Avian And Attributes – Myrtle

Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata) by Anthony747

Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata) by Anthony747

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (Isaiah 55:11-13 KJV)

Avian and Attributes – Myrtle

MYR’TLE, n. [L. myrtus.] A plant of the genus Myrtus, of several species. The common myrtle rises with a shrubby upright stem, eight or ten feet high. Its branches form a close full head, closely garnished with oval lanceolate leaves. It has numerous small, pale flowers from the axillas, singly on each footstalk.

Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warbler (Setophaga coronata) breeding ©WikiC

Myrtle warbler (Setophaga coronata) is a small New World warbler.

This passerine bird was long known to be closely related to its western counterpart, Audubon’s warbler, and at various times the two forms have been classed as separate species or grouped as yellow-rumped warblers, Setophaga coronata. The two forms most likely diverged when the eastern and western populations were separated in the last ice age. In North America, the two forms are now again officially recognized as conspecific.

The myrtle warbler has a northerly and easterly distribution, with Audubon’s further west. It breeds in much of Canada and the northeastern USA. It is migratory, wintering in the southeastern United States, eastern Central America, and the Caribbean. It is a rare vagrant to western Europe, and has wintered in Great Britain. Its breeding habitat is a variety of coniferous and mixed woodland. Myrtle warblers nest in a tree, laying 4–5 eggs in a cup nest.

The summer male myrtle warbler has a slate blue back, and yellow crown, rump and flank patch. It has white tail patches, and the breast is streaked black. The female has a similar pattern, but the back is brown as are the breast streaks.

The myrtle can be distinguished from Audubon’s warbler by its whitish eyestripe, white (not yellow) throat, and contrasting cheek patch. Their trill-like songs, nearly indistinguishable, consist of a 3–4 syllable “tyew-tyew-tyew-tyew”, sometimes followed by 3 more “tew”‘s. The call is a hard check.

More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first or last name starts with “M”

Wordless Toucan

[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]

Yellow-rumped Warbler Split

Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata)

Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata)

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

When I wrote the article about our trip to S. Lake Howard Nature Park this week, I was not exactly sure which of the Old Yellow-rumped Warblers I had seen. Since the 2.4 Version of the I.O.C. (International Ornithologist Congress) list, they split the “Butterbutt” into four species. Hadn’t looked into it too much, but now is the time to try to figure out which one is which.

The four birds are the:
Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata) – Eastern U.S. Mostly
Audubon’s Warbler (Dendroica auduboni) – Western U.S. Mostly
Black-fronted Warbler (Dendroica nigrifrons)
Goldman’s Warbler (Dendroica goldmani)

After doing quite a bit of research, I was wrong about the Audubon Warbler. Not only do I not live in the west, but after studying lots of photos, it is the Myrtle Warbler not the Audubon’s Warbler, as I first thought, that we saw.

Here are some of the traits of the Myrtle Warbler (from USGS about the Myrtle and Audubon’s Warblers):

Bright yellow rump (nicknamed “butterbutts”)

Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata) Bright yellow rump

Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata) Bright yellow rump

White spots in tail

Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata) White spots in tail

Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata) White spots in tail

White supercilium and broken eye ring

Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata) White supercilium and broken eye

Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata) White supercilium and broken eye

Here are some links to read to help with the split:
Myrtle Warbler by Wikipedia
Audubon’s Warbler by Wikipedia
Welcome back Myrtle Warbler? from the Drinking Bird
Goodbye Yellow-rumped Warbler, welcome back Myrtle Warbler and Audubon’s Warbler . . . by flickr discussion

At any rate, while I was sitting there, the little warbler preened and did not spook as I kept taking its photo.

These warblers belong to the Parulidae Family of the Passeriformes Order.

This is not an extensive listing of the birds, as the above articles covered much of it. These photos were taken by me (Lee).

The Slide show is of the Myrtle Warbler in the time sequence they were taken.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.