The Masked Bandit of Deer Run

The Common Yellowthroat shares the unfortunate first name of “common” like so many other birds – Common Loon, Common Raven, Common Goldeneye, Common Nighthawk, Common Grackle, etc. Not only that, but “yellowthroat” isn’t exactly the most original name, considering there is both the Yellow-throated Warbler and Vireo. Thus, we like to call this friendly warbler the Masked Bandit.

Common Yellowthroat

The “masked” part is obvious as the Common Yellowthroat has a well-defined black mask around the eyes. But why “bandit”? Common Yellowthroats aren’t thieves, cheats, or outlaws. Yellowthroats, like all warblers, are full of energy, spunk, and that attitude that we birders have always loved. However, Yellowthroats seem to have a cooler, more laid-back approach to the world. Often they just seem to sit out in the open and “whitchity” away.

Common Yellowthroat

Deer Run Forest Preserve is actually the first place I saw a Masked Bandit. Today, they were living up to their “common” name. But it is thanks to these “common” birds that birding remains always fun and interesting. They help to keep you in tune with the environment. They teach you to slow down a bit and really observe.

It is our goal to make sure that if the Common Yellowthroat ever gets a name change it is to Masked Bandit and not Uncommon Yellowthroat.
Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat

3 thoughts on “The Masked Bandit of Deer Run

  1. I’m hoping to see a few warblers on my trip next week. I’m headed for a few NWR’s in northern CA. And I do hope to see this little masked bandit among a few others – they all would be lifers for me. I had to look it up in my guide to see if these beautiful birds are found out here in the West. Knowing I don’t have a really powerful camera or scope, I hope these birds will do me a favor and “pose” close enough that I can get a decent shot. 🙂

  2. Great Pics!!!!
    Wow….I saw that bandit in winter on my front yard here in Honduras, Warblers are some of the coolest birds around, just the other day I saw a Grey Crowned Yellowthroat also in the front yard…..Great pics wow!!! 😉 Thnx for sharing

  3. Mary – I hope you can see them, they are so cute and curious. You should be able to get a good shot, they aren’t too secretive. We have had good luck with them.
    Daniel – Thanks. We really liked reading about the Grey Crowned Yellowthroats on your site. Until we bought a book of warblers found throughout the Americas, we didn’t even know that the other yellowthroats existed.

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