
Photo provided by SteveByland/

Features and Behaviors

The yellow-rumped warbler averages five to six inches in length. In spring, the male has yellow feather patches at the base of the tail, on the top of the head and in front of each wing. He has blue-gray feathers on the upper parts, a dark patch through the eye and a dark patch on the breast. The female in spring has brown feathers where the male is blue-gray and black, but otherwise the arrangement of colors is much like that of the male. In winter, both sexes have brown feathers on the upper parts, white feathers with streaks below and a yellow-feathered patch in front of each wing and at the rump.

The yellow-rumped warbler is an abundant migrant statewide and an uncommon winter resident in all but the northwestern one-fourth of the state. It winters south to Panama. This bird migrates during the day and night, arriving in Illinois in spring in mid-March. It does not nest in Illinois. Fall migrants begin arriving in Illinois in August. The yellow-rumped warbler lives in coniferous and deciduous forests. When migrating, it may be seen in woods, thickets and brush. It makes a “check” call, and the song is a trill. This bird eats poison ivy berries, cedar berries and insects.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native