The yellow-breasted chat is our largest warbler, though it does not really look, act, or sound like a warbler. It has a large head, a stout black bill, and a long tail. Sexes are similar, and plumage does not vary by season.
Chats make a huge variety of weird noises, including whistles, clucks, chucks, and harsh scolding notes delivered in a series, each call separate and distinct. It sounds like this: cherrk eeep! woo-woo-woo! chek! wok! ank-ank-ank!
The chat’s size and bright yellow throat should be enough to identify this species. No other songbird has the clear yellow throat and breast and white spectacles (connected eye-rings).
Yellow-breasted chats often sing from the deep cover of brushy tangles along woodland edges, old overgrown fields, and streamside thickets, but they can be coaxed out by pushing or by imitating their odd sounds.
In his flight display, a male yellow-breasted chat flies across an open space, calling loudly and flapping his wings awkwardly like a wind-up toy that is freaking out.