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New World Warblers: Parulidae

Yellow-breasted Chat (icteria Virens): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The largest of the New World warblers, both male and female yellow-breasted chats have an olive-colored back, yellow throat and breast, and white belly. Eyes are ringed in white, and the blackish face has white stripes. The beak is larger and appears heavier than most other warblers. The bird reaches about 7.5 inches (19 centimeters) long.

Geographic range: Its breeding grounds are in southern Canada, the United States, and northern and eastern Mexico, and its wintering grounds in Central America.

The yellow-breasted chat is usually found near water, where it typically remains hidden from sight in thick brush. (Barth Schorre/Bruce Coleman Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: Usually found near water, where it typically remains hidden from sight in thick brush.

Diet: It mostly eats insects, but also snacks on berries on occasion.

Behavior and reproduction: This bird can often be heard flying and otherwise pushing its way through brambles and thickets. In addition to its typical daytime activities, this warbler also sometimes sings at night. The song is a mixture of caws, gobbles, and a few singsong phrases. Unlike other nesting pairs of warblers that are quite territorial, several chat pairs will sometimes share a single nesting site. Their cup-shaped nests are tucked in thick brush. Eggs, which typically number up to six, are speckled with brown and purple.

Yellow-breasted chats and people: Seldom seen, but often heard, chats add to nature's outdoor symphony.

Conservation status: This species is not threatened. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsNew World Warblers: Parulidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Yellow-breasted Chat (icteria Virens): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, NEW WORLD WARBLERS AND PEOPLE