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Golden-winged Warbler

Named after their golden yellow wings, these small warblers are considered to be in a near-threatened state.

A declining warbler of early successional fields, the Golden-winged Warbler faces habitat shortages due to reforestation, as well as competition from the Blue-winged Warbler with which it hybridizes. Golden-winged Warblers are also affected by nest parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds.

Hybrids between Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers are called either Brewster’s or Lawrence’s warblers, depending on their appearance. Blue-winged Warblers are dominant over Golden-winged Warblers, and can drive them out of the best habitat.


Description of the Golden-winged Warbler


The Golden-winged Warbler is gray above, pale gray below, with white undertail coverts, a yellow forehead and forecrown, two white stripes on the side of the head, and a large yellow patch on the wing.

Males have a black throat, and a black patch between the two white stripes on the side of the head.  Length: 5 in.  Wingspan: 7 in.

Golden-winged Warbler

Photograph © Glenn Bartley.


Females have a gray throat, and a gray patch between the two white stripes on the side of the head.

Seasonal change in appearance



Immatures are similar to adults, but duller.


Golden-winged Warblers inhabit brushy areas and undergrowth.


Golden-winged Warblers eat insects and spiders.


Golden-winged Warblers forage by gleaning from curled leaves, often well up in trees or shrubs.


Golden-winged Warblers breed in the Appalachians, northeastern U.S., and Great Lakes region. They winter in Mexico and Central America, and occur across much of the eastern U.S. during migration. The population is declining, in part due to expansion of Blue-winged Warblers, as well as cowbird parasitism.

Fun Facts

Golden-winged Warblers occasionally hybridize with Blue-winged Warblers, producing what are called Brewtser’s Warblers.  Subsequent backcrosses can produce the rare Lawrence’s Warbler.

Hybrid young typically have the song of either one species or the other.


The primary song is a buzzy 4-note sequence. Another song is a buzzy “Beeee-buzzzz” virtually identical to that of the Blue-winged Warbler.  A short, buzzy flight call is also given.


Similar Species

  • Blue-winged Warbler
    The Blue-winged Warbler has a yellow head and throat.  The two species sometime hybridize. 


The Golden-winged Warbler’s nest is a cup of grasses, leaves, and bark strips lined with finer materials. It is placed on the ground, well concealed by grass or a shrub.

Number: Usually lay 5 eggs.
Color: Whitish with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 10-11 days and fledge at about 8-9 days, though remaining dependent on the adults for some time.


Bent Life History of the Golden-winged Warbler

Published by the Smithsonian Institution between the 1920s and the 1950s, the Bent life history series of monographs provide an often colorful description of the birds of North America. Arthur Cleveland Bent was the lead author for the series. The Bent series is a great resource and often includes quotes from early American Ornithologists, including Audubon, Townsend, Wilson, Sutton and many others.

Bent Life History for the Golden-winged Warbler – the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written.



The golden-winged warbler is one of the daintiest among this group of gay-colored little birds. Its plumage is immaculate white below and delicate pearl-gray on the upper parts, the crown and wings sparkle with golden yellow, and on the throat and cheeks is a broad splash of jet black.

It is only within comparatively recent years that we have become well acquainted with the goldenwing: the older ornithologists, Wilson, Audubon, and Nuttall, knew it only as a rather uncommon migrant, drifting through from the south, and they had no idea where it bred. At a much later date J. A. Allen (1870) says of it: “This beautiful warbler has been taken, so far as I can learn, but few times in the western part of the State; it seems to be more common in the eastern, where it breeds.” He cites the first record of the finding of a nest in the State in 1869. There is, however, an earlier record of its nesting. Dr. Brewer (1874) states: “Dr. Samuel Cabot was the first naturalist to meet with the nest and eggs of this bird. This was in May, 1837, in Greenbrier County, ~ William Brewster (1906), speaking of the bird in 1874, when he first found it in eastern Massachusetts, says: “If the species inhabited any part of the Cambridge Region before the year just mentioned, it was overlooked by several keen and diligent collectors, among whom may be mentioned Mr. H. W. Henshaw and Mr. Ruthven Deane.” Since that time the bird has increased in numbers here until at present it is common in suitable localities.

Spring: The goldenwing appears in eastern Massachusetts about the middle of May, or sometimes a little earlier, at the time when many of the resident warblers are arriving on their breeding-grounds. At this season the bright green leaves are beginning to open in the thickets and trees on the borders of woodlands where the goldenwing finds its food; and under the trees in the wooded swamps where the bird will build its nest, fresh new growth: skunkcabbage, ferns, and a host of spring plants: is pushing through the dead leaves, spreading a green carpet on the forest floor. But even thus early in the year, when the trees are nearly bare, it is not easy to see as it feeds high up in the trees, far out near the tips of the branches. Indeed, but for its queer little song, we should rarely suspect that it had come back to its summer home.

Nesting: The golden-winged warbler builds its nest on the ground, generally raised somewhat by a substratum of dead leaves. The nest is supported by stalks of herbs: often goldenrod or meadow rue: or by fern fronds, or it may be hidden deep in a clump of grass, or it may lean against the base of a small shrub or tree with grass all about it. The leaves above the nest develop as the season advances and soon completely conceal it, and the plants, by their growth, may raise the nest a little above the ground. The cup of the nest is made chiefly of long strands of dry grass and narrow strips of grapevine bark, with a few hairs in the lining. This fine, flexible material is pressed down on the inside by the weight of the incubating bird and the nestlings, becoming smooth and firm like a mat, whereas on the outside wall the long grass blades and fibrous vegetable shreds are left free and, protruding loosely in all directions for some distance from the cup, produce a disorderly, unkempt appearance, like a little loose handful of fine hay.

Edward H. Forbush (1929) quotes an account of the goldenwing by Horace 0. Green who has had an extensive experience with the species and who gives the following interesting details of the construction of the nest:

The nest of the Golden-wing usually has a bottom layer of coarse dead leaves on which is placed a ring of large dry leaves, arranged with the points of the leaves downward, so that the leaf stems stick up noticeably around the edges of the nest proper, which is built within and upon this circular mass of leaves, and is made of rather wide strips of coarse grass or rushes, and usually has considerable grape vine bark interwoven in it. The nest lining is coarse and rough, sometimes the eggs being laid on the rough grape vine bark, and In some nests other coarse fibers are used. A very characteristic feature of the nest lining Is fine shreds of light reddish-brown vegetable fiber, which at first glance might easily be mistaken for dry needles from the pitch pine: but careful examination shows It to be the inner layers of the bark from the grape vines. The nest is very bulky for the size of the bird and Is rather loosely put together by crossing the materials diagonally, so that It slightly resembles a rather coarse basket-work. I never saw a nest of this species which had a soft lining, such as many other warbiers use: the eggs are apparently always deposited on rough material.

The general color of the nest Is very dark, especially just after a rain, when the materials of which it is composed look almost black: this being one thing which helps to distinguish these nests from those of the Maryland Yellow-throat, which generally builds a much lighter colored nest, lined with fine grass, and sometimes with horse hair. Another small point of difference which Is noticeable on close examination Is that the lining In the Yellow-throat’s nest is usually of a much finer and lighter colored material, and appears to he woven in horizontally, or at least to show some traces of such a design, especially around the upper edge: while the Golden-wing closely adheres to the diagonal criss-cross pattern with the loose ends of the nesting materials sticking up at an angle above the rim of the nest cavity.

Mr. Green describes the surroundings of the nest thus:

For their summer home these birds prefer the border of deciduous woods, where tall trees give plenty of shade, to an adjacent clearing with a growth of briers, bushes and grass, and the nest Is usually placed just outside the line of the forest proper, but within the shade of the trees. A meadow wholly surrounded by woods Is frequently selected. The Ideal place to search for a nest of the species Is in one of those woodland meadows, which has a clear brook flowing through It, with briers, tussocks of grass and a fresh growth of goldenrod scattered around in profusion, with birch trees and wild grape vines growing near the edges where the meadow meets higher ground: and all this bordered by tall oak, chestnut and maple trees which furnish an abundance of shade to the vegetation of the meadow itself.

J. Warren Jacobs (1904) describes the nest much as above and adds: “The opening is not straight down, but slightly tilted, the jaggy leaf-stems and bark sometimes reaching two or three inches above the rim of the nest proper. As incubation advances, the rough rim on the lower edge of the nest becomes broken down, and by the time the young birds are ready to leave, this part of their home is worn smooth by the attendant parents.”

He gives the measurements of 17 nests as follows: “Outside 3.6 to 5.0 inches in diameter, and 3.0 to 5.0 inches in depth; and on the inside, from 1.7 to 2.5 inches in diameter by 1.3 to 2.5 inches deep.” These measurements agree very closely with the records of several other observers. Jacobs continues: “Seemingly before the birds have had time to complete their nest, the female begins the deposition of the eggs. Generally, where I had opportunity to watch the nests daily, or at intervals between the beginning and completion of the set, the eggs were laid on consecutive days, but in two or three instances it was noticed that the laying missed a day.”

Eggs: The set for the golden-winged warbler may consist of anywhere from 4 to 7 eggs; 5 is perhaps the commonest number, but 4 is a common number, and the larger numbers are increasingly rare. The eggs are ovate or short ovate, and have only a slight luster. They are white or creamy white, with a wide variety of markings in “auburn,” “argus brown,” “Mars brown,” “hazel,” “Hay’s brown,” “liver brown,” and “burnt umber,” with underlying speckles or spots of “light brownish drab” and “light vinaceous drab.” There is, also, much variation in the amount of markings, some being very sparingly speckled and others are quite heavily marked, with some of the spots assuming tke proportions of blotches. Occasionally small hairline scrawls, or scattered spots, of brown so dark as to appear almost black, are found. The markings are usually denser toward the large end. The measurements of 50 eggs average 16.7 by 13.0 millimeters; the eggs showing the four extremes measure 18.6 by 13.0, 16.8 by 13.7, 15.5 12.5, and 15.9 by 12.3 millimeters (Harris).

Young: Jacobs (1904) states that the incubation period is 10 days and that the young birds are able to leave the nest 10 days after hatching. In a nest which Maunsell S. Crosby (1912) watched closely, the eggs hatched on June 1 and the young flew on June 10.

The fledglings are delicate little birds, brownish olive on the back, washed with yellow below, and have two widely separated yellow wing bars. They have astonishingly long legs and soon become very active, fluttering about in the shrubbery and clinging to the branches. Walter Faxon (1911) in speaking of them gives this lively picture which could well be applied to them soon after leaving the nest: “In appearance and habit they were grotesque little fellows, clinging with their disproportionately long legs to the low herbage, like peeping Hylas in the springtime clinging to the grasses and weeds above the surface of the water. The little thread-like natal plumes still waving from the tips of their croxvn feathers enhanced the oddity of their appearance.~~ Mr. Faxon, to be exact, is speaking here of some young birds of mixed parentage, but his words apply equally well to the behavior and appearance of the young of clirysoptera which he and I watched year after year together. Both parents are very attentive to their young brood, bringing to them food which they find both on low plant growth and high in the overshadowing branches.

The fledglings call to their parents with a very characteristic note, a little quavering, high, fine chirp which I find written in my journal crrr and ten. It suggests somewhat a note of young chipping sparrows, but is less sharp and crisp. In form it also resembles the call of the young cowbird, but again it is gentler and weaker in tone. Mr. Faxon (1911) refers to it as the “cricket note.” The young birds acquire their first winter plumage about a month after they leave the nest, and hence to the eye are indistinguishable from their parents, but as they still continue to use the call of their babyhood, they may be recognized as immature birds even when they are feeding high up in the trees.

Plumages: [Aumon’s Nom: I can find no description of the natal down. Dr. Dwight (1900) describes the juvenal plumage, in which the sexes are practically alike, as “above, grayish or brownish olivegreen. Wings and tail slate-black edged chiefly with bluish plumbeous gray, the coverts and tertiaries with olive-green. Below, pale oliveyellow, the throat dusky. Transocular streak dusky. * * *

“First winter plumage acquired by a partial postjuvenal moult, beginning early in July, which involves the body plumage and wing coverts, but not the rest of the wings nor the tail, young and old becoming practically indistinguishable.” He describes the young male in this plumage as: above, plumbeous gray veiled with olive-green edgings; the crown bright lemonyellow veiled posteriorly only. Below, grayish white, with yellow edgings here and there, the chin, jugulum, lores and auriculars jet-black veiled slightly with pale buff. Broad submalar stripes joining at angle of the chin, and superciliary lines white. Outer half of median and greater coverts bright lemon yellow forming an almost continuous wing patch, lesser coverts plumbeous gray, edged with olive-green.

First nuptial plumage acquired by wear, through which the buff edgings of the black areas, the olive edgings of the back and the yellow edgings below are almost completely lost, the plumage becoming clear gray, white, yellow and black.

Of the female, he says: “In first winter and other plumages olivegray, dusky on the lores and auriculars, replaces the black areas of the male, and olive-yellow marks the crown. Above, the plumage is greenish; the submalar stripes are grayish.” Subsequent plumages are acquired by a complete postnuptial molt in late June and July and by wear in early spring.]

Food: Little exact information has been gathered regarding the food of the goldenwing. The insects it feeds on are mainly so small that it is generally impossible to identify them. Jacobs (1904) states: “Once I saw a female carry a small brownish butterfly to her young; and several times I have discovered the birds taking small smooth green worms: such as strip the leaves of their green coat, leaving the ribbed skeleton: to their nestlings. The legs of a spider protruded from a bird’s bill as she approached her nest.”

The little pale green larva which Jacobs mentions impresses us as the chief article of food, as we watch the birds. It is ‘/2 to 3,4 inch long and appears to have a smooth, hairless skin. These larvae are obtained, I believe, chiefly in the large trees.

In the following note A. L. Nelson (1933) furnishes an interesting detail of the bird’s diet:

The following observation on the food habits of a Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), made in the vicinity of Port Tobacco (Charles Co.), Maryland on May 0, 1933, seems worthy of mention, inasmuch as little specific information on the dietary habits of this species has been recorded. About 1: 30 we observed a single individual of this species actively feeding in a low shrubbery growth of pawpaw (Asimina triloba), which was in full bloom at this date. Closer observation revealed that the bird was probing about inside the flowers, and apparently was getting some kind of larvae. Examination of the flowers revealed that they were infested with a small, brown-headed lepidopterous larva. Dissection of a large number of flowers indicated that the infestation was high, the majority of flowers having one larva, although in many cases two were present. Several infested flowers were collected for the purpose of rearing the insects to the adult stage under laboratory conditions. The cycle was completed without difficulty, the adults emerging within twelve days. These were examined by Dr. Carl Heinrich of the U. S. National Museum and found to be Talponia plummeriana Busck, a small brightly colored Tortricid, the only known food plant of which is the pawpaw.

Behavior: A favorite locality for the golden-winged warbler to spend the summer in eastern Massachusetts may be the border of a wooded swamp where tall elm and maple trees shade a dense undergrowth of ferns and other moisture-loving plants, a swamp which runs out toward drier ground where abounds a growth of gray birches or a tangle of raspberry canes, wild grapevines, and goldenrod. Such a spot furnishes countless situations for hiding the nest in the thick vegetation growing in the half-wet half-dry ground, and a]so a source of food near at hand in the high branches of the trees. Much the same conditions exist along the course of a brook winding through second growth, or near orchards or old neglected weedy pastures.

Sometimes, as William Brewster (1906) points out, the bird may frequent “dry hillsides covered with a young sprout growth of oak, hickory or maple.”

In a more southern latitude the habitat may be quite different. Maurice Brooks (1940), speaking of the bird in the central Allegheny Mountain region, says: “Shunning the swamps which it frequents in other portions of its range, it is highly characteristic of the ‘chestnut sprout’ association, where the males choose dead chestnuts for perches from which to sing. It is also fairly common in the pitch and scrub pine regions on the hills just back of the Ohio river, but becomes less common toward the eastern portion of the territory with which this paper deals. It ascends to at least 4,000 feet in Giles Co., Vt” We can watch the little golden-winged warblers best, and often at very short range, when they are feeding their fledglings recently from the nest. The little birds sit quietly in the shrubbery near the ground, waiting for their parents. We can find them easily, for they frequently utter their characteristic “cricket note,” and we can approach them closely, for they scarcely heed us. The parents, too, when they are feeding the young birds, pay little attention to us and come fearlessly to them even when we stand near. At such times they work in a seeming panic of hurry, flying about in the low growth searching for food, or visiting the smallest branches high up in the trees, where they cling to the terminal twigs, hanging like chickadees as they probe among the curled up leaves (insect nests) for food hidden there, then back to the waiting young, seemingly in continuous motion and without the slightest pause in their nervous activity. At this season when the parents are busy with the young birds, about the third week in June in eastern Massachusetts, they are so occupied in searching for food that the male rarely sings.

In two particulars: their tameness, or indifference to our presence, and the almost complete cessation of singing thus early in the season: the goldenwing differs from the other common birds which breed in much the same regions, the chestnut-sided warbler, redstart, northern yellowthroat, ovenbird, and veery.

Jacobs (1904) speaks of the anxiety of the parent birds if the nest is disturbed when the nestlings are nearly ready to fly. He says: “If the hand is placed near the nest at this period of their growth, they will scramble out and flutter away, all giving vent to their chipping note, which brings down upon the intruder the wrath of both old birds, who fly close to his face, snapping their beaks and chipping loudly; then down upon the ground they fall and feign the broken wing act as long as one of the young continues to chirp.”

Voice: The song of the golden-winged warbler is an inconspicuous little buzring sound which one might pass by unnoticed, or hearing it for the first time, might ascribe it to a mechanical sound made by some insect, not suspecting it to be the song of a bird. Only after we have become thoroughly familiar with the song do we grasp its definite character, so that we can pick it out even when we hear it in the distance among a mediey of other voices. In this particular it resembles the songs of Henslow’s and the grasshopper sparrows, which are scarcely audible, and pass unregarded until well known.

The male goldenwing sings generally from a high perch, often from a branch bare of leaves; hence, once we find him, we can see him plainly. When he sings he throws his head back so far that his bill points almost to the zenith, and sings with it widely open, as if he were pouring out a great volume of sound. The bird sings freely from his arrival in spring until mid-June, about a month, often devoting himself to long periods of singing from the same perch. Later in the season, after the young have hatched, he sings only fitfully.

The song most often heard is composed of four notes, the first prolonged, and followed, after an almost imperceptible pause, by three shorter notes on a lower pitch. All four notes are delivered in a leisurely manner, drawling in tempo, and might be written zeee, zerzer-zer. The first note takes up about half the time of the song. The quality of the voice is buzzing, and when heard near at hand, slightly rasping, with a lisping suggestion throughout.. The song carries well; curiously it seems little louder when heard at close range, but from a distance it sounds smoother and, losing much of the buzzing quality, suggests a long drawn out thth, th-th-th, like a whispering wind. Occasionally there may be four short notes, and sometimes only two following the long initial note.

Like some of the other warbiers, notably the black-and-white, chestnut-sided, and black-throated green, the goldenwing sings two distinct songs. In the second form the buzzing tone is nearly or wholly absent. It begins with about half a dozen short notes given in a quick series on the same pitch, and ends with one long note on a higher key, th-th-th-th-th-th-theee.

I have heard two males singing antiphonally, the responses repeated with perfect regularity for several minutes.

Of the minor notes the commonest is a short, slightly roughened dz. When much excited both adults use a chattering tchw.tchu-tchi~, suggesting in manner of delivery the song of the short-hilled marsh wren, although it is higher pitched and not so loud.

Francis H. Allen (MS.) mentions two other songs, only slightly different from the above. One goes something like “tick tick chick chick chick chick 8hree. The 8hree is a beady note resembling one of the cedar waxwing’s familiar notes.” Another song he writes as “8ee-see-see-8ee-see-see-see-eee-aee-dz’-dsee.”

Field marks: The golden-winged warbler is easy to recognize; it is the only warbler that combines a blue-gray back and yellow in the wing. In the two other common warblers with a black throat, the black-throated blue and the black-throated green, the black runs down the sides a little way so that the white of the breast comes up in a peak in the middle of the breast, whereas in the goldenwing the line of division between the black and white runs straight across. From directly below, the goldenwing appears wholly black and white, and from this angle is marked like a chickadee, but a glance at its long, needle-sharp bill proclaims it a warbler of the genus Vermivora.

Enemies: Prowling mammals, the enemies of ground-nesting birds, and predatory hawks are a danger to the bird. In its relation to the cowbird, Friedmann (1929) reports the bird as “a very uncommon victim.” He says: “I have only six definite records, but the species is listed as a molothrine victim by Bendire and by Short. As many as four eggs of the Cowbird have been found in a single nest of this Warbler.”

Fall and winter: We lose sight of the goldenwing early in th~ season. Silent amid the dense foliage of July and August, the bird is rarely seen. During the years between 1907 and 1920, when I kept a daily record of birds seen, ii met it only four times in August and only twice in September, the latest September 12.

Dr. Alexander F. Skutch sends to A. C. Bent the following account of the bird in its winter quarters: “I am familiar with the goldenwinged warbler in its winter home only in Costa Rica. In this country it winters on the Caribbean slope from the lowlands up to about 6,000 feet above sea-level, and on the Pacific slope at least in the region between 2,000 and 4,000 feet. While it appears to be nowhere abundant, I found it most numerous at Vara Blanca, on the northern slope of the Cordillera Central at an elevation of about 5,500 feet. Here on one day: November 2, 1937: I saw three individuals, the greatest number I have ever recorded. This is a region of dense vegetation, subject to much cloudiness and long-continued, often violent rainstorms: one of the wettest districts of all Central America. Most of the published records are from this generally wet side of the country. Yet the bird winters sparingly in the Basin of El General on the Pacific slope, which during the first 3 months of the year may be nearly rainless. While in the Tropics, it appears never to associate with others of its own kind, but at times may roam about with mixed flocks of other small birds. It may forage among low, fairly dense, second-growth thickets, or among the tangled vegetation at the forest’s edge, or at times in the forest itself, or in groves of tall trees, high above the ground. It investigates the curled dead leaves caught up among the branches, and devours such small creatures as it finds lurking in their folds. I have not heard it sing while in its winter home.

“In Costa Rica, it appears to arrive late and to depart early, not having been recorded before September 15, nor later than April 9. Early dates of fall arrival are: Costa Rica: San Jos6 (Cherrie), September 15 and October 2; La Ilondura (Carriker), September 21; Basin of El General, October 18, 1936; Vara Blanca, October 5, 1937. “Late dates of spring departure are: Costa Rica: Basin of El General, April 8, 1936, April 7, 1937, March 30, 1939, and April 9, 1943; Vara Blanca, April 9, 1938; Gu4piles (Carriker), March 30.”

Range: Eastern United States to northwestern South America.

Breeding range: The golden-winged warbler breeds north to central Minnesota (Detroit Lakes, Onamia, and Cambridge); central Wisconsin (St. Croix Falls, New London, and Shiocton); northern peninsula of Michigan (McMillan and Mackinac Island); southern Michigan (Kalamazoo, Locke, and Detroit); southern Ontario (London and Fort Rowan, has occurred north to Collingwood and Bowmanville); central New York (Medina, Rochester, and Waterford); central Vermont (Rutland), and northern Massachusetts (Winchendon, Newton, and Lynn). It has been found in summer and may possibly breed in southern New Hampshire (Concord and Durham); and southwestern Maine (Emery Mills and Sandford). East to eastern Massachusetts (Lynn, Boston, and Rehoboth) ; southern Connecticut (New Haven and Bridgeport) ; northern New Jersey (Morristown); central Pennsylvania (near State College) ; and south through the mountains to western North Carolina (Weaverville, Waynesville, and Highlands); northwestern South Carolina (Caesars Head and Highlow Gap); and northern Georgia (Young Harris, Margret, and Oglethorpe Mountain). South to northern Georgia (Oglethorpe Mountain and Rising Faun) ; central Tennessee (Maryland); northern Ohio (Steuben, Port Clinton, and Wauseon); northern Indiana (Waterloo); and northern Illinois (Riverside). West to northern Illinois (Riverside); central and western Wisconsin (Baraboo Bluffs and Durand); and central Minnesota (Minneapolis, Elk River, and Detroit Lakes). It has been noted in summer, or in migration, west to St. Louis, Mo. ; Lake Quivira and Lawrence, Kans.; and Omaha, Nebr.

Winter range: In winter the golden-winged warbler is found north to central Guatemala (Cob~n) ; and northern Honduras (Lancetilla); casually or in migration to the Yucat4n Peninsula (Campeche and M6rida). East to Honduras (Lancetilla); eastern Nicaragua (Escondido River); Costa Rica (Gu~piles and Guayabo); central Panama (Lion Hill, Canal Zone) ; and central Colombia (Santa Marta region, Bogota, and Villavicencio); rare or accidental in western Venezuela (M~rida). South to central Colombia (Villavicencio and El Eden). West to northwestern Colombia (El Eden, Medellin, and Antioquia); western Panama (Chiriquf); Costa Rica (El General and Nicoya); and central Guatemala (Cob~n).

Migration: Late dates of spring departure are: Colombia: Fusagasug~, March 24. Panam~: Volc~n de Chiriquf, April 16. Costa Rica: Vara Blanca, April 9. Florida: Pensacola, April 22. Alabama: Hollins, May 7. Georgia: Athens, May 13. South Carolina: Clemson College, May 3. North Carolina: Raleigh, May 7. District of Columbia: Washington, May 20. Mississippi: Gulfport, April 18. Missouri: St. Louis, May 25.

Early dates of spring arrival are: Florida: Pensacola, April 5. Alabama: Barachias, April 22. Georgia: Milledgeville, April 12. South Carolina: Clemson College, April 21. North Carolina: Asheville, April 23. Virginia: Lynchburg, April 19. West Virginia: Bluefield, April 19. District of Columbia: Washington, April 24. Pennsylvania: Beaver, April 24. New York: Rochester, April 29. Massachusetts: Belmont, April 28. Louisiana: Grand Isle, April 6. Mississippi: Gulfport, April 10. Tennessee: Memphis, April 12. Illinois: Olney, April 17. Indiana: Sedan, April 27. Michigan: Plymouth, April 30. Ohio: Youngstown, April 27. Ontario: London, April 30. Missouri: St. Louis, April 18. lowa: Keokuk, April 27. Wisconsin: Sheboygan, April 30. Minnesota: Minneapolis, April 30. The golden-winged warbler ranges west to central Iowa in migration, and in the lower Mississippi Valley is much less abundant in spring than in fall.

Late dates of fall departure are: Minnesota: Minneapolis, September 30. Wisconsin: Madison, October 11. Ontario: Point Pelee, September 2. Ohio: Ellsworth Station, September 23. Michigan: Aim Arbor, October 6. Indiana: Lyons, September 27. Illinois: Chicago, October 7. Missouri: La Grange, September 30. Kentucky: Versailles, September 25. Tennessee: Athens, September 29. Louisiana: New Orleans, September 25. Mississippi: Gulfport, October 8. Massachusetts: Danvers, September 7. New York: Brooklyn, October 2. Peunsylvania: Jeffersonville, October 2. District of Columbia: Washington, September 14. West Virginia: French Creek, September 15. North Carolina: Piney Creek, October 3. South Carolina: Chester, September 22. Georgia: Atlanta, October 9. Alabama: Greensboro, October 4.

Early dates of fall arrival are: Mississippi: Bay St. Louis, July 23. District of Columbia: Washington, August 8. Virginia: Naruna, August 23. North Carolina: Highlands, August 15. South Carolina: Charleston, August 20. Georgia: Athens, August 14. Alabama: Greensboro, August 11. Florida: Pensacola, August 14. Costa Rica: San Jos6, September 15. Colombia: Bonda, September 6.

Casual record: One reported seen at Fort Thorn, N. Mex., in April 1854 by Dr. Joseph Henry. Since no specimen was taken this remains on the hypothetical list for the State.

Egg dates: Massachusetts: 14 records, May 27 to June 24; 9 records, May 30 to June 7, indicating the height of the season.

Michigan: 33 records, May 13 to June 10; 18 records, May 17 to 30.

New York: 6 records, June 3 to 24.

New Jersey: 7 records, May 25 to June 5 (Harris).

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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