The Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) is not only large for a Warbler, but there is doubt about it being a warbler at all. Some expert suggests that this species is a cross between a Warbler and a Mockingbird.
The bird feeds on a wide variety of insects including moths, beetles, bugs, wasps, mayflies, grasshoppers, katydids, caterpillars, praying mantises, and spiders. Up to half of its diet may be berries and wild fruit, including blackberries, elderberries, wild grapes, and others. The nest (large open cup) is built by the female. The young are fed by both parents.
Distribution & Habitat
The Yellow-breasted Chat prefers dense thickets and brush, often with thorns, streamside tangles and dry brushy hillsides. Its distribution range covers British Columbia, Ontario, and Massachusetts south to Florida, and Gulf Coast, and northern Mexico. It winters in Mexico and Central America. The Yellow-breasted Chat population may have increased recently in the east as clearing of forest created more brushy habitat.