Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Scientific Name: Dendroica coronata

Pictures: (click for larger images)

Male Yellow-Rumped Warbler hopping around on a low wall between Franz Hall and the Geology Building.  March 2005.
Male Yellow-Rumped Warbler perched in a tree between Franz Hall and the Geology Building.  March 2005.
Male Yellow-Rumped Warbler perched on a railing between Franz Hall and the Geology Building.  March 2005.

Male Yellow-Rumped Warbler in the desert section of the UCLA Botanical Garden.  3/4/05.

High-res photo of a Yellow-Rumped Warbler in the UCLA Botanical Garden! 10/24/05
Liftoff!  A Yellow-rumped Warbler takes flight in the Math-Science Quad.  10/21/05
This was the first Yellow-rumped Warbler that I saw of the Fall 2005 season.  It was in the Silk Floss trees on Hilgard & Le Conte, with no parakeets in sight to chase it off!  10/2/05.
How does a bird get a drink?  Check out how this little guy was doing it!  10/2/05.
Yellow-Rumped Warbler Illustration.

-Photos by Jason Finley
-Illustration by Robert C. Stebbins from "Birds of the Campus" (1947) by Dr. Loye Miller.

Description: Small. 5.5" in length (beak to tail), slightly smaller than a sparrow.  These little guys have five yellow spots: rump (of course!), top of head (crown), throat, and one on each side just in front of their wings.  The yellow spots are brightest in males during breeding season (spring).  Females are always duller, but still have the yellow.  Most of the rest of their bodies are dark grey streaked with white, except for their bellies and undertails which are white. They have small pointy beaks which are characteristic of warblers.

Sound: Listen to a Yellow-rumped Warbler singing and calling!  Link is to the sound page for this bird from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds.

Commonality/Seasonality: Common in fall/winter only.  Absent in spring/summer as it migrates north.

Location: All over campus.  A few particular places: Can be seen hunting bugs in the eucalyptus trees from the roof of Boelter.  In the Botanical Garden, especially near the desert area.  As with other birds, once you learn what their little chirp sounds like, you will notice them all over the place.

Notes: A.k.a. "Butterbutts!"  These lively and colorful little birds are with us in the fall/winter only.  They move around a lot, and quickly.  You'll often see at least two of them in the same area.  Their arrival should give you something to look forward to as the days get shorter!

The Western variety of this species, which is the one we have, is called the Audubon's Warbler, while the Eastern variety is called Myrtle's Warbler.


This "bird with the five yellow spots" is our most abundant warbler and the most adaptable.  He inhabits woods, weed patches, or window ledges, searching for flies or spiders.  His arrival betwen September 28 and October 10 is almost a certainty.  In late March the colors brighten up and he begins to sing the spring song that means that he will leave soon for the nesting grounds to the north or in the higher mountains.  I wonder how many millions of them spend the winter in southern California; they are found in almost every city yard or country roadside.

-Miller, Loye.  "Birds of the Campus, University of California, Los Angeles," from University of California Syllabus Series, No. 300.  Text by Loye Miller, illustrations by Robert C. Stebbins.  Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1947.



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