11 Types of Yellow Birds in Michigan

Hello everyone! If you’re a bird lover in Michigan, you may have noticed some stunning yellow birds fluttering around your backyard or local parks.

Michigan is home to 11 types of yellow birds, each with its unique characteristics and behaviors.

In this article, I will introduce you to these 11 types of yellow birds found in Michigan and share some fun facts about them.

So, let’s grab our binoculars and explore the world of Michigan’s beautiful yellow birds!

American GoldfinchAmerican Goldfinch
Yellow Breast ChatYellow Breast Chat
Townsend's WarblerTownsend's Warbler
Bullock's OrioleBullock's Oriole
Western TanagerWestern Tanager
Painted BuntingPainted Bunting
Worm-Eating WarblerWorm-Eating Warbler
Hooded OrioleHooded Oriole
Bell's VireoBell's Vireo
Yellow-bellied FlycatcherYellow-bellied Flycatcher
Couch's KingbirdCouch's Kingbird

Types of Yellow Birds in Michigan

1. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is a summer staple, sparkling in the sunlight and making a “perchikory” sound as it hops about.

During the colder months of the year, this bird may be heard singing in large groups in weedy meadows and at home feeders.

It is unusually late for birds, especially in temperate zones, to start nesting at this time of year.

It might be so that it can stock up on seeds and grains in midsummer, which would be ideal for feeding its young.

The tiny head, hooked tail, and long wings of this sparrow are just a few of its distinguishing features.

Males are characterized by their brilliant yellow plumage in the spring, their blackish wings having white markings, and their black forehead.

Moreover, both the top and bottom of their tails are marked with white spots.

Females, in contrast, have an olive upper body and a duller yellow underbelly.

Insects and seeds make up the bulk of their food.

The American Goldfinch is a very energetic and acrobatic bird that is often seen clinging to seed pods and plants while in flight.

These birds are often found near floodplains, which are home to flora like thistles and asters.

These cute tiny critters populate the edges of gardens, highways, orchards, and backyards.

2. Yellow Breast Chat

Yellow Breasted Chat

The entrance of the Yellow-breasted Chat is heralded by an eerie cacophony of whistles, hoots, and clucks.

The only other time of year this bird is regularly heard is in the spring.

At this time of year, both sexes may be seen creeping about under the cover of the forest to eat berries and insects.

The biggest of the warblers, this species may be found all across North America and even migrates as far south as Central America during the winter.

The ideal form of this little songbird is a small body, yet in comparison to others, it is very hefty.

It has a bulky, broad beak, an extended tail, and an enormous skull.

The Yellow-breasted Chat’s upper body is dark green, but its chest is bright yellow.

A white eyering extends down the middle of the bird’s grey face and merges with the bill, giving the impression that the bird is sporting a pair of glasses.

Mustache stripes, often known as white malar, are another identifying feature.

These noisy birds like low, dense thickets and other forms of regenerating vegetation.

Powerline right-of-ways, riverbank undergrowth, and bramble patches are all examples.

Insects, such as grasshoppers, moths, beetles, ants, bees, bugs, and more, are also a common part of the Yellow-breasted Chat’s diet.

The elderberry, the blackberry, and the wild grape are among its finest berry offerings.

3. Townsend’s Warbler

Townsend’s Warbler

The humming, airy songs of Townsend’s Warbler floating on the wind through ancient pinewoods create a calming ambiance.

These birds, which usually eat larvae and small insects, seem like ornamental baubles perched high in the trees as they rummage through the underbrush in search of food.

Hovering, hawking, and gleaning are common foraging strategies used by these birds.

They look much like their eastern relative, the Black-throated Green Warbler.

Male adults have a golden face, a black band on one cheek, and a black neck and skull.

Their black flank ridges stand out against their brilliant yellow chest.

Its olive green tail is joined to a set of grey wings with white bands.

You could also be familiar with a female Townsend’s Warbler.

When contrasted to its male counterpart, though, it is significantly less pronounced.

Typically, this bird chooses to nest on the third-highest tier of ancient conifer trees or a mixed-forest canopy.

Its migratory range includes a broad variety of environments, from gardens along the Pacific Coast to chaparral, parkland, and rain forests.

It’s fascinating to learn that sometimes a female Townsend’s Warbler would start building her nest in one tree, move all the materials to another tree, and complete the nest there.

4. Bullock’s Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole

The Bullock’s Oriole is an agile canopy gatherer of open plains, and it hangs inverted from tree branches to forage and builds its amazing hanging nests.

The mature male has a white band on his wing and a flame-orange body featuring a distinct line running across his eye.

Females have bright orange and yellow plumage.

Many birdwatchers take advantage of the fact that this bird also preys on nectar and fruit by putting out fruits, jelly, and nectar throughout the summertime.

Its characteristic laugh-whistling sounds performed in high trees near streams and rivers help identify this species.

This songbird, albeit only moderate in size, is distinguished by its robust build and somewhat long tail.

Orioles are thought to be related to blackbirds, which would explain their thick-based, elongated, and pointed beaks.

In addition, many people assume that the Bullock’s Oriole and the Baltimore Oriole, a bird endemic to the East, are the same species.

This is due to the fact that in the Great Plains, both species engage in hybridization within their shared range.

These energetic animals are careful in their actions and may extend their bodies to catch prey.

You may find them among cottonwood trees in flat wooded areas near water.

They’re just as likely to settle in a parkland, an orchard, or a patch of oak or mesquite savanna.

5. Western Tanager

Western Tanagers

The bright orange of its head, the dazzling yellow of its body, and the blackish of its tail, wings, and back make the Western Tanager a sight to see.

In contrast, females have a body coloration that is in between black and yellow-green.

These birds may be found in open, Western forests, particularly those filled with evergreens.

There, they like to stay out of sight among the treetops.

In the summertime, these stereotypical forest animals fill the air with their short, giggling sounds.

This plucky singer has a little build. Despite this, it is much bigger than the average warbler.

It has a small, broad-based beak and a somewhat long tail.

The top one of its wings is yellowed out, while the bottom one is white.

The Western Tanager uses tree bark and twigs as part of its planned and calculated approach to feeding.

It subsists mostly on fruit pieces and insects in the cooler months.

Catching flying insects is another specialty of these species.

In the spring and early summer, you may hear the males singing in a harsh sound that is reminiscent of the calls of the American Robin.

The Western Tanager prefers coniferous woods for nesting; however, it is not picky about the type of conifer.

As well as low-lying juniper-pine forests, it may be found among spruce-fir forests.

During migration, these animals may be found everywhere there are trees or bushes, even in open rural regions.

6. Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

The male Painted Bunting seems like it hopped out of a coloring book, with its vivid combination of blue, green, yellow, and red.

A female’s body is a vivid shade of green.

These birds are frequent visitors to feeders in the southwestern and southeastern United States.

The nesting populations of these birds have been severely impacted by the illicit capture and sale of birds, mostly in Mexico and the Caribbean, over recent years.

This bird is about the size of a finch but with a much shorter and thicker beak.

Unlike many other songbirds, this species has a more vivid overall body coloration.

Typically, they may be seen rummaging about on the ground in thick forests, near bird feeders, and in the grasses.

They favor migratory routes through weedy areas, and they flock together with other seed-eating species.

The lovely, jumbled songs of a mating male Painted Bunting are another distinctive feature of this species.

As a result of its reluctance to reveal its existence, it maintains its spooky aura by hiding in the shadows.

Common weeds and grass seeds, as well as insects, make up the bulk of this bird’s diet.

Its diet sometimes includes fruit and berry items.

7. Worm-Eating Warbler

Worm-eating Warbler
Credits – Wikipedia

The Worm-eating bird is a little dull yet brilliantly patterned bird.

The eastern deciduous woodlands are home to the warbler.

This bird may often be seen on steep hillsides with thick undergrowth.

In comparison to other birds, it is duller and slower.

It has a long, slender beak that it uses to probe the soil or the ground cover of woodland in search of rotting leaves.

Its name may imply otherwise, yet it never consumes earthworms.

Instead, caterpillars are this bird’s preferred food source.

Its summertime sounds are characterized by a dry trill and are performed in thickly forested areas.

It sounds like a chip or tseet, which is quite close to the Chirping Sparrow’s cry.

This dull bird is predominantly olive brown on top and white below, with just the barest hint of yellow.

It has a thin, pointed beak and pink legs with brownish-black bands on its forehead.

The Warm-throated Warbler relies heavily on insects for its diet.

Grasshoppers, bees, ants, bugs, sawfly larvae, beetles, and other small insects are also favorites.

Most of the time spent incubating occurs in the latter months when the females sit quite closely on their nests.

Given the obfuscatory nature of their body coloration, remaining still is a certain tactic.

When disturbed, they spread their tail and wings and fly around the ground in a helpless manner to try to scare away any potential predators.

8. Hooded Oriole

Hooded Oriole

The Hooded Oriole lives in the trees that line the streams and rivers of the Southwest, where the weather is hot.

This bird prefers to build its hanging nest on the underside of palm trees; thus, it is easy to identify them.

It is a common sight at hummingbird feeders across backyards and yards, where it gorges on nectar, sugar syrup, and fruits.

Male birds will often imitate the songs of other birds in their melodic, chaotic singing.

The mature male Hooded Orion has a white shoulder band and a black tail and neck.

The way its black neck curves up toward its face makes it seem like a little mask around the eye and drapes over its chest like a bib.

Males are bright orange, while females are pale yellow with gray back and neck.

If you’re familiar with the Bullock’s Oriole, you’ll see that these birds are a little shorter and have longer tails.

A little curve may be seen in their bill as well.

However, their varying degrees of hue intensity should not lead you astray.

This is because certain birds have a more vibrant yellow plumage, whereas others have a more subtle orange hue.

The tiny physique and the bill’s downward curvature distinguish this bird distinct from other orioles.

The Hooded Oriole is notable for its nesting preferences, which often include palm trees, which has earned it the moniker “palm-leaf oriole” in California.

Their diets include mostly nectar, berries, and insects. Ants, beetles, wasps, caterpillars, and many other insect species are the favorite food of these birds.

9. Bell’s Vireo

Bell's Vireo

In dense undergrowth, the Bell’s Vireo blends in completely unnoticeable.

Its garbled clinking cry, as if its mouth is full of pebbles, is much simpler to relate to once heard, however.

This bird prefers to live in thick, brushy areas, and it often does so in or near bodies of water.

The eastern variety is easily distinguished from the western variety because of its yellow sides and brilliant olive-green back.

Take note of the single white wing bar and the mysterious “spectacles” that surround the eyes.

The birds in the West are darker on top and whitish underneath.

It’s not uncommon to see these long-tailed birds walking about with their tails cocked as though they’re scared.

While their bills are relatively short compared to those of other vireos, they are considerably thicker and more hooked than those of a warbler.

The Bell’s Vireo is known for its elaborate tail twitching while in motion.

During the spring and summer breeding seasons, the Bell’s Vireo mostly consumes big insects, including bees, caterpillars, stink bugs, weevils, and many others.

Eating spiders and even berries is a favorite pastime.

10. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Credits: Wikipedia

The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher prefers to spend its time in the shade, unlike many of its fellow bird species.

In the north, it may be seen hanging out in spruce bogs and other wet woods, where it builds its nests low to the ground near the trees’ rhizomes.

Even though it is easier to identify this bird throughout the spring, many birders fail to do so since it migrates north later compared to most other spring birds.

Its top body has an olive green color, while its neck and belly are given a distinct yellow wash.

Its wings feature a striking white and black pattern.

This little bird stands out due to its prominent eyes and massive, flat-topped skull.

The modest size and timid temperament of this flycatcher contribute to its general lack of public notice.

It is common for this species to nest among spruce and bog woods.

The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher sits in the understory or middle canopy of dense woods and then takes off at a moment’s notice to swoop down and grab insects in flight.

When perched, it nervously sweeps its tail and twists its head.

This species breeds in peatlands, bogs, marshes, and boreal conifer forests.

It spends the colder months hibernating in shady coffee plantations, pine-oak woods, and montane forest lands.

Whether flying or clinging to leaves, insects make up the bulk of their meal.

Smaller wasps, moths, beetles, ants, caterpillars, and other insects fall under this category.

11. Couch’s Kingbird

Couch's Kingbird
Credits – Wikipedia

Despite its name, the Couch’s Kingbird is not a kingbird; rather, it is a huge flycatcher that is a dull yellowish gray and is sometimes mistaken for the more common Tropical Kingbird.

A small, greenish-yellow beak and a mostly green upper body characterize these birds.

Listening to the bird’s distinctive, grating “kiip-kiip-breeer” sound is a good method to tell it apart from other birds.

The bird prefers sparsely forested areas like thorn woods, suburban backyards, and the borders of streams.

The huge bird has brownish wings and a tail, and a greyish head.

This species is mostly found in Mexico and has just a little distribution in the United States.

Commonly seen sitting in a tree and watching for insects to fly by before darting out and snatching them with its beak.

Hovering allows it to pick off fruits and prey from plants with ease.


In conclusion, Michigan is home to a variety of beautiful yellow birds, each with its unique features and behaviors.

From the vibrant American Goldfinch to the striking Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, these birds never fail to impress with their stunning colors and enchanting songs.

By learning more about these birds and their habitats, we can better appreciate and protect Michigan’s diverse bird populations.

So, whether you’re a seasoned bird watcher or a beginner, make sure to keep an eye out for these 11 types of yellow birds on your next outdoor adventure.


What is the most common type of yellow bird in Michigan?

The American Goldfinch is the most common type of yellow bird found in Michigan.

When is the best time to see yellow birds in Michigan?

The best time to see yellow birds in Michigan is during the spring and summer months, when they are most active and visible.

How can I attract yellow birds to my backyard in Michigan?

To attract yellow birds to your backyard in Michigan, you can plant flowers and shrubs that provide food and shelter, such as coneflowers, sunflowers, and dogwoods.

Are yellow birds in Michigan migratory?

Yes, many types of yellow birds found in Michigan are migratory, traveling south for the winter and returning in the spring.

Do yellow birds in Michigan have any predators?

Yes, yellow birds in Michigan have a variety of predators, including hawks, cats, and snakes. It is important to provide them with safe habitats and protect them from these threats.

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.