|Male and Female birds|
|Range of V. chrysoptera Breeding range Wintering range|
The Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is a New World warbler. It breeds in southeastern and south-central Canada and in the Appalachian Mountains in northeastern to north-central United States. The majority (~70%) of the global population breeds in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Manitoba. Golden-winged warbler populations are slowly expanding northwards, but are generally declining across its range, most likely as a result of habitat loss and competition/interbreeding with the very closely related Blue-winged warbler, Vermivora cyanoptera.
This is a small warbler, measuring 11.6 cm (4.6 in) long and weighing 8–10 g (0.28–0.35 oz). The male has black throat, black ear patch bordered in white, and a yellow crown and wing patch. Females appear similar to males, with a light gray throat and light gray ear patches. In both sexes, extensive white on the tail is conspicuous from below. Underparts are grayish white and the bill is long and slender. Unlike most warblers, juveniles can be reliably sexed (using throat patch color) approximately 15 days after fledging.
Golden-winged warblers are migratory, breeding in eastern North America and wintering in southern Central America and the neighboring regions in Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. They are very rare vagrants elsewhere.
Golden-winged warblers breed in open scrubby areas, wetlands, and mature forest adjacent to those habitats. They lay 3–6 eggs (often 5) in a concealed cup nest on the ground or low in a bush.
Their song is variable, but is most often perceived as a trilled bzzzzzzz buzz buzz buzz. The call is a buzzy chip or zip.
Five geotracked Golden-winged warblers in Tennessee were observed migrating hundreds of miles south, presumably avoiding tornadic storms, in April 2014. Individuals left prior to the arrival of the storm, perhaps after detecting it due to infrasound.
This species forms two distinctive hybrids with Blue-winged warblers where their ranges overlap in the Great Lakes and New England area. The more common, genetically dominant Brewster's warbler is gray above and whitish (male) or yellow (female) below. It has a black eyestripe and two white wingbars.
The rarer recessive Lawrence's warbler has a male plumage with green and yellow above and yellow below, with white wing bars and the same face pattern as male Golden-winged. The female is gray above and whitish below with two yellow wing bars and the same face pattern as female Golden-winged. Another rare recessive hybrid species is the Burket's warbler, which has been noted in the same geographic area as Brewster's and Lawrence's. Burket's warbler was first documented by researchers at Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology. Brewster's, Lawrence's, and Burket's warblers can vary considerably in their physical features and sing songs of either Blue-winged or Golden-winged warblers.
Genetic introgression occurs across their range, producing cryptic hybrids (morphologically pure individuals with small amounts of blue-winged warbler DNA). These hybrids may be present in low numbers even on the edges of Golden-winged warbler range, far from any populations of Blue-winged warblers.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Vermivora chrysoptera". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. pp. 105, 400. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
- Henry M. Streby et al. (2015) "Tornadic Storm Avoidance Behavior in Breeding Songbirds"Current Biology, 25(1), pp. 98 – 102.
- Toews, David P. L.; Streby, Henry M.; Burket, Lowell; Taylor, Scott A. (2018-11-01). "A wood-warbler produced through both interspecific and intergeneric hybridization". Biology Letters. 14 (11): 20180557. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2018.0557. ISSN 1744-9561. PMC 6283930. PMID 30404868.
- "'Newbie' bird watcher discovers extremely rare 3-species hybrid warbler | CBC Radio". CBC. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Golden-winged warbler.|
|Wikispecies has information related to Vermivora chrysoptera|
- Golden-winged warbler - Vermivora chrysoptera - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter
- Golden-winged warbler species account - Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- "Golden-winged warbler media". Internet Bird Collection.
- Golden-winged warbler photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)