Yellow-throated Warbler

Setophaga dominica

Infrequently Seen

Spring: Yellow-throated Warblers are lovely birds who are rarely seen at Monticello Park. They nest in the Washington metro area, and good places to see them are at Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge, Virginia, and at various places along the C&O Canal Towpath from miles 3 through 24.

Fall: A Yellow-throated Warbler has never been recorded at Monticello during the fall.

Where to See Them in the Park

Yellow-throated Warblers sing from mid-story to the canopy. They prefer habitat with deciduous trees near water. There is no best place to see them at Monticello.

Physical Description

Male Yellow-throated Warbler
Male - Photo by William Higgins

Male Yellow-throated Warbler
Male - Photo by William Higgins

Yellow-throated Warblers have a bright yellow throat and breast which can look electric when seen in bright sunlight. They have a long white eyebrow with a small yellow spot near the bill, like a White-throated Sparrow. The belly is white, and the sides are streaked. The back is mostly gray, and between the two white wingbars is a black bar. The males have a black forehead.

Female Yellow-throated Warbler
Female - Photo by William Higgins

Females resemble males, but they are slightly paler and have less black on the forehead. The differences are difficult to see in the field. Fall birds look like spring birds, and first-year birds look like adults.


The song of the Yellow-throated Warbler is a loud Look-Look-Look-Come-Look at ME.

Hear the vocalizations of the Yellow-Throated Warbler.


Yellow-throated Warbler <i>dominica</i> subspecies
Dominica Subspecies - Photo by William Higgins
Yellow-throated Warbler <i>albilora</i> subspecies
Albilora Subspecies - Photo by William Higgins

The Yellow-throated Warbler has a number of subspecies. The most common one in the Washington area is the dominica subspecies. It has yellow lores (the feathers between the eyes and the bill), and the bill is long and thin. The less common albilora subspecies (albilora means white lores) has white lores and a shorter, stubbier bill.

Origin of Names

Common Name: Yellow-throated from the plumage. The New World Warblers were named for their similar appearance to European warblers, to whom they are not related. Most of the New World warblers do not warble (sing continuously with notes that change frequently).
Genus Name: Setophaga means moth eating.
Species Name: Dominica means Santo Domingo, because the first specimen was found on Hispaniola, an island that includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Yellow-throated Warbler video footage

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