Common Yellowthroat

photo by Phil Swanson

Geothlypis trichas
L 5″ (13 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Song is loud rolling “wichity wichity wichity,” sometimes with an extra “wich.”

Description: Male is dark olive above; broad black eye mask bordered above by white; eye mask bordered below by bright yellow throat and breast; yellow underparts. Female duller overall and lacks black eye mask; has whitish eye ring. Immature similar to female, but browner overall.

Behavior: To keep predators from spotting the nest, parents secretly approach the nest in thick grass and depart by another route.

common yellowthroat
Habitat: Found near moist or aquatic sites, especially tall grasses, emergent vegetation, and shrubs or trees along shorelines. Sometimes occurs in upland shrub thickets, retired croplands, and weedy residential areas.

Where in Nebraska: Common to abundant spring and fall migrant and summer resident across the state.

Fun Facts: The male Common Yellowthroat performs a special flight song, given as he rises high into the air on fluttering wings. When choosing a mate, females appear to prefer males with larger masks.

Common Yellowthroat female - photo by Phil Swanson Common Yellowthroat female - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)