Yellow birds come in different types, such as warblers, orioles, and tanagers. It can be helpful to learn about the common yellow birds in your area so you can identify them easily. These birds are usually seen in backyard feeders or out in fields and forests, and they are known for their bright and cheerful appearance. In the US and Canada, there are many yellow birds that visit, some of which migrate while others stay year-round. Generally, yellow birds are more prevalent in the northern states during the summer, as they breed there before migrating south for the winter. To aid in identifying the yellow birds you spot, this guide provides pictures, identification details, song recordings, and migration patterns.
40 Yellow Birds:
1. American Goldfinch
American Goldfinches are a well-liked bird species, especially known for the vibrant yellow and black coloring of the males during springtime. In contrast, the females and males during winter appear more muted, with brown coloring.
Scientifically named Spinus tristis, American Goldfinches measure between 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm) in length, weigh around 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g), and have a wingspan of 7.5-8.7 inches (19-22 cm). They are prevalent throughout most of North America and are typically resident throughout the year. However, those that breed in Canada and the Midwest migrate south to US states for the winter season.
American Goldfinches are often found foraging for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants in weedy fields and overgrown areas. They are also commonly spotted in suburban areas, parks, and backyards.
American Goldfinches typically build their nests in shrubs using rootlets and plant materials woven together and held in place with spider webs. They usually lay up to seven eggs, which take around two weeks to hatch. The young remain in the nest for about two to two and a half weeks before leaving.
To attract American Goldfinches to your backyard, you can plant thistles and milkweed. They are known to visit most bird feeders and prefer sunflower or nyjer seeds.
An interesting fact about American Goldfinches is that cowbirds are not successful in getting them to raise their young. This is because American Goldfinches are strictly vegetarian, and cowbird chicks cannot survive on their diet, resulting in death within a few days.
2. Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroats are small songbirds with brownish backs and bright yellow undersides, as well as long tails. The males have black masks across their faces, which are distinct from the females. The brightness of their yellow color can vary depending on their geographic location, with some appearing more olive underneath.
Scientifically named Geothlypis trichas, Common Yellowthroats typically measure between 4.3-5.1 inches (11-13 cm) in length, weigh around 0.3-0.3 oz (9-10 g), and have a wingspan of 5.9-7.5 inches (15-19 cm). They breed during the summer season over most of North America, with the exception of Alaska and northern Canada. Some remain year-round along the Gulf Coast and Pacific Southwest, while others migrate south for the winter season.
Common Yellowthroats are often found in marshy or wetland areas and brushy fields, living in thick, tangled vegetation.
Female Common Yellowthroats typically build their nests near the ground in marshy areas, supported by reeds. The nests are constructed using grass and sedges and held together by a platform of leaves and grass. They lay up to six eggs, which take approximately twelve days to hatch. The young then leave the nest within the same timeframe.
To attract Common Yellowthroats to larger backyards, it’s recommended to have dense vegetation and native plants that can attract insects.
An interesting fact about Common Yellowthroats is that the black mask on the males’ faces is a sign to courting males that the bird is a male. They are known to attack fake birds that have the same mask, but not those that don’t have the mask.
3. Western Meadowlark
With their vibrant yellow bellies and sweet melodies, Western Meadowlarks can brighten up anyone’s day.
As a member of the blackbird family, Western Meadowlarks are similar in size to robins and have shades of brown and white on their upper parts, with a distinctive black V-shaped band across their bright yellow chest, which turns gray in the winter.
Scientifically named Sturnella neglecta, Western Meadowlarks range from 6.3-10.2 inches (16-26 cm) in length, weigh around 3.1-4.1 oz (89-115 g), and have a wingspan of 16.1 inches (41 cm). Those that breed in the northern US states and Canada migrate to more southern states during the winter, while those in the west and Midwest remain year-round.
Western Meadowlarks are usually found on the ground in grasslands, meadows, and fields. They forage alone or in small flocks and are not typically found in wooded or densely shrubby areas. Their diet mainly consists of insects and seeds, with a preference for insects in the summer and more seeds and grains during the winter.
The Western Meadowlarks’ song consists of a pleasant series of tweets, warbles, and whistles.
Western Meadowlarks typically build their nests in depressions on the ground in grasslands. The nests are lined with soft materials like grass and may also have a roof made from grass and plant stalks.
To attract Western Meadowlarks to your backyard, it’s recommended to use sunflower seeds and cracked corn as bait.
An interesting fact about Western Meadowlarks is that they have been designated as the state bird for six US states.
4. Lesser Goldfinch
Lesser Goldfinches are small, bright yellow and black songbirds with long pointed wings and short notched tails. Females are similar in color but have olive backs and are more subdued yellow underneath.
Scientifically named Spinus psaltria, Lesser Goldfinches measure between 3.5-4.3 inches (9-11 cm) in length, weigh around 0.3-0.4 oz (8-11.5 g), and have a wingspan of 5.9-7.9 inches (15-20 cm). They reside in southwestern US states and the West Coast year-round, but those that breed in the interior of western US states migrate during the winter season.
Lesser Goldfinches are often seen in large flocks in open habitats, including thickets, weedy fields, forest clearings, parks, and gardens. They forage mainly for seeds, especially sunflower seeds, but also eat fruits from elderberry and coffeeberry, as well as buds from cottonwoods, willows, sycamores, and alders.
The nests of Lesser Goldfinches are usually hidden in trees and shrubs near streams and made from bark, leaves, and other plant materials held together by spider webs. They typically lay up to six eggs, which take about two weeks to hatch, and the young leave the nest within the same timeframe.
To attract Lesser Goldfinches to your yard, you can use sunflower seeds and nyjer in tube or platform feeders.
An interesting fact about Lesser Goldfinches is that their arch-rival is the larger Lawrence’s Goldfinch, and they will chase them away from feeders and nesting areas. However, they will mix with other birds.
5. Prairie Warbler
Prairie Warblers are small songbirds with an olive green back and a yellow throat and belly. They have black streaks on their sides and a dark semicircle under their eyes. The females of the species are less colorful than males.
Scientifically named Setophaga discolor, Prairie Warblers are around 4.3 inches (11 cm) in length and weigh around 0.2-0.3 oz (6.4-8.8 g). They breed in eastern and southeastern US states and spend their winters in Florida, the Caribbean, and some coastal areas in Central America. Some remain in Florida throughout the year and are considered a separate subspecies, although they are slightly larger.
Despite their name, Prairie Warblers primarily live in fields and forests, where they feed on insects, spiders, and snails. While searching for food, they can be seen bobbing their tails as they move along branches.
Prairie Warblers construct their nests in trees and shrubs, using plant materials, leaves, and lining them with soft feathers and fur. The female Prairie Warblers lay up to five eggs, which take approximately two weeks to hatch, and the young leave the nest within about ten days.
A fascinating fact about the male Prairie Warbler is that they have two distinct songs that they use. One of the songs is intended to attract females, while the other song is meant to intimidate other male Prairie Warblers.
6. Orange-crowned Warbler
Orange-crowned Warblers are not as vibrantly colored as other warblers. They are mostly yellow-olive in color, which appears more yellow on the Pacific Coast. The orange crown on their head is usually concealed and not visible.
Scientifically named Leiothlypis celata, Orange-crowned Warblers measure between 4.3-5.5 inches (11-14 cm) in length and weigh around 0.3-0.4 oz (7-11 g), with a wingspan of 7.5 inches (19 cm). They breed in Canada and western US states and migrate to the Pacific, East and Gulf Coasts, and Mexico. During migration, they can be seen in all US states except the northeastern ones.
Orange-crowned Warblers can be found in shrubs and low vegetation, but they usually breed in open woodland. Their diet mainly comprises of spiders and insects such as caterpillars and flies. They also eat fruits, berries, and seeds and can often be seen visiting backyard feeders.
The nests of Orange-crowned Warblers are constructed on or near the ground using dead leaves, twigs, and stems, and then lined with soft grass and animal hair. They typically lay up to six eggs.
To attract Orange-crowned Warblers to your yard, you can use suet and peanut butter or hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water nectar.
An interesting fact about Orange-crowned Warblers is that they drink from the sapwells of sapsuckers and woodpeckers.
7. Orchard Oriole Female
Orchard Orioles are small birds, and the females are overall greenish-yellow in color, paler underneath, and darker on the back. They have darker wings and white wingbars.
Male Orchard Orioles look very different, with bold coloring. They have black heads and backs, and reddish undersides.
Scientifically named Icterus spurius, Orchard Orioles measure between 5.9-7.1 inches (15-18 cm) in length and weigh around 0.6-1.0 oz (16-28 g), with a wingspan of 9.8 inches (25 cm). In the summer, they breed in the eastern half of the United States before migrating south to Mexico and Central America.
Orchard Orioles prefer to live in open woodland and can also be found along river banks, open shrubland, farms, and backyards. They construct hanging pouch-like nests. The primary component of their diet is insects such as ants, caterpillars, beetles, and grasshoppers, as well as spiders. They will also drink nectar from flowers and eat fruits such as mulberries and chokeberries.
The nests of Orchard Orioles are cup-shaped, made from long grasses suspended from small branches of trees. They typically lay 4-6 eggs, which take around two weeks to hatch.
To attract Orchard Orioles to your yard, you can use hummingbird feeders or platform feeders with cut oranges or mango. You can also plant native berry plants such as mulberries or chokeberries.
An interesting fact about Orchard Orioles is that they are the smallest species of blackbird in North America.
8. Western Tanager
Rewritten: Western Tanagers have an eye-catching appearance with their flaming orange-red head, yellow body, and black wings. Female Western Tanagers have a more subtle appearance, with yellow-green bodies and only red faces.
Breeding in western US states and western Canada, Western Tanagers migrate to Mexico and Central America for the winter. They can be seen during migration in the east and south of their range.
Western Tanagers can be found in open conifer forests, but they are known to stay hidden in the canopy despite their bright coloring. Their diet mainly consists of insects during summer, such as wasps and grasshoppers, and fruit during the fall and winter.
The nests of Western Tanagers are built by females in open areas of trees, using large twigs and weaving them into a sturdy cup shape. The nest is lined with soft grass, pine needles, hair, and other plant materials. They lay about four eggs, which take approximately two weeks to hatch.
To attract Western Tanagers to your yard, provide dried fruit, cut oranges, and other fruits from bird feeders.
Fun fact: The red coloring of Western Tanagers comes from eating insects that produce a pigment that they cannot produce themselves.
9. Pine Warbler
Pine Warblers are a type of small, plump yellow bird with olive-colored backs, white bellies, and gray wingbars. The females may appear browner and have more white on their bellies. They belong to the Setophaga pinus species and can grow up to 5.1-5.5 inches (13-14 cm) in length and weigh between 0.3-0.5 oz (9-15 g), with a wingspan of 7.5-9.1 inches (19-23 cm).
Pine Warblers usually breed in the northeastern United States before migrating to the southeastern states. Some Pine Warblers remain in the southeastern states throughout the year.
Pine Warblers are typically found in pine forests, particularly in the upper parts of trees. They primarily feed on insects such as caterpillars, beetles, spiders, and larvae. During colder weather, they may also eat fruit and seeds.
Pine Warblers are small, round, and yellow birds with olive backs, gray wings, and white bellies. Females may have more brownish coloration and more white on their bellies.
Pine Warblers are around 5 to 5.5 inches long, weigh between 0.3 to 0.5 ounces, and have a wingspan of 7.5 to 9.1 inches. They breed in the northeastern states of the US before migrating south to the southeastern states. Some Pine Warblers do not migrate and instead stay year-round in the southeastern US.
These birds can often be found in pine forests, high up in the trees. They have a varied diet that includes insects such as caterpillars, beetles, and spiders, as well as fruit and seeds during colder weather.
10. Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warblers are small songbirds that are bright yellow in color, with a yellow-green back, and males have chestnut streaks on their breast. Females and juveniles are less vibrant in color. They breed in Canada and the US, but not in southeastern states, and migrate to Central and South America for winter.
During migration, they can be seen in southeastern states. Yellow Warblers are usually found near streams, wetlands, thickets, and the edges of fields, where they forage for insects like beetles, bugs, caterpillars, midges, and wasps.
Yellow Warblers build their nests in small trees or shrubs using bark, grass, and plant material woven together, secured with spider webs, and lined with softer materials such as hair, feathers, and plant down. They lay up to seven eggs, which take about twelve days to hatch, and the young leave the nest in ten days.
To attract Yellow Warblers to your backyard, you can offer suet, oranges, peanut butter, plants with berries, and birdbaths with fountains near secluded planting areas that provide protection. Additionally, planting native plants that attract insects without pesticides and avoiding tidiness can help. Fun Fact: Yellow Warblers often build a new nest on top of the old one and eggs if cowbirds lay their eggs in their nests, and they can do this up to six times!
11. Western Kingbird
Western Kingbirds are large birds that belong to the flycatcher family. They have yellow bellies, gray heads, grayish-brown wings, whitish chests, and black tails with white edges. During the summer breeding season, Western Kingbirds can be found in western US states, the plains region, and Canada. In winter, they migrate to Mexico and Central America, although some may remain in the southern parts of Florida.
Western Kingbirds are usually found in open habitats, and they perch on fences and utility lines, waiting for insects to fly by, which they catch in mid-flight. They build their nests in trees or shrubs, as well as human-made structures. The female constructs the nest from twigs, grass, and plant material, which are woven together to form a cup.
Western Kingbirds lay up to seven eggs, which take two to three weeks to hatch, and the young remain in the nest for the same duration. If you want to attract Western Kingbirds to your yard, make sure it is insect-friendly and plant elderberry or hawthorn, which they also eat. A fun fact is that Western Kingbird parents will continue to feed their young for three weeks after they have left the nest.
12. Yellow-headed Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbirds are visually striking birds, with their glossy black bodies, bright yellow heads, and chests, and white wing patches in males. Females are less conspicuous, with brown rather than black bodies and duller yellow heads. They are larger than the Red-winged Blackbird and can be found breeding in wetlands in western and prairie areas, nesting in reeds.
They mostly forage for insects in the summer, over surrounding wetlands, grasslands, and fields. After breeding, they migrate in large flocks to fields and farmland in Southwest states and Mexico for the winter. During winter, they switch their diet to seeds and grains.
Yellow-headed Blackbirds create their nests by weaving long wet stems together and attaching them to cattails or reeds over the water. They lay 2 to 5 eggs which take about two weeks to hatch, and another week or two before fledging. You can attract Yellow-headed Blackbirds to your yard with sunflower seeds. A fun fact about these birds is that they hunt for insects by flipping over stones to flush them out.
13. White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireos are small birds with gray heads, white throats, and two white wingbars. They have yellow around their foreheads, white eyes, yellow sides, and greenish backs with darker wings.
Vireo griseus Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm) Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (10-14 g) Wingspan: 6.7 in (17 cm)
White-eyed Vireos spend their summers across the southeastern United States, often hidden in thickets. Some near the coast stay there all year, while others migrate to the southeast coast of Mexico and the Caribbean.
White-eyed Vireos can be found in overgrown pastures, brambles, and thickets, where they feed mainly on insects, flies, and spiders. They also eat berries during winter.
The nests of White-eyed Vireos hang from branches in shrubs. They make the initial shape using spiders’ webs and attach leaves, bark, and plant material to form a hanging cup.
White-eyed Vireos lay about four eggs that take two weeks to hatch, and their young leave the nest after ten days.
Fun Fact: During winter, both male and female White-eyed Vireos sing, but only males sing in spring and summer, and they do it from dawn until lunchtime.
14. Baltimore Oriole Female
Nests of Baltimore Orioles are woven from long grass, bark strips, and other plant fibers and are often hung from the tips of branches high up in trees. They lay 3-7 eggs, which take about two weeks to hatch, and the young take about two weeks to leave the nest.
Attract Baltimore Orioles to your backyard with oranges, grape jelly, and nectar feeders, and plant native fruit-bearing trees such as serviceberry or mulberry.
Fun fact: Baltimore Orioles are named after Sir George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, who was an early colonizer of Newfoundland and Maryland.
To entice Baltimore Orioles into your backyard, you can use a platform feeder or hang oranges from trees, or even use oriole feeders filled with sugar water. Additionally, planting nectar-rich plants like raspberries, crab apples, and trumpet vines can attract them.
A fun fact about Baltimore Orioles is that they make incredible hanging nests that resemble bags, woven from fibers.
15. Eastern Meadowlark
The Eastern Meadowlark, or Sturnella magna, is a medium-sized songbird, characterized by its vivid yellow underbelly and a back that’s a soft brown, speckled with black markings. Its chest is adorned with a striking black band, which makes it quite distinctive.
These birds, ranging in length from 7.5 to 10.2 inches (19-26 cm), weigh between 3.2 to 5.3 ounces (90-150 g) and have a wingspan measuring between 13.8 to 15.8 inches (35-40 cm).
Throughout the year, Eastern Meadowlarks can be spotted across the eastern regions of the United States. However, during breeding season, they extend their territory to the Northeast and Canada, only to journey southwards when the season ends.
The arrival of spring in the East is signaled by the vibrant display and harmonious melodies of the Eastern Meadowlark. Despite their heartwarming presence, these songbirds are unfortunately listed as near-threatened.
Inhabiting grasslands and prairies, these birds are typically seen on the ground, where they feast on insects. In the winter, they assemble in large groups in fields, foraging for seeds.
The nests of the Eastern Meadowlarks are ground-based marvels, complete with tunnels and roofs, all intricately woven from grass.
An intriguing trivia about these birds: Eastern Meadowlarks are known to have a repertoire of over a hundred different songs.
16. Yellow-throated Warbler
Boasting bodies of gray and white accented by black stripes, Yellow-throated Warblers stand out with their vivid yellow throats. Viewed from underneath, their bellies and tails appear white. The coloration is more subdued in females and juveniles.
These birds, known scientifically as Setophaga dominica, are moderately sized, with a length of 5.1-5.5 inches (13-14 cm), a weight of 0.3-0.4 ounces (9-11 g), and a wingspan of 8.3 inches (21 cm).
Yellow-throated Warblers have their breeding grounds across the southeastern regions of the United States. During winter, they migrate to Florida, the Caribbean, and the Gulf Coast, extending into Central America. Some of these warblers even choose to be permanent residents of Florida.
You can typically spot these birds at the highest points of pine trees where they hunt for insects. However, during their migration period, they may be seen lower in the trees.
Their nests are remarkable structures, ingeniously built in the Spanish moss that hangs from tree branches. The warblers craft a pocket in the moss and weave grasses, weeds, and more moss into a cup-like nest. Typically, they lay around four eggs, which take up to two weeks to hatch.
To lure Yellow-throated Warblers into your backyard, consider planting native flora and maintaining wild, unmanicured sections in your yard.
An interesting tidbit: Yellow-throated Warblers are among the few bird species whose population has seen a rise in recent years. Despite an initial decline and a shrinkage in their range, they have managed to increase their numbers by 50% since 1966.
17. Palm Warbler
The Palm Warbler, distinguished by a rich red patch atop its head and a body clothed in a blend of brown and olive hues, is a remarkable sight. While these birds breed in Canada, they journey to the eastern United States during migration and are year-round residents of the far southern coast and Florida.
Known scientifically as Setophaga palmarum, these birds are on the smaller side, with a length ranging from 4.7 to 5.5 inches (12-14 cm), a weight of 0.3 to 0.5 ounces (7-13 g), and a wingspan between 7.9 to 8.3 inches (20-21 cm).
Palm Warblers, which breed primarily in Canada, can be seen in the eastern US states during migration, with some choosing to winter in Florida and along the southeastern coastline.
During the spring and fall migration, Palm Warblers can usually be seen in weedy fields, on the fringes of forests, and in scrubby areas. They are often spotted foraging for insects on the ground, mingling with other bird species such as Sparrows, Juncos, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.
Palm Warblers build their nests on the ground in bogs and boreal forests. Their nests are intricate structures made from grass, sedge, and ferns, woven into a cup shape and lined with soft grass, feathers, and animal hair. Typically, they lay about five eggs.
To attract Palm Warblers to your backyard, consider incorporating native plants that are known to attract insects. Planting bayberry or hawthorn can also be beneficial due to their berry offerings.
A fun fact about these birds: Unlike most warblers, Palm Warblers have a unique habit of bobbing their tails as they walk on the ground in search of insects.
18. Evening Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeaks are robust birds characterized by their large bills and striking yellow and black coloration. The adult males sport a vibrant yellow stripe over their eyes, adding an intense look to their black heads. They have gray necks and yellow chests and bellies, along with a unique white patch on their wings.
Females and younger males display greenish bills, predominantly gray bodies, black and white wings, and a yellowish tint around their necks.
Known scientifically as Hesperiphona vespertina, these birds measure between 16 to 22 cm (6.3 to 8.7 in) in length and weigh around 38.7 to 86.1 g (1.37 to 3.04 oz). Their wingspan ranges from 30 to 36 cm (12 to 14 in).
Evening Grosbeaks are primarily residents of southern Canada and the western coast down to northern California throughout the year. Nevertheless, when their food source, cone crops, is scarce, they migrate southwards, reaching most US states.
These birds are typically found in forests and mountainous areas. During the winter, they are often seen around backyard bird feeders due to the easy availability of food.
Evening Grosbeaks have a varied diet, feeding on flower buds in the spring, insect larvae from treetops in the summer, and flocking to backyard feeders or dining on seeds, berries, and small fruits in winter.
Their nests, often located up to 100 feet above the ground in pine trees, are loosely constructed with twigs, rootlets, grass, moss, and pine needles. The female typically lays up to five eggs and incubates them for two weeks until they hatch.
To draw Evening Grosbeaks to your backyard during winter, consider offering sunflower seeds, berries, and maple buds.
An interesting fact about these birds is their powerful bills. They can crack open seeds that are too tough for smaller birds, who then gather around to feast on the leftover fragments.
19. Scott’s Oriole
Scott’s Orioles are large, eye-catching birds. Males are characterized by their black heads and backs, bright yellow bellies, and black tips on their tails. Females, on the other hand, display a more subdued yellow hue with olive-brown backs.
Scientifically known as Icterus parisorum, these birds measure about 9.1 inches (23 cm) in length and weigh between 1.1 and 1.4 ounces (32-41 g). Their wingspan extends to approximately 12.6 inches (32 cm).
These orioles breed in the southwestern regions of the United States and northern Mexico, after which they migrate south for the winter. Some of them remain year-round in southern Mexico and Baja California.
Scott’s Orioles can usually be spotted on higher slopes in dry areas, where they feed on insects, nectar, and fruit. They are commonly found on yucca plants and are known to start their melodious singing before the break of dawn.
The nests of these orioles are quite low, usually situated at heights of 5 to 7 feet. They build their nests using a variety of materials, including cactus fibers, grass, and yucca leaves, creating a basket-like structure. They are quite prolific, often having two to three broods in a year.
To draw Scott’s Orioles to your backyard, consider providing sugar water, jelly, and oranges.
An interesting fact about these birds is their ability to feed on toxic monarch butterflies. They have developed a strategy to identify and consume those butterflies that carry the least amount of toxins.
20. Hooded Oriole
Hooded Orioles are quite the sight, with males boasting vibrant hues that range from sunny yellow to fiery orange, coupled with black throats and backs. Females and immature birds present a more subtle palette, being predominantly yellow with grayish wings. Unlike the males, females don’t have the black facial markings.
This species, known scientifically as Icterus cucullatus, measures between 7.1 to 7.9 inches (18-20 cm) in length, weighs around 0.8 ounces (24 g), and has a wingspan varying from 9.1 to 11.0 inches (23-28 cm).
These birds breed in the southern regions of the United States, crafting their hanging nests under palm fronds. During winter, they migrate to Mexico, but some choose to stay year-round on the Gulf Coast of Mexico and Central America.
Interestingly, some Hooded Orioles have ceased their migratory habits in southern US states, thanks to the readily available food supply from birdwatchers, including nectar feeders and fruits. They typically inhabit dry, open spaces, with a particular fondness for palm trees.
Their nests are often constructed high up, about 20 feet above the ground. These nests are hanging baskets, skillfully woven from grass and plant materials.
To attract Hooded Orioles to your backyard, you can provide sugar water, jelly, and oranges.
Here’s a fun fact: The color of male Hooded Orioles varies by location. Those found in Texas lean towards orange, while their counterparts further west display a yellow hue.
21. Wilson’s Warbler
Wilson’s Warblers are small, round, yellow birds characterized by a prominent black cap in males and a less pronounced one in females.
Cardellina pusilla Length: 3.9-4.7 in (10-12 cm) Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (5-10 g) Wingspan: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
These warblers have their breeding grounds in Canada, Alaska, and the northwestern regions of the United States, but they can be sighted across all US territories during their migration. Their winter homes are found in Mexico and Central America.
Typically, Wilson’s Warblers can be found near forest edges and along streams within thickets, where they search for insects, spiders, and their larvae for sustenance.
Nests of these warblers are artfully camouflaged on the ground, nestled close to trees or shrubs. The base of their nests is made from leaves and sedges, while grass, bark, moss, and other plant materials are intricately woven to form a cup shape, lined with soft grass and animal hair for added comfort. They lay around five eggs, which take approximately eleven days to hatch, and another ten days for the fledglings to venture out of the nest.
While these warblers do not typically visit feeders, you can attract them to your backyard by planting native trees and shrubs.
Fun Fact: Wilson’s Warblers employ a clever tactic to deter potential nest predators. They pretend to have a broken wing, leading the predator away from their nest, only to take flight when they’ve successfully distracted the threat.
22. Hooded Warbler
Sporting a vivid yellow face, contrasting black hood and throat, the male Hooded Warblers are unmistakable. Their underbelly is a bright yellow, while the backside presents an olive-green shade. A distinctive white underside of their tail becomes noticeable when they lift their tails.
Female and younger Hooded Warblers lack the black facial markings and showcase a more subdued yellow tone.
Species: Setophaga citrina Length: Approximately 5.1 in (13 cm) Weight: Roughly 0.3-0.4 oz (9-12 g) Wingspan: Around 6.9 in (17.5 cm)
These birds breed primarily in the eastern regions of the United States, migrating to Central America and the Caribbean during the winter season.
Habitually, Hooded Warblers can be spotted in thickly vegetated forests, busily hunting insects and spiders.
The nests of these Warblers are typically positioned near forests or clearings and are constructed in shrubs using materials such as bark, grass, and plant matter woven into a cup-like structure. They usually lay about four eggs, which hatch after twelve days, and the fledglings leave the nest after about nine more days.
To attract Hooded Warblers to your backyard, consider incorporating native shrubs and plants that attract insects, as these provide both food and shelter.
Fun Fact: Hooded Warblers possess white spots on their tails, a feature believed to startle insects, thereby making them easier prey.
23. Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Green Warblers are petite, vibrant yellow songsters boasting a yellow face and head, along with an olive-yellow back. Their sides and wings display black streaks, and their undersides have a whitish hue. Males are distinguished by prominent black patches on their throats, which are smaller in females and young ones.
Species: Setophaga virens Length: Approximately 4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm) Weight: Roughly 0.3-0.4 oz (7-11 g) Wingspan: Around 6.7-7.9 in (17-20 cm)
During their extensive migration, Black-throated Green Warblers traverse across the eastern US, making their way to the breeding sites in the northeastern US and Canada. Their winter retreats are located in Mexico, northern parts of South America, and the Caribbean.
These Warblers prefer higher elevations in forests, feeding predominantly on insects. Their black throats serve as a clear distinguishing feature amidst other small yellow birds.
Their nests are strategically built in small trees near the trunk, constructed from twigs and bark. This structure is held together with spider webs and lined with animal hair, moss, and feathers. Typically, they lay about four eggs, which take approximately twelve days to hatch, and another ten days for the fledglings to vacate the nest.
If you want to lure Black-throated Green Warblers into your backyard, planting mature trees would be beneficial.
Fun Fact: A testament to their vocal prowess, male Black-throated Green Warblers can belt out songs over 400 times within an hour. They also engage in a triumphant flight display after successfully warding off competitors.
24. Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwings are sophisticated, sociable birds featuring a pale brown hue on their head, chest, and crest that subtly transitions to gray on their back, wings, and tail. Their underbelly is a soft yellow, with a striking yellow tip. These birds are characterized by a slim black mask around their eyes and vivid red accents on their wingtips.
Species: Bombycilla cedrorum Length: Approximately 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm) Weight: Roughly 1.1 oz (32 g) Wingspan: Around 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm)
Cedar Waxwings primarily breed in Canada, later migrating to the southern US, Mexico, and Central America to escape the winter chill. However, they are year-round inhabitants in the northern US.
These birds can typically be spotted in berry bushes, woodlands, grasslands, urban areas, and alongside streams. While they have a preference for fruit, they also consume insects during the summer months.
Cedar Waxwings construct their nests in trees using materials like twigs, grass, hair, and various plant debris, lining them with pine needles and soft grass. They lay up to six eggs, which take roughly twelve days to hatch. The chicks then take about sixteen more days to be ready to leave the nest.
To entice Cedar Waxwings into your backyard, consider planting native trees and shrubs that bear small fruits such as serviceberry, dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn. Offering fruit on platform feeders might also attract them.
Fun Fact: During courtship, Cedar Waxwings engage in a charming ritual where they exchange gifts with their potential partners.
25. Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warblers are predominantly gray birds characterized by vibrant yellow markings on their faces, sides, and rumps, as well as distinct white patterns on their wings.
Females may have a slightly brownish hue, while their winter plumage leans towards a paler brown with striking yellow rumps and sides. With the arrival of spring, they transform, their bright yellow and gray hues re-emerging.
Species: Setophaga coronata Length: Approximately 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm) Weight: Roughly 0.4-0.5 oz (12-13 g) Wingspan: Around 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)
Yellow-rumped Warblers primarily breed in Canada, the Rockies, and parts of the Appalachian mountains. During migration, they can be spotted in the Midwest, and they overwinter in the southern and southwestern US states, along the Pacific Coast, and extending into Mexico and Central America.
These birds inhabit coniferous forests, particularly during the breeding season. In winter, they frequent open areas abundant with fruiting shrubs. Their diet comprises mainly insects in the summer and fruits, including bayberry and wax myrtle, during migration and winter.
Females build nests in conifer trees using twigs, pine needles, and grass, lining them with softer grass, moss, and hair. They lay up to six eggs, which take around two weeks to hatch. The fledglings take about another two weeks to leave the nest.
To attract Yellow-rumped Warblers to your backyard, consider providing sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter.
Fun Fact: Yellow-rumped Warblers often form large flocks of thousands during the winter months. They can be quite territorial, showing aggression towards other species that come too close.
26. Summer Tanager Female
Summer Tanager males are characterized by their vibrant red plumage and robust, sizeable beaks. Females and young ones lean more towards a yellow shade, with a touch of green gracing their backs.
Species: Piranga rubra Length: Roughly 6.7 in (17 cm) Weight: Approximately 1.1 oz (30 g)
These birds breed in the southern and eastern states of the US, migrating to Central and South America when winter sets in.
Summer Tanagers can typically be spotted in open woodlands, exhibiting a fascinating feeding habit. They are adept at catching bees and wasps mid-flight, skillfully beating them against a branch to kill them, and carefully rubbing off the stinger before consumption.
The females build the nests, which are usually situated towards the ends of overhanging branches. Constructed from grass and various plant materials, these nests may not be particularly sturdy, but they manage to accommodate around four eggs. The incubation period lasts approximately ten days, and it takes the fledglings another ten days or so to leave the nest.
To attract Summer Tanagers to your backyard, consider planting berry bushes and fruit trees.
Fun Fact: After leaving the nest, young Scarlet Tanagers continue to be fed by their parents for an additional three weeks. This is because their flight skills take a few more weeks to fully develop.
27. Streaked-backed Oriole Juvenile