Golden-winged Warbler

Golden-winged Warbler
Credit: Dennis Cooke

Golden-winged Warblers are small, striking, and attractive birds. Males have a yellow crown, black bill and throat, a black mask that extends from the bill to behind the eyes, and a white head. Their bodies are whitish-gray overall, with no patterns. They have yellow wing patches.

Female Gold-winged-warblers are similarly patterned, except that they have a duller coloring. Instead of white heads, like the males, theirs are grayish. Even their eye masks are gray instead of black. Although juvenile males have white heads like adult males, they share a dull color with females. 

  • Vermivora chrysoptera
  • Length: 4.75 – 5 inches (12 – 13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3 oz (9 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.75 – 8.25 inches (20 – 21 cm)


Golden-winged Warblers breed in the Midwest and east to the Atlantic Coast. They can be seen migrating across eastern US states to Mexico, Central, and South America.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Golden-winged Warblers in “early successional habitats”, like abandoned fields and pastures. Scrubby, shrubby areas of evergreen forests are also breeding grounds for them. 

Golden-winged Warblers tend to forage in hanging dead leaves that are common in regenerating forest communities. They feed on insects, spiders, and caterpillars they find under dead leaves and may sometimes hang upside down from branches to feast on larvae or pupae.

Golden-winged Warblers’ Song:


Nests of Gold-winged Warblers are often concealed low in a bush or in a concealed cup nest on the ground. Sometimes, they may also be hidden near the base of a tree.

Females make the nests using bark and grass and then line them with animal fur. Females lay four to seven eggs, and they incubate them for about ten days. 

Fun Fact:

Golden-winged Warbler parents use decoy feeding grounds to protect their young by confusing humans.