Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Warbler Identification: Identifying Hooded, Wilson's, and Yellow Warbler

The group of plain "yellow" warblers consists of the Yellow, Wilson's, and Hooded Warblers.  The adult males of each of these species are easy to identify but when the fall rolls around, the females can be quite a challenge.  Overall, each species is bright yellow on the front and olive through the back and tail.  The identification between these species comes down to the face pattern and overall structure.

Yellow Warbler

First-Fall Female

  • plain, yellow face pattern
  • large, dark bill
  • weak, yellow eye-ring
  • strong yellow linings on the coverts, primaries, and secondaries
Yellow Warbler
Notice the plain face, large bill, and overall structure.
To see the photographer's photostream go to:  
Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)
There is much variability of first fall females.  On this individual  notice the whitish
eye-ring, yellow wing linings, and plain face pattern
To see the photographer's photostream go to:

Wilson's Warbler

First-Fall Female

  • bright, yellow eye-ring
  • yellow supercillium
  • dark, olive auriculars (cheek patch)
  • color of lores matches color of auriculars
  • small bill and head
Notice the matching dark lores and auriculars, strong yellow supercillium, and small head
and bill.
To see the photographer's photostream go to:

Notice the yellow eye-ring.
To see the photographer's photostream go to:

Hooded Warbler

First-Fall Female

  • dark lores creates a dark eye-line
  • yellow supercillium
  • yellow auriculars (cheek patch)
  • white tail patches
  • large head and bill

Hooded Warbler female in wood pile
Notice the large bill, yellow auriculars, and dark lores.
To see the photographer's photostream go to:


1 comment:

Dan Huber said...

great post. Always good to have good help with similar warblers.