Yellow-Breasted Chat

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens)

yellow-breasted chat

Yellow-breasted chat./J.D. Mays

General: The yellow-breasted chat is a large warbler that breeds among dense shrubby tangles that may include thorny vines and briars. Chats are attracted to moist, streamside brush and also to drier upland shrub-scrub, both considered types of young forest. These habitats are created by natural disturbances and by managed ones, such as controlled burns and clearcuts. If too many trees invade an area of regenerating vegetation and begin to form a closed canopy overhead, yellow-breasted chats will cease using the habitat patch.

Status: As of 2015, the yellow-breasted chat was listed by 13 eastern states as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Threats to this species arise from loss of habitat to humans’ development and the gradual progression of shrubby areas into mature woods.

How to Help Yellow-Breasted Chats: Local populations of yellow-breasted chats get a boost following generously sized clearcut timber harvests. Yellow-breasted chats may successfully nest in smaller, more-fragmented habitat patches if the surrounding landscape includes additional shrubby acres.
Both public and private landowners can make young forest habitat. The Young Forest Guide explains how.

Click on the map at left to see a larger image.

For more detailed information on this animal, including references to scientific papers, download Under Cover: Wildlife of Shrublands and Young Forest. This publication can also be purchased from the Wildlife Management Institute.

Visit a habitat demonstration area within this species' range to increase your chances of seeing yellow-breasted chats and other wildlife that need young forest.