New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) - HBW 15, p. 745

French: Paruline jaune German: Goldwaldsänger Spanish: Reinita de Manglar
Other common names: Golden Warbler ("petechia group"); Northern Yellow Warbler ("aestiva group"); Mangrove (Yellow) Warbler ("erithachorides group")

Taxonomy: Motacilla petechia Linnaeus, 1766, northern America = Barbados.
Taxonomy complex, and numerous races described. Has hybridized with (probably) D. caerulescens and Protonotaria citrea. Races fall into three main groups: "aestiva group" of migratory N races occupying variety of damp habitats (rubiginosa, banksi, parkesi, amnicola, aestiva, morcomi, brewsteri, sonorana, dugesi); "petechia group" of sedentary, largely mangrove-dwelling taxa (rufivertex, armouri, flavida, gundlachi, flaviceps, eoa, albicollis, chlor.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Motacilla petechia Linnaeus, 1766, northern America = Barbados.
Taxonomy complex, and numerous races described. Has hybridized with (probably) D. caerulescens and Protonotaria citrea. Races fall into three main groups: "aestiva group" of migratory N races occupying variety of damp habitats (rubiginosa, banksi, parkesi, amnicola, aestiva, morcomi, brewsteri, sonorana, dugesi); "petechia group" of sedentary, largely mangrove-dwelling taxa (rufivertex, armouri, flavida, gundlachi, flaviceps, eoa, albicollis, chlora, solaris, bartholemica, melanoptera, ruficapilla, babad, nominate, alsiosa, rufopileata, obscura, aurifrons); and sedentary, mainly S, again mangrove-dwelling "erithachorides group" (castaneiceps, rhizophorae, phillipsi, xanthotera, aithocorys, iguanae, aequatorialis, jubaris, peruviana, aureola, oraria, bryanti, erithachorides, chrysendeta, paraguanae, cienagae). The two last-mentioned groups are often regarded as collectively forming a separate species, distinct from N group, on account of sedentary nature and restricted coastal habitat. Further, these two groups have sometimes been treated as representing two separate species, but the races of "erithachorides group" on coast of NW Venezuela have head pattern approaching that of adjoining races of "petechia group"; these anomalies do not occur near any potential zone of contact, and are generally thought to be result of independent evolution of an "erithachorides-type" head pattern within "petechia group" and vice versa. Chestnut-headed Martinique race ruficapilla, usually included in "petechia group", is more similar to members of "erithachorides group" than to "petechia group" (which surrounds it geographically); this has led several recent authors to place ruficapilla within the "erithachorides group". In recent DNA study, isolated Galapagos population (aureola) found to be genetically distinct from both Latin American and North American populations, with mean sequence divergence of 3-7% from former and 6-7% from latter; further research required. Races often intergrade, and some poorly differentiated; review perhaps needed. Distributional limits of N races not always clear; breeding ranges listed below are only approximate. Further proposed races are inedita, described from extreme NE Mexico (Matamoros, in extreme NE Tamaulipas), subsumed in aestiva; hypochlora (from Arizona), synonymized with sonorana; and cruciana, described from Virgin Is (St Croix), treated as synonym of bartholemica. Forty-three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • parkesi Browning, 1994 - breeds N Alaska and N Canada (E to N Manitoba).
  • banksi Browning, 1994 - breeds C Alaska.
  • rubiginosa ( Pallas, 1811) - breeds coastal S Alaska S through British Columbia (including Vancouver I).

     See all 43 subspecies
  • parkesi Browning, 1994 - breeds N Alaska and N Canada (E to N Manitoba).
  • banksi Browning, 1994 - breeds C Alaska.
  • rubiginosa ( Pallas, 1811) - breeds coastal S Alaska S through British Columbia (including Vancouver I).
  • brewsteri Grinnell, 1903 - breeds W USA (coastal Washington, Oregon, California) and extreme NW Mexico (extreme NW Baja California).
  • amnicola Batchelder, 1918 - breeds across C Canada (NW British Columbia E to Newfoundland and New Brunswick).
  • morcomi Coale, 1887 - breeds SW Canada (S Yukon and interior British Columbia) S in W USA to NE California and N Texas.
  • aestiva ( J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - breeds E of Rockies in S Canada (S Alberta E to Nova Scotia) and S in USA to Oklahoma and North Carolina.
  • sonorana Brewster, 1888 - breeds S Arizona, SW New Mexico and W Mexico (extreme NE Baja California S through interior to Nayarit and Zacatecas).
  • dugesi Coale, 1887 - breeds C plateau of Mexico from San Luis Potosí S to N Guerrero and Puebla.
  • rufivertex Ridgway, 1885 - Cozumel I (off Quintana Roo), in SE Mexico.
  • flaviceps Chapman, 1892 - Bahama Is.
  • gundlachi S. F. Baird, 1865 - extreme SE USA (Florida Keys), Cuba and I of Pines.
  • eoa ( Gosse, 1847) - Cayman Is and Jamaica.
  • albicollis ( J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - Hispaniola, including I de la Tortue and I à Vache.
  • solaris Wetmore, 1929 - Gonave and Petite Gonave, off W Hispaniola.
  • chlora Browning, 1994 - Cayos Siete Hermanos (Seven Brothers Keys), off N Hispaniola.
  • bartholemica Sundevall, 1870 - Puerto Rico, Virgin Is, and N Lesser Antilles (Anguilla S to Montserrat and Antigua).
  • melanoptera Lawrence, 1879 - C Lesser Antilles (Guadeloupe S to Dominica).
  • ruficapilla ( J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - Martinique (SC Lesser Antilles).
  • babad Bond, 1927 - St Lucia (SC Lesser Antilles).
  • alsiosa J. L. Peters, 1926 - Grenadine Is (S Lesser Antilles).
  • petechia ( Linnaeus, 1766) - Barbados.
  • armouri Greenway, 1933 - Old Providence I (I de Providencia), E of Nicaragua, in SW Caribbean.
  • flavida Cory, 1887 - I de San Andrés (St Andrew I), E of Nicaragua, in SW Caribbean.
  • rufopileata Ridgway, 1884 - Aruba, Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao, Bonaire), Blanquilla I, Margarita I and Los Testigos Is, off N Venezuela.
  • obscura Cory, 1909 - islands of Las Aves, Los Roques and La Orchila, off N Venezuela.
  • aurifrons Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1950 - coastal NE Venezuela (Anzoátegui and W Sucre) and offshore islands (including La Tortuga, Las Tortuguillas and de Pirítu).
  • castaneiceps Ridgway, 1885 - NW Mexico (both coasts of Baja California S of 27° N).
  • rhizophorae van Rossem, 1935 - Pacific coast of Mexico in Sonora and Sinaloa.
  • phillipsi Browning, 1994 - coast from Sinaloa (Mexico) S to Honduras.
  • xanthotera Todd, 1924 - Pacific coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
  • aithocorys Olson, 1980 - Pacific coast of Panama from Chiriquí E to Coclé, including Coiba I.
  • iguanae Olson, 1980 - Iguana I, off Los Santos (S Panama).
  • aequatorialis Sundevall, 1870 - Pacific coast of Panama (Panamá Province) and Pearl Is.
  • jubaris Olson, 1980 - Pacific coast from SE Panama (S Darién) S to CW Colombia (Buenaventura).
  • peruviana Sundevall, 1870 - Pacific coast from SW Colombia (Nariño) S to NW Peru.
  • aureola ( Gould, 1839) - I de Coco and Galapagos Is.
  • oraria Parkes & Dickerman, 1967 - Caribbean coast of Mexico in S Tamaulipas.
  • bryanti Ridgway, 1873 - Caribbean coast from SE Mexico (Campeche) S to S Nicaragua.
  • erithachorides S. F. Baird, 1858 - Caribbean coast from Costa Rica S to N Colombia.
  • chrysendeta Wetmore, 1946 - Guajira Peninsula (NE Colombia and adjacent NW Venezuela).
  • paraguanae Phelps, Sr & Gilliard, 1941 - Paraguaná Peninsula (Falcón), in NW Venezuela.
  • cienagae J.T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1944 - Caribbean coast in Carabobo and Aragua and islands off Falcón, in NW Venezuela.