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Birds of Yosemite National Park (1954, 1963) by Cyril A. Stebbins and Robert C. Stebbins

WOOD WARBLERS: Family Parulidae

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Vermivora celata): 4 1/4-5 in. Top of head with orange, usually obscure; indistinct yellowish line over eye to bill; upper parts olive-green, brightest on rump; wings darker, without bars; under parts dull yellow to whitish.

Frequents underbrush in areas of mixed woodland; in summer chiefly in the Upper Sonoran to the Canadian life zone. More widely distributed during migration. In the Yosemite region S. V. on both slopes of the Sierra. Not common in Yosemite Valley. Upmountain movements may occur after breeding. Individuals have been seen at 10,500 feet on Mount Clark.

NASHVILLE WARBLER (Vermivora ruficapilla): 4-4 3/4 in. Top and sides of head ash-gray with indistinct chestnut patch on crown; back olive-green; white eye-ring; below yellow; lower belly whitish. Female: All plumage reduced in color.

Frequents open forests with an understory of bushes. Forages well up in trees but nests on or near the ground. S. V. chiefly in the Transition and lower Canadian life zones along the west slope of the Sierra. Widespread M. In the Yosemite region, as at Yosemite Valley, to be found among the black oaks and maples.

YELLOW WARBLER (Dendroica petechia): 4-5 in. Body brilliant yellow below, with scattered rufous streaks on chest and belly, faint or absent in female; above greenish-yellow; wings and tail dusky; yellow spots in tail. A descending, high-pitched, twittering song.

Frequents canyons and streambanks especially where grown to broadleaf trees such as willows, cottonwoods, aspens, alders, etc. S. V. in the Lower Sonoran to the Transition life zone on both slopes of the Sierra. Common in Yosemite Valley.

BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Dendroica nigrescens): 4 1/2-5 in. Head largely black; two white bands on side of head, one below, other above eye, joining to encircle black cheek-patch; yellow spot in front of eye; back bluish-gray, marked with black spots; white under parts; sides with black lines; white wing-bars; white outer tail feathers. Female: Gray streaks on head; black collar bordering white throat.

In many areas attracted to oaks, especially canyon live oaks, but also frequents conifers and chaparral. S. V. to the lower western slopes of the Sierra, in the Upper Sonoran and Transition life zones. To be found among the canyon live oaks of the talus slopes along the base of the north and south walls of Yosemite Valley.

HERMIT WARBLER (Dendroica occidentalis): 4 1/2-5 in. Head brilliant yellow; throat black; back gray with black streaks; few or no streaks on white under parts; white wing-bars; white outer tail feathers. Female: Head dull yellow, mottled on top with blackish; throat with dusky spots on white. Commonly forages and nests 20 feet or more above the ground.

Frequents conifers. S. V. in the Sierra, chiefly in the Transition and Canadian life zones. Widespread M. Seen in the Mariposa Grove, along the Pohono Trail, and commonly in Yosemite Valley.

TOWNSEND’S WARBLER (Dendroica townsendi): 4 1/2-5 in. Above olive-green marked with black; white wing-bars; top of head and throat black with ring of yellow around black cheek-patch; breast and sides yellow; belly white; sides streaked with black; white in tail. Female: Throat largely yellow.

Frequents upper foliage of live oaks, laurels, and conifers. M. along the west slope and eastern base of the Sierra. C. V. to the Yosemite region. Has been seen frequently in Yosemite Valley.

AUDUBON’S WARBLER (Dendroica auduboni): 4 3/4-5 1/4 in. Upper parts bluish-gray; streaked with black; wings with broad white patch; white marks on tail feathers; patch on crown; each side near wing-bend, throat, and rump yellow; breast blackish; black of breast obscure and yellow markings paler in female; immature birds, as a rule, slow conspicuously only yellow rump-patch and white in tail. Forages well up in the trees.

In summer frequents chiefly conifers in the Transition to the Hudsonian life zone but habitat more varied in winter. Widespread in summer in the Yosemite region in the zones mentioned. In winter common visitant to the Upper Sonoran zone. Often to be seen throughout the year in Yosemite Valley.

MacGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER (Oporornis tolmiei): 4 3/4-5 1/2 in. Head, neck, and upper breast slaty, deepening on breast and in front of eye; under parts yellow; upper parts olive-green; eyelids white. Often jerks tail nervously. Female: Top of head brownish; throat and breast pale gray. Nest of grasses constructed near ground.

Frequents thickets, “soft” chaparral, and heavy understory usually near streams or damp places chiefly in the Transition and lower Canadian life zones. S. V. in the Yosemite region in the zones mentioned and as M. along both the east and west sides of the Sierra. To be found in thickets of thimbleberry, ceanothus, and ferns on the floor of Yosemite Valley.

WILSON’S WARBLER (Wilsonia pusilla): 4 1/2-5 in. Black “cap” on head, less evident or missing on female; forehead yellow; below bright yellow; back and wings greenish-yellow; prominent black eyes; no wing-bars or belly-streaks.

Frequents low, often shaded plant growth in -moist areas. Breeds in the mountains and foothills; widespread during migration. S. V. to the Sierra from the Upper Sonoran through the Canadian life zone, chiefly in Transition and Canadian. In Yosemite region frequents boggy meadows bordered by willow and dogwood. Also found in spring along the eastern base of the Sierra and as a M. in the western foothills.

YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas): 4 1/2-5 in. Black mask bordered with ashy above; back olive-green or yellowish-brown; throat and breast yellow. Female: No black mask; belly whitish. Song, whit-tsit-tsee, whit-tsit-tsee, often repeated many times in a lively, rolling phrase. Nest on or near the ground, often over water.

When breeding frequents thick tangles of plant growth such as tules, sedges, blackberry vines, and willow thickets near fresh or brackish water, chiefly of marshes and sloughs. Widespread S. V. largely in the Lower and Upper Sonoran life zones. Widespread common M. C. V. to the Yosemite region. Has been recorded in Yosemite Valley.

YELLOW BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens): 6 1/2-7 1/2 in. Upper parts olive-brown; head darker with white eye-ring and line between eye and bill; throat, breast, and upper belly yellow; tail long; lower belly white. Song highly varied, suggestive of a mockingbird or thrasher rather than a warbler.

Frequents willow clumps and other dense growth chiefly in the Lower Sonoran to the lower Transition life zone. S. V. in the lowlands to the west of the Yosemite region. C. V. to the Yosemite region.

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