14 Yellow Birds With Pictures

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A bright yellow bird at a feeder is likely to get your attention. They stand out against the backdrop of any summer or winter landscape and bring joy to your garden. If you need help identifying backyard visitors, check out these 14 species of yellow birds, including pictures, descriptions of each, and where they are located. Most of the birds on this list are from North America, but you can find some of these species all over the world. let's start!

yellow warbler

yellow warbler
The most widespread species of warbler in the Americas is the yellow warbler.

©Agami Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com website

The yellow warbler is a New World warbler and the most widespread species of warbler in the Americas. They embody exactly what it means to be a yellow bird, combining their creamy yellow plumage with sweet whistling tunes during the summer. Males also have maroon stripes on their chest and black stripes on their wings. The yellow warbler breeds in Canada and most of the United States and winters in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. These birds feed on insects and won't go to the backyard to feed, but you can find them in regenerating habitats under bushes and next to streams.

american goldfinch

American Goldfinch perched with its back to the camera
The average length of the American Goldfinch is about 5 inches.

©iStock.com/impr2003

We couldn't list yellow birds without mentioning the American Goldfinch. These small North American finches undergo a complete molt, in which the males are bright yellow in summer and olive in winter. They also have black caps and black wings with white markings. Females are dull yellow-brown. Populations in the northern United States remain in their environment year-round. But those that breed in southern Canada migrate to the southern United States and Mexico for the winter. You can find this bird in overgrown fields, open floodplains, and weedy areas.

Western Yellow Wagtail

Western Yellow Wagtail
True to their name, the western yellow wagtail has a wagging tail.

© Yuriy Balagula/Shutterstock.com

The western yellow wagtail is a small passerine species native to Europe, Asia and Africa. They are slender birds with long wagging tails, and their plumage is olive above and yellow below. Their head color varies by subspecies. These birds breed in Europe and Western Asia and migrate south to Africa and South Asia during the winter. Wagtails love wet meadows, muddy lakeshores, and marshes.

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western tanager

Female western tanager on a branch
Despite the name, western tanagers are actually cardinals.

© James Chen/Shutterstock.com

The western tanager is a medium-sized flame-coloured American songbird. Despite its name, the tanager, this species actually belongs to the main family, despite its resemblance to the tanager. Adult males have a bright red face, yellow nape, shoulders, and rump, and black back, wings, and tail. Females have yellow heads, olive backs and black wings and tails. Western tanagers breed in the western United States and Canada and winter in Mexico and Central America. You can find them in coniferous and aspen forests.

Acoustic Warbler

Acoustic Warbler
Although they are from the New World warbler family, acoustic warblers are in their own genus.

©Mark C. Morris/Shutterstock.com

If you live in the southeastern United States, you can witness the acoustic warbler flying over its dark forest habitat. They are small songbirds of the New World warbler family and the only species in their genus. These birds have orange-yellow heads, yellow bellies, olive backs, and blue-gray wings and tails. Females are similar in appearance, but have a dull yellow head. Acoustic warblers breed in the Southeast and overwinter in Mexico, Central America, and the northern tip of South America. Their preferred habitats include flooded lowland forests and wooded swamps.

Eurasian Golden Oriole

Yellow Animal - Eurasian Golden Warbler
While female Eurasian orioles are not particularly brightly colored, males are bright yellow with black markings.

©iStock.com/phototrip

Eurasian orioles are Old World passerines of the northern hemisphere. They are numerous and widely distributed, breeding in Europe and the paleoarctic regions, and overwintering in central and southern Africa. They inhabit a wide range of habitats, including forests, plantations, orchards, and gardens. Males are contrasted by bright yellow bodies and heads, black wings and tails, and small eye patches. Females are dull green above and white below.

prairie warbler

prairie warbler
With a chestnut back, black stripes, and bright yellow throughout, the Prairie Warbler is a sight to behold.

©Jay Gao/Shutterstock.com

Contrary to its name, the prairie warbler is not a prairie resident. These small songbirds inhabit shrubby secondary forests and weedy pastures. They breed in the southeastern United States, migrate through the Gulf of Mexico, and winter in the Caribbean. South Florida also has a year-round population. The prairie warbler has complex plumage with a bright yellow underside, dense dark stripes, black eyeliner, and a sorrel patch on the back.

yellow-headed blackbird

yellow-headed blackbird
As the name suggests, the yellow-headed blackbird is a black bird with yellow feathers on its head.

© iStock.com/Nancy Strom

Its name sums it up perfectly, the yellow-headed blackbird is a medium-sized black bird with a golden head. The male has a bright yellow head and breast, a black body, and white patches on the wings. Females have brown plumage and a dull yellow head. They spend summers in Midwestern Canada and the United States, and winters in the Southwest and Mexico. The best places to see these blackbirds are savannahs, alpine meadows and swampy wetlands.

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Weaving corner

Weaving corner
Male cloak weavers have yellow heads and orange faces.

©Rich Lindie/Shutterstock.com

The cloak weaver is a stocky passerine native to southern Africa. This species is endemic to South Africa, Eswatini and Lesotho, where it lives in open grasslands, coastal scrub and farmland. Breeding males have a yellow head and underparts, orange face, and olive-brown upperparts. The female has an olive-yellow head and breast, with a yellowish belly. This species is relatively gregarious and can be found in flocks outside of the breeding season, and they form communal habitats year-round.

Eastern and Western Meadow Pipit

Ground-Nesting Birds: Western Meadow Pipit
The western meadowlark is nearly identical in appearance to the eastern meadowlark.

© iStock.com/Gary Gray

Meadow Pipit is a group of grassland birds native to the Americas, mainly South America. You can find eastern meadowlarks from the eastern United States to northern South America, while western meadowlarks inhabit the western and central United States. They both inhabit grasslands, grasslands, pastures, and abandoned fields. The eastern species has a yellow lower body with a black "V" on the chest and a brown upper body with black stripes. The western species look almost identical except they have lighter plumage and thinner black stripes.

yellow throat diphtheria

Yellow-throated Vireo perched on a branch
One of the most colorful members of the vireo family, yellow-throated vireos have a yellow throat, white belly, and olive-colored head.

©Joshua Goddard/Shutterstock.com

The yellow-throated green-throated warbler is a small songbird native to North and South America. One of the most colorful members of the vireo family, they have a yellow throat, olive head, white belly, and brownish-gray back and wings. They also have black irises surrounded by bright yellow rings that look like glasses. You can find this species in the eastern half of the United States, Mexico, and Central America in summer, and the northern tip of South America in winter.

golden pheasant

rare bird - golden pheasant
Golden pheasants are colorful birds with a mix of red, blue, orange, green and yellow.

©mooinblack/Shutterstock.com

Also known as Chinese pheasants, these wild birds are native to the mountainous forests of western China. However, wild populations exist in many countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, and several others. You'll often find them in dense forests, but they forage in groups near human settlements during the winter. Golden pheasants are brightly colored with a mix of reds, blues, greens, oranges and yellows. Their names are derived from the golden crowns on their heads.

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western kingfisher

western kingfisher in flight
While most of the western kingbird's plumage is gray and brown, their underbelly is bright yellow.

© Wildvet/Shutterstock.com

Western kingbirds are large tyrant flycatchers with more subtle plumage than other birds on this list. They have a gray head, white throat and chest, brown wings and tail, and a lemon yellow belly. The species breeds in the western half of the United States and overwinters off the coast of Mexico, Central America, and southern Florida. Their preferred habitats include grasslands, desert scrub, pastures, fields, and savannas.

common yellow throat

Male Common Yellowthroat Bunting (Geothlypis trichas) perched on a weed in spring.
The common Yellowthroat throat has a distinctive black band over its eyes.

©Mircea Costina/Shutterstock.com

The common yellow-throated throat has a distinctive black stripe over its eyes and is unmistakable in its wetland habitat. These New World warblers, also known as yellow bandits, have bright yellow feathers on their throats and breasts. They also have white lines on their heads and olive-brown upper bodies. They breed in Canada and the United States and overwinter in Mexico and Central America. Some populations live year-round in California and the Southeast. Look for them in many habitats, such as wetlands, grasslands, forests, and scrublands.

dick cissel

dick cissel
With only a yellow chest and head, dickcissels have different plumage on their bodies.

© Amanda Guercio/Shutterstock.com

The dickcissel is a small, thick bunting native to the prairies of North America. They have large thick bills and short tails, yellow faces and chests. Their heads and backs are brown and gray, and their shoulders are reddish brown. Their throats have a distinctive black "V" shape. You can find them in the prairies and restored grasslands of the central United States in summer, and in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America in winter.

next…

  • 8 yellow-breasted birds
  • types of green birds
  • species of red bird

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featured image

prairie warbler
With a chestnut back, black stripes, and bright yellow throughout, the Prairie Warbler is a sight to behold.

© Jay Gao/Shutterstock.com


about the author


Niccoy is a professional writer and content creator focusing on nature, wildlife, food and travel. She graduated from Florida State University with a business degree before realizing that writing was her true passion. She lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and loves hiking, reading and cooking!

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source
  1. IUCN Red List, available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Missouri Department of Conservation, available here: https://education.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/yellow-warbler
  3. Missouri Department of Conservation, available here: https://education.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/scarlet-tanager#:~:text=But%20DNA%20testing%20showed%20that, birds%20in %20the%20tanager%20family