Return to Main Page   Dakota Birder Blog    

Golden-winged Warbler

Vermivora chrysoptera

Length: 4.75 inches Wingspan: 8 inches Seasonality: Migrant
ID Keys: Yellow cap and wing patch, black throat and facial mask

Golden-winged Warbler - Drawing by Terry SohlGolden-winged Warblers are undergoing a serious decline as their close relative, the Blue-winged Warbler, expands its range northward.  Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers sometimes interbreed, creating a wide variety of intermediate offspring.  Golden-winged warblers have a quite narrow breeding range which includes the Great Lakes region and much of the Appalachians.

Habitat: Generally deciduous forest during migration through the state.  Breeds in shrubby areas with scattered trees.

Diet: Primarily insects.

Behavior: Moves through foliage and gleans insects from leaves and twigs.  Primarily forages high in the treetops during the summer months, but can be found lower in the canopy during migration and in winter.

Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota

Song: Golden-winged Warbler Song

Migration: Summers in a relatively narrow area around the Great Lakes and through the Appalachians.  Winters in Central and South America.

Interactive eBird map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Golden-winged Warbler sightings

Similar Species: Quite distinctive, although hybrid Golden-winged/Blue-winged Warblers can be very confusing.

Conservation Status: In serious declines throughout much of it's range.  Golden-winged Warblers are losing ground to competition with Blue-winged Warblers, cowbird parasitism, and habitat loss.

Further Information: 1) Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Golden-winged Warbler

2) WhatBird - Golden-winged Warbler

3) Audubon Guide - Golden-winged Warbler

Image Information: Colored pencil drawing by Terry Sohl - 2013


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Golden-winged Warbler - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Rare migrant, especially in the extreme eastern part of the state.

Additional Golden-winged Warbler Images
 Click for a higher-resolution version of these images
Golden-winged Warbler - Drawing by Terry SohlGolden-winged Warbler - Vermivora chrysopteraGolden-winged Warbler - Vermivora chrysopteraGolden-winged Warbler - Vermivora chrysoptera