Watch for a small flash of black and yellow in short shrubs or low tree branches for a chance to see the Common Yellowthroat. This warbler species is commonly seen throughout Michigan marshes, prairies, forests, and backyards from May to the end of September, when it migrates to the southern United States and South America for the winter. Adult males have a bright yellow throat and a distinctive black face mask, while females are olive brown in order to camouflage while on or near her nest. This small bird frequently falls prey to larger birds like the Merlin and Shrikes, so it flits quickly through the vegetation in search of insects and spiders to eat. For security when foraging for food, the Common Yellowthroat will join warblers in a mixed flock- it’s safer with more eyes on the skies!
Listen for the ‘wichety-wichety-wichety” song of the male Common Yellowthroat this spring and summer throughout your Metroparks and even your own backyard. Visit https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Yellowthroat/sounds to listen to this warbler’s unique song. Check out https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/common-yellowthroat for more information on this bird and similar species.