We’re told that this Common Yellowthroat warbler should never be confused with the much different Yellow-Throated Warbler.


Why these birds have such similar names is a mystery. (Would the canine-naming priesthood decide that one species was a Common Poodle and an entirely different one a Poodle Dog?) Perhaps it has to do with real estate values. The Common Yellowthroat is the only warbler that nests low in reedy marshes, while the Yellow-Throated Warbler nests high in leafy trees.

There’s also this: the female Common Yellowthroat, shown below, is plain (but cute), while the high-nesting female Yellow-Throated Warbler is just as spiffy as her hubby.


But, of course, the female Common Yellowthroat needs more camouflage while she broods alone among cattail roots. She’s not oblivious to spiffiness, though: research shows that female Common Yellowthroats choose their mates in large part based on the size of the males’ masks – bigger is better in those marshes. (Brooklin, Maine)