A bit on the large side for a warbler, this species has a breeding plumage of snappy black , gray, and white complemented with bright yellow patches on the sides, on the top of the head, and (of course) on the rump. Nonbreeding individuals are considerably drabber but still with the yellow patches on sides and rump. The species has two distinct subspecies; in our region, the “Myrtle” warbler has a white throat while its western “Audubon” counterpart has a yellow throat.
The yellow-rump is an active foliage gleaner, employing several strategies for catching insects. During breeding season it is territorial, but joins mixed-species flocks in winter. It usually nests in conifers. Its diet is more varied than most, because it has a special adaptation enabling it to digest waxy fruits such as bayberry and wax myrtle. It winters in southern North America, including the southern US and the Caribbean. Once in awhile it will winter farther north.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food and cover during migration; the nesting range is a bit north of our area.
When can I see it?
In Centre County it is generally seen during spring and fall migration.