The keys to identification for this small bird are three: it is bright yellow under its tail, it pumps its tail constantly, and it generally feeds on the ground. Nonbreeding individuals have muted yellow breasts with streaking, a small pointed beak, and a yellowish eye stripe. Many warblers have these last characteristics, and that is why behaviors come into play to tell it from others.
The tail pumping is a signature behavior. On migration it frequents brushy habitats, fence rows, and woodland edges looking mainly for insects with a supplement of seeds.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food and cover during migration. The insects that are attracted to the SBG habitat probably in turn attract the Palm Warbler.
When can I see it?
Spring and fall. The Palm Warbler winters in Florida or the Caribbean and summers in the boreal forests of the far north.