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Myrtle Warbler aka Yellow-rumped Warbler

Meet my friend Myrtle. Myrtle Warbler, that is – and yes, Myrtle is a “he,” not a “she.” Myrtle prefers to go by his other name, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Dendroica coronada). Don’t get  him started about the whole “butter-butt” thing. 🙂 Myrtle Warbler aka Yellow-rumped Warbler, rear view

I have to admit,  although I have seen many Yellow-rumped Warblers, I have never noticed a male in breeding plumage – which is strikingly different than the female. Since I’ve only been paying close attention to birds for a few years now, it is entirely possible that I simply didn’t realize these were the same species.

Yellow-rumped Warbler, female

Pretty big difference, huh?

I was wondering how these spunky birds came to get the name Myrtle. I found a nice and informative article about Myrtle warblers at Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center. According to the authors of the article, these birds are named after the plant that produces berries that they love to eat – Wax Myrtle. Cool, I have a Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera) – a favorite of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) too. And because I can’t stop myself, I have to say that the Cedar Waxwing is not named after the Wax Myrtle, rather the “wax” part of their name is derived from the anatomy of some of their feathers. But I digress.

Myrtle Warbler aka Yellow-rumped Warbler, flashing yellow

I don’t know exactly why I like this picture – I guess the yellow stripe on Myrtle’s head is just too cute. Also, the yellow, yellow-green, and green colors in this picture are pretty funky. 😉

Here’s an animated series of photos of Myrtle, as he watched for insects on the surface of the water:

Myrtle Warbler animation

These photos are moving all over the place – just imagine that it was done on purpose to portray that gritty, you’re-in-the-middle-of-the-action type of experience.

I’ll leave you with a copy of the page from my 100-year old field guide, which has lovely painted illustrations.

100 yr old bird field guide - Myrtle Warbler

7 Responses to “Meet My Friend, Myrtle”

  • Thank you for this post. I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. This is one adorable bird!

  • Glad you like the post, Karen. Myrtle had many friends in the forest that day, and they were a joy to watch.

  • This is one of my favorite birds. I first saw them last fall in Colorado. After that I started noticing them at home near Houston. The color wasn’t there until recently. Those males with the striking plumage are outrageos. Thanks for the pictures, very nice.


  • Hey Amber, super shots of Myrtle! The male is striking as is the male Audubon’s Warbler I saw today. I must say howeer that your capture of the female is just as beautiful in its subtlety. The warm brown, tan, ivory and gold colors are simply gorgeous.

    BTW, how did you do the cool still animation. What a great way to show a series of shots in one small space.

  • Superb…. 🙂 Loved that animated bird Idea, I guess u must have taken a sequence of pics and uploaded the gif file,.. Very very nice.
    Lovely Blog


  • DDolan – thanks!

    Larry – I used Advanced GIF Animator, bought it for $35, here’s the link: http://www.gif-animator.com/. Worth every penny!

    Delson – yes, rapid-fire pics looped into a GIF. When I get a series of photos that exhibit cool behavior or motion, I usually make a GIF. Plus, it’s fun 🙂

  • Hi Myrtle! You’re so gorgeous! I think Amber did you justice with her beautiful quality photographs!

    Love the animation Amber! Thanks!!

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