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Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia


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Golden-cheeked Warbler
credit: USFWS

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Family: Parulidae, Wood Warblers view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has a bright yellow face (with dark eyestripe) framed by black on crown, neck, throat, and breast, this color extending to back. Wings are black with two white wing bars and tail is white below and dark above, with white outer feathers. Underparts are white, with bold black streaks on flanks. ADULT FEMALE Similar, but throat is yellowish and black elements of upperpart plumage are dark gray. IMMATURE Similar to adult female, but lacks black chest band and has indistinct streaks on flanks and eye stripe.

Dimensions Length: 4 1/2-5" (11-13 cm)

Endangered Status The Golden-cheeked Warbler is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in Texas. The main threat to this species has been destruction of its habitat at the hands of developers and livestock owners. Since it breeds in only one place in the world, in oak-juniper woodlands in central Texas, the loss of habitat there has been devastating. In areas where the woods remain, they may be in such small tracts that they can't sustain an adequate warbler food supply. The depredations of cowbirds, which lay eggs in warbler nests at the expense of the warbler hatchlings, have also taken a toll on this fragile species. Logging and the conversion of natural habitat to croplands has reduced the Golden-cheeked Warbler's wintering habitat in Central America, adding yet another blow.

Habitat Rare and endangered summer visitor (mainly Apr-Jun) to undisturbed oak- and juniper-covered slopes in Edwards Plateau, Lampasas Cut Plain and Central Mineral Region in Texas. Winters in Central America.

Observation Tips Specific trip to known breeding areas is needed to see this species.

Range Texas

Voice Song is a buzzing d'd'd'd drrr-drruz-zee; call is a soft t'sip.

Discussion Stunning and distinctive wood-warbler whose habitat preference and restricted range are good pointers for separation from other black-throated warblers. Sexes are separable.