How to Find Golden Winged Warbler

How to Find Golden Winged Warbler

Golden Winged Warbler Habitat (Where to look)

Golden Winged Warbler Breeding Habitat:

  • shrubby opening in or near mature wetland forest

    • examples of shrubby opening habitat favored by Golden Winged Warbler: regenerating clear-cuts, large tree fall gap areas, and thickets (including Blackberry, Pokeweed, and Goldenrod)

    • may also breed in early successional habitat, such as old fields with scattered, regenerating trees/shrubs located near a mature forest

    • Post-breeding may move further into closed canopy forest

Golden Winged Warbler Migratory Habitat

  • like other warblers, Golden Winged Warbler will be most visible over the spring/fall migration periods (May/June and September/October)

  • sometimes join mixed flocks over migration periods - often with Black Capped Chickadee

  • the very similar and more common Blue Winged Warbler is the Golden Winged Warbler’s top Indicator Species - as they share the same shrubby habitat preferences

  • during migration, Golden Winged Warbler favor open/regenerating/shrubby areas in or near a mature forest

 
 
Golden Winged Warbler are most frequently found in shrubby, regenerating areas near forest - such as this powerline cut

Golden Winged Warbler are most frequently found in shrubby, regenerating areas near forest - such as this powerline cut

Another example of Golden Winged Warbler habitat - shrubby, relatively open area in close proximity to forest habitat

Another example of Golden Winged Warbler habitat - shrubby, relatively open area in close proximity to forest habitat

Golden Winged Warbler frequent shrubby openings near mature forest

Golden Winged Warbler frequent shrubby openings near mature forest

 
 

Golden Winged Warbler Behavior (What to look for)

  • best time to spot Golden Winged Warbler is at the beginning of the breeding season (late April-through May) - as males will sing out in the open - often on the very top of shrubs and sometimes high in trees for long periods

  • seen more often in shrubbery and young trees than in tall trees

  • acrobatic forager - will hang upside down while probing leaves for insects

  • tend to forage and sing near the top of shrubs/small trees

  • sometimes breed with Blue Winged Warbler, resulting in a Brewster’s Warbler or Lawrence’s Warblers, which share the same habitat preferences as their parents

Golden Winged Warbler in young Wild Black Cherry tree

Golden Winged Warbler in young Wild Black Cherry tree

 
 

Tips from Anonymous Birder(s)

“be sure to check shrubby powerline and pipeline clear cuts”

“they sing high in trees more often than you’d think”

“males can be quite territorial during breeding season”

“Blue Winged Warbler are almost always nearby”

Golden Winged Warbler high in tree

Golden Winged Warbler high in tree

Indicator Species

Blue Winged Warbler, Brewster’s Warbler, Lawrence’s Warbler, Yellow Breasted Chat, Prairie Warbler, Brown Thrasher

Good Luck!

Golden Winged Warbler Singing