Warblers, with their brilliantly colored feathers, are the tiny jewels of Ohio's bird families. They are very active -- constantly flittering around. Most are yellow with black and white markings. Their plumage varies considerably from spring to fall, juvenile to adult, and male to female. The tail is square, often with white markings. Warblers feed almost entirely on insects gleaned from leaves and twigs with their slender bills. Members of this family abound in any Ohio woodland or brushy area during the spring and fall migration seasons. In spring their buzzlike songs (not warbling) fill the air with a delightful chorus.
Yellow warblers are mostly yellow with some olive-green on the back. The male has red streaks on the breast and flanks.
Habitat and Habits
This warbler prefers willow-dominated thickets, but it can be found in all manner of scrubby habitat. It is a common breeder throughout Ohio. The song could best be described as cheery; a loud, fast sweet-sweet-I'm-so-sweet! Although the song can be quite variable, the distinctive tone remains the same, and it can usually be recognized. Beware of chestnut-sided warblers, though, which can sometimes sound extremely similar. Yellow warblers are one of our first neotropical species to depart in fall; most are gone by mid-August.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Nests made of bark and other plant fibers are often placed in a forked branch of a small sapling. Both parents participate in feeding the young.