Golden-winged Warbler

(Vermivora chrysoptera)

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List

NT - Near Threatened


N4B - Apparently Secure Breeding

SNRB - Unranked Breeding


not listed

Species in Greatest Conservation Need

Golden-winged Warbler
Photo by Earl Bye

The upper parts and flanks are bluish-gray. The undersides are grayish-white. The undertail coverts are white. When viewed from below there is much white on the underside of the tail. The wings are bluish-gray with two yellow wingbars that may blend together into a broad yellow patch. On the male the crown is bright yellow, the chin is black, and a black eyeline merges into a black ear patch bordered by white. The female is similar but duller. The bill is long and slender.



4½ to 5 in length

7½ wingspan



A trilly high-pitched note followed by three shorter, lower-pitched notes, sometimes described as bee-bz-bz-bz.


Similar Species


Open and early succession (burned or logged) areas in mature forests, wet thickets, bogs



Early May to early June and early August to mid-September






Insects and spiders



Uncommon migrant and breeder



The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map



Aves (birds)


Passeriformes (perching birds)


Parulidae (New World warblers, wood warblers)


Vermivora (blue-winged and golden-winged warblers)




Subordinate Taxa














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Earl Bye

Golden-winged Warbler  












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Other Videos

Golden-winged Warbler sings the "Blues"
WIld Bird Videos by McElroy Productions


Published on Mar 2, 2012

Golden-winged Warbler...... sort of. This individual has pretty much total Golden-winged plumage but sings a very Blue-winged like indicating cross breeding in it's line with Blue-winged Warbler. In a Connecticut woodlot in May. ©

Golden-winged Warbler Portrait
Larry Bond


Published on Jul 8, 2012

The Golden-winged Warbler is uncommon in northeastern United States and rare in southern Ontario. It can be found in birch and other young deciduous growth and in abandoned pastures. It has a gray back with white below. There is a yellow on the crown and yellow wing patch. It exhibits a black throat and ear patch. This warbler nests on ground.

The song is a buzzy "beee bz bz bz".

These birds hybridizes with the Blue-winged Warbler to produce the Brewster's and the Lawrence's Warblers.

This warbler is decreasing in numbers probably due to habitat reduction. There is also thought that the Blue-winged Warbler is less finicky about its habitat and is thus replacing the Golden-winged.

Vermivora chyrsoptera = GOLDEN WINGED WARBLER
Rob Curtis


Published on May 19, 2015

Vermivora chyrsoptera = GOLDEN WINGED WARBLER singing, foraging. Images gallery at:

Rare golden-winged warbler alights in Ackley Wildlife Area, Wisconsin


Published on Jun 29, 2012

Golden-winged warblers on rare and declining, so a chance discovery was a treat. This male golden-winged warbler was captured, fitted with a leg band, and released during a field trip on the Ackley Wildlife Area, Langlade County, Wisconsin. Amber Roth, habitat biologist with the Wildlife Management Institute is studying these birds in an effort to try to reverse their population decline.

Join the Journey: Golden-winged Warbler Migration
Anna Buckardt


Published on Feb 19, 2017

Golden-winged Warblers are an imperiled songbird that breed in the US and Canada and Winter in Central and South America. By learning about their migration and winter habitat needs we can help conserve this species! and YOU CAN HELP! Visit to learn more!



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Earl Bye

Location: Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Golden-winged Warbler Sightings







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