Yellow-breasted Chat

Yellow-breasted Chats are noticeably larger than all other warblers, reaching a length of 7.5 in and a wingspan of 9.75 in . These birds have olive upperparts with white bellies and yellow throats and breasts; they also have long tails, thick heavy bills, large white eye-rings, and dark legs.

The Yellow-breasted Chat is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

Yellow-breasted Chat is exemplar. Our Chat is to typical birdsong what George Antheil was to classical music. From mere violin and horn and piano with the Chat we find ourselves faced with hammer on anvil, airplane engines, grinding gears, clearing sewer pipes. And all ”played” with an energy and assurance that can draw your attention from thirty yards or more. More

-Although the eastern yellow-breasted chat has nested a number of times, rather irregularly, in Massachusetts, I have never found it farther north and east than Connecticut, where it is a regular and common breeder. I find three typical nests recorded in my notes, found near New Haven, Conn., on June 3 and 4, 1910. More

The Yellow-breasted Chat is the largest wood-warbler. Its placement in the family Parulidae, however, has been questioned at times because of its many traits atypical of parulids—large size, eclectic vocal repertoire, behavior, and certain anatomical features. Molecular data, however, support its traditional classification in the Parulidae. More

The Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) is a large songbird, formerly considered the most atypical member of the New World warbler family, though the long-standing suspicion is that it does not actually belong there. Its placement is not definitely resolved. It is the only member of the genus Icteria. Found throughout North America, from southern-plains Canada to central Mexico during the summer, these birds mainly migrate to Mexico and Central America, although some of their number may overwinter in coastal areas. More

Yellow-breasted Chat - Icteria virensThe Yellow-breasted Chat was once considered the largest warbler found in the United States. Recent genetic analysis has brought into doubt whether they truly are warblers, however. Its behavior is more like a thrasher or a catbird, as it prefers to hide in dense cover, giving off a sometimes bizarre series of calls. Males are sometimes easier to observe, as they fly over the undergrowth with legs dangling, singing as they go. More

Although Yellow-breasted Chats are found all across Tennessee, they are frequently overlooked because they keep themselves well hidden in dense brushy vegetation. The best way to see this bird is in the spring when the male sings his remarkable song from a conspicuous perch. The song is a jumble of clucks, whistles, cackles, and squawks, occasionally including a mimic of another bird's song. This bright yellow-breasted songbird was long thought to be the largest of the wood-warblers. More

flights, the Yellow-breasted Chat is easily overlooked because of its skulking nature and the denseness of its brushy haunts. Long considered the largest of the wood-warblers, genetic data suggest that it is not a warbler at all. More

Yellow-breasted Chats are declining in eastern North America due to habitat loss, which is caused primarily from deforestation and urban development. This species is particularly vulnerable to brood parasitism from Brown-headed Cowbirds that have taken advantage of the fragmentation of Eastern forests to expand their range in the last century. References - * BirdLife International (2004). Icteria virens. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. More

North American RangeThe Yellow-breasted Chat is the largest wood-warbler. While it is generally regarded as a warbler, it has many non-warbler characteristics. It has a large, heavy bill, unlike many warblers; males and females look alike; and its unusual song has similarities to that of a thrasher or an oriole. The Yellow-breasted Chat does have typical warbler coloring, however, and is plain olive above with a yellow throat and breast and a white belly. More

Identification: The yellow-breasted chat is a member of the wood warbler family. However, its body is stouter and the tail is longer than other family members. Adult chats have a bright yellow throat and breast, olive-green back, white eye rings and white whisker stripes. The bill is stout, large, curved and usually solid black. The lores (the area between the bill and the eye) are black in males and gray in females; otherwise, the sexes are similar in appearance. More

A Yellow-breasted Chat spotted near Pemaquid Lighthouse earlier this month Photo by Don Reimer by Don Reimer At a length of seven inches, the Yellow-breasted Chat is easily the largest member of the wood warbler family. This showy species is distinctive in its appearance and readily recognized by its bright yellow throat and chest, olive-green back and white spectacles. The stout bill is well suited for a varied diet of insects, fruits and seeds. More

YELLOW-BREASTED CHATYELLOW-BREASTED CHAT Icteria virens auricollis Family Parulidae - Wood Warblers Order Passeriformes Risk Status Official status The Yellow-breasted Chat is on the British Columbia Wildlife Branch 1993 Red List (CDC = G5 S1S2) of candidate species to be considered for legal designation under the Act as Endangered or Threatened. COSEWIC assigned a Endangered status in 2000. More

The Yellow-breasted Chat, a denizen of dense thickets, scrubby habitats and woodland edges, is the largest species in the Paruline Warblers. Its unmistakable song is described as "an astonishingly loud jumble of harsh cackles, rattles, whistles and squeals." Its call is likewise a harsh, grating "chack." Perhaps because of its larger size, its voice is the lowest pitched of the warblers. The Chat, a short distance migrant, is resident in Central America and parts of the Southeastern US. More

Yellow-breasted Chat, by John James Audubon Accession number 1836.17.137. More

Picture of Icteria virens above has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.
Original source: Greg Miller
Author: Greg Miller
Permission: Some rights reserved
Order : Passeriformes
Family : Parulidae
Genus : Icteria
Species : virens
Authority : (Linnaeus, 1758)