Another first wave spring migrant is the Yellow-rumped Warbler. The Myrtle form of the Yellow-rumped Warbler is able to eat and digest berries which enables it to winter occasionally much further north than most insect eating warblers. The Yellow-rumped Warbler is very common and is found widely across North America.
In addition to the Mrytle form of the Yellow-rumped Warbler, there are at least two other form recognized which are the Audubon and Goldman’s forms. Formerly they were considered good separate species now they are considered by some authorities to be subspecies. The lumpers and splinters continue to discuss their status but I will not touch this topic and certainly won’t get into hybrid zones, cryptic hybrid zones, suture zones, species concept and warbler DNA. It does prove a point that in science nothing is ever really settled once and for all, just don’t be surprised if they become good species again.
So for now, the Myrtle Warbler, the one with the white throat is the eastern version. The Audubon form, the one with the yellow throat is the commonly found in the west. Finally the Goldman’s Warbler form, the one with a yellow throat and rich black underside is found mainly in the western highlands of Guatemala so don’t look for it at a suet feeder in North America.
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