When I was growing up the yellow-rumped warbler was called the myrtle warbler. Although I had never seen this tiny warbler, I was intrigued by its name. I guess that was due to the fact that one of my favorite aunts was named Myrtle.
Much to my chagrin, later on the official name of the myrtle warbler was changed to the yellow-rumped warbler. Although I understood the reasoning behind this change, to this day, I still prefer the name myrtle warbler to yellow-rumped warbler.
The more I have studied birds the more I have become intrigued with the reasons why birds were given certain names. One of the first birds I researched was the myrtle warbler. This search revealed the bird was named after one of its favorite foods – waxmyrtle berries. I also learned it is a choice food for many other birds such as tree swallows eastern bluebird, gray catbirds, northern flickers, and eastern towhees.
This hearty shrub is an important source of winter food for many other birds that winter in Georgia. It is also provides bird with cover from predators and the elements. If you enjoy seeing yellowrumps and other birds around your yard, set out a border of waxmyrtle bushes.
Meanwhile, in my mind, the yellow-rumped warbler will forever be the myrtle warbler.
We just call them rumps when we see them now because they come in droves. When you see the not as common “myrtle”, it is spectacular to see the darker tones in the feathers.
I still prefer myrtle warbler also, Terry.