Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler, California

Yellow-rumped Warbler (auduboni), California

U.S. warblers in general are more prevalent on the east coast than the west, but here’s one warbler the west coast sees abundantly, even in the winter.


The yellow-rumped warbler can be found in great numbers all over North America.  They can winter farther north than most warblers because they have the ability to digest the wax in berry coatings.  More info here.


I love to watch warblers — so colorful and perky.  They never perch for more than a second–busy hawking insects or foraging.   And maybe because we do not have many regular warblers in California, I have a real affection for this one.  Whether I am in town or in the country, I get excited when I hear their “check” chipping sound.  The bright yellow rump patch is easy to spot.


My favorite warbler entertainment:  they gracefully swoop out of a tree, snag an insect that is invisible to me, and then flutter back to the same perch.  Diving and flipping through the air, their colors swirl.


Because of their namesake yellow rump, birders affectionately call them “butter butt.”  It’s not the most elegant nickname, but I share the affection.


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander


37 thoughts on “Yellow-rumped Warbler

    • That’s a fact you won’t find in Wikipedia…lol. It is a funny name — thanks so much, Indah, I’m happy you enjoyed the post, and I’m smiling from your happy comment. 😀 😀

    • It is very possible you have seen this bird, Amy. If there is a next time, try to get a look at the rear, there are few birds with this distinctive yellow rump. They live in TX. Many thanks dear Amy! 🙂

  1. Lovely photo and words :-). I see the Myrtle subspecies here. I do love the way they flip and swoop out of tree tops to catch insects near the river. The immature and female Myrtles can be a little nondescript from the front, especially in low light. I always laugh when they turn around and their little butter butt gives them away!

  2. An absolutely beautiful bird and a great wiggler according to your account,dear Jet!Its bright yellow rump makes it very distinctive and it’s perfectly shown in Athena’s photo.Astounding how their digestive system works with the wax-berries and how this function allows them to winter farther north than others.You have very special feathered friends dear Jet and I’m fortunate to get to know them through your posts 🙂 xxx

    • I am very happy you enjoyed the warbler post, dear Doda. We see them so much here in winter, they are such a spark of joy. I didn’t know about the reason for their north wintering digestive abilities until I did the research for this blog — a nice benefit. I appreciate your visit and astute comment, dear Doda. I hope you are having a beautiful week. 😀 😀

  3. Love “butter butt” — affectionate name for a bird; not so much for a human. Always enjoy these sweet glimpses into your life.

  4. Great shot of this fast-moving little guy! I love the Yellow-rumped warbler too—they are plentiful up here as well. As you said, they are so perky and so busy they never perch for more than second, it seems—so I’ve yet to get a decent photograph of one. A great tribute to this sweet warbler. Have a great week ahead, Jet! :))

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