Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Near Threatened

Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera)


French: Paruline à ailes dorées German: Goldflügel-Waldsänger Spanish: Reinita alidorada

Motacilla chrysoptera


, 1766,

near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


Sister to V. cyanoptera, based on genetic studies, and they hybridize regularly where breeding ranges overlap; recent genetic research indicates that differentiation between them is extremely low and that such hybridization has a long history, contrary to other data that have suggested that intermixing has largely occurred in the last 200 years, facilitated by anthropogenic changes#R. Monotypic.


S Canada (SE Manitoba, S Ontario, S Quebec) and N USA (Minnesota) E past Great Lakes to Pennsylvania, and S in Appalachians to N Georgia; migrates to wintering grounds from SE Mexico and Guatemala S to Panama, a few reaching N South America.

Descriptive notes

12 cm; 7·2–11·8 g. Male has bright golden-yellow patches on forecrown and wing, broad white supercilium (broader behind eye), and black ear-coverts and... read more


Two song types. Type 1 song a buzzy note followed by 2–4 shorter buzzy notes on lower pitch,... read more


Breeds in brushy fields and pastures in early-successional stage of reversion to woodland; also... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds mainly on insects, especially tortricid moths and their larvae (Lepidoptera); also spiders (Araneae). Forages mainly at low to middle... read more


Season May–Jul. Nest a bulky cup of grasses, dead leaves and bark strips, lined with hair, fine grasses and bark shreds, well hidden... read more


Long-distance migrant. Leaves breeding grounds in late Aug and Sept (slightly later than V.... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Generally fairly common, but has declined significantly in USA in recent years, and listed as a species of... read more

Recommended citation

Curson, J. (2019). Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 December 2019).