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These birds have a yellow face with a black stripe across their cheeks, a thin pointed bill, white wing bars, olive upperparts with black streaks on their backs and flanks, and a white belly. Adult males have a black cap, black throat and yellow lower breast; females have a dark cap and a yellow throat. Immature birds are similar to females with a dark green cap and cheeks.
Their breeding habitats are coniferous forests with large trees on the northwestern coast of North America. They forage actively in the higher branches, sometimes hovering or catching insects in flight. They mainly eat insects and spiders and seeds. Outside of the nesting season, these birds forage in mixed flocks. In winter, they also eat berries and plant nectar
This is a species of warbler that winters in this part of coastal California. It will soon migrate north.