Backlands Spring Migration Bird Inventory – Common Yellowthroat
In our continuing series featuring birds sighted in the Backlands, we focus today on a member of the warbler family.
Yellowthroat – July 2020
This cheery little fellow is a Common Yellowthroat. Males sport a black mask topped by a white stripe, and a bright yellow breast, while females are brown with a touch of yellow. In a twist of Nature, male yellowthroats normally have one mate, but females will call to attract other males, and mate with them behind her mate’s back. Yellowthroats love open habitats like wetlands, marshes and brushy fields that are ideal for hiding nests, which they build close to the ground. Yellowthroats have to be alert for other birds laying eggs in their nests, a practice called “brood parasitism”, so nests sometimes have a roof. Nest predators also include snakes, raccoons, skunks and mice. Yellowthroats forage on or near the ground, for insects like spiders, flies, beetles, bees, wasps, grasshoppers, dragonflies and caterpillars.
Threats and Conservation status: yellowthroat numbers are down by 38% since 1966, mostly due to wetland degradation and loss, as land is converted to farms or housing. They are also susceptible to pesticides and pollutants in water.
Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) – Sighting Field Notes
Yellowthroat birds sighted in July 2020, in forest in the Church of Christ lands on Williams Lake, considered the ‘Gateway” to the Purcell’s Cove Backlands. The Yellowthroats are foraging for insects in shrubby, wet areas, forest edges and marshes. The forest provides protected nesting sites of mixed Jack Pines, Broom Crowberry, Black Spruce, Tamarack, Grey Birch.
Backlands Coalition – Birds and Trees Inventory, 2020
Fulton Lavender, bird expert, consultant
Martha R. Leary, inventory recorder, bird enthusiast
Information from the All About Birds website, www.allaboutbirds.org, © Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Pixabay Royalty Free stock photo