Birds – Golden-winged Warbler

(Helminthophila chrysoptera)

Length—About 5 inches. More than an inch shorter than the English sparrow.

Male—Yellow crown and yellow patches on the wings. Upper parts bluish gray, sometimes tinged with greenish. Stripe through the eye and throat black. Sides of head, chin, and line over the eye white. Underneath white, grayish on sides. A few white markings on outer tail feathers.

Female —Crown duller ; gray where male is black, with olive upper parts and grayer underneath.

Range —From Canadian border to Central America, where it winters.

Migrations —May. September. Summer resident.

After one has seen a golden-winged warbler fluttering hither and thither about the shrubbery of a park within sight and sound of a great city’s distractions and with blissful unconcern of them all, partaking of a hearty lunch of insects that infest the leaves before one’s eyes, one counts the bird less rare and shy than one has been taught to consider it. Whoever looks for a warbler with gaudy yellow wings will not find the golden-winged variety. His wings have golden patches only, and while these are distinguishing marks, they are scarcely prominent enough features to have given the bird the rather misleading name he bears. But, then, most warblers’ names are misleading. They serve their best purpose in cultivating patience and other gentle virtues in the novice.

Such habits and choice of haunts as characterize the blue-winged warbler are also the golden-winged’s. But their voices are quite different, the former’s being sharp and metallic, while the latter’s Zee, Zee, Zee comes more lazily and without accent.