Thursday, September 21, 2017

Yellow Breasted Chat

Continuing to share my warbler photos along with information about each species, from my latest book: "Warblers of Arizona, A Guide to Finding and Photographing Warblers in Southern Arizona." 

If you are interested in purchasing it, please email me at or

Yellow Breasted Chat

Common Name: Yellow Breasted Chat
Scientific Name: Icteria virens
Conservation Status: Least Concern, though 37% decline over the past 50 years, population estimate at 13 million, is listed as “threatened” in Western Canadian Provinces
Size: 7.5 inches

Description: largest of all the warblers; olive green head and back; gray face with white eyering and lores; white mustache; heavy black bill; bright yellow chin, throat, and breast; whitish belly with grayish flanks; long gray tail with white undertail coverts
Male/Female: identical
Range: from the extreme southern areas of Western Canada throughout the United States to Panama
Migration: summers in the United States, winters in Central America
Season for Arizona: April through September
Habitat: lives and breeds in areas of dense shrubbery near water
Community Behavior: solitary; during breeding season will fight to preserve their nesting boundaries
Feeding Behavior: skulk in low, thick brush gleaning insects among foliage
Diet: insects and spiders, fruits and berries
Nesting Behavior: female builds nest of grasses, leaves, bark, and weeds; nest is 5-6 inches across and 2.5 inches deep; nest is 1-8 feet above ground in dense vegetation including raspberry, blackberry, dogwood, hawthorn, cedar, honeysuckle, and sumac. 3-6 white eggs with red or brown spots; incubation period is 10-12 days; nestling period is 7-10 days
Where to Find in Southern Arizona: San Pedro River; Santa Cruz River, Empire Gulch, Patagonia Creek, Sabino Creek
Comments: very secretive; seldom seen or heard other than Springtime; even during Spring more often heard than seen; males will occasionally sing from tree tops early in the morning (as in the lower left photo on the opposite page which took place around 6:00 am)

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