Feb 20, 2019 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, February 2019

Watch for the Winter Warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler in winter plumage. Photo by W.H. Majoros / Wikimedia.
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Many bird watchers think of warblers as beautiful but elusive little birds, easiest to spot in the spring as they announce their return with song. But there's one species of warbler that remains across most of North America even when temperatures plummet and snow flies. The yellow-rumped warbler, colloquially dubbed "butter butt," frequents open, brushy areas such as field edges, thickets, and especially among bayberry and juniper. They especially love poison ivy and myrtle fruits, and were once called "myrtle warblers." Watch for them as they dine on berry bushes, and even at your suet or sunflower feeder. They also enjoy raisins and peanut butter. In addition to the bird's yellow rump, look for yellow patches on the flanks just below the wings, and a broken, white eye ring.



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