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Friday, May 05, 2017

Friday's Foto

The Yellow-breasted Chat is an atypical member of the wood-warbler family. While it shares many characteristics of other warblers, such as, a diet that consists primarily of insects, there has been suspicion among taxonomists that it may belong in another grouping; It is much larger that any of the other warblers. It doesn't tend to flock like the other warblers. It also produces an extremely varied range of squeaks, whistles, clucks and cackles, sounding more like a mockingbird. Despite a recent reworking of the wood-warblers taxonomy, this colorful bird remains a warbler for the foreseeable future.

Breeding in very dense scrub, consider yourself lucky if you find one of these secretive birds as they spend most of their time in stream thickets, briars and brushy tangles. Their nesting range includes British Columbia, Ontario, Massachusetts, south to California, the Gulf Coast, and Florida. They overwinter in the tropics, including coastal regions of southern Mexico.

Having an extremely large range and stable population, the IUCN Redlist lists their conservation status as "Least Concern".

The Yellow-breasted Chat's scientific name, Icteria virens, means jaundice-yellow or yellow bird and green, for its olive-green upper side.

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