Birds With Yellow Breasts – Picture and ID guide

Birds with yellow breasts are common to spot but with so many how do you know your warbler from oriole? 

This guide will help you to identify birds with yellow breasts that you have spotted by giving you pictures, identification information and which states they can be spotted.

There are many birds with yellow breasts that visit the US and Canada and many of them migrate.

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So read on to identify those birds you have spotted.

35 Birds With Yellow Breasts:

  1. American Goldfinch
  2. Common Yellowthroat
  3. Western Meadowlark
  4. Lesser Goldfinch
  5. Prairie Warbler
  6. Orange-crowned Warbler
  7. Prothonotary Warbler
  8. Orchard Oriole Female
  9. Western Tanager
  10. Canada Warbler
  11. Cape May Warbler
  12. Magnolia Warbler
  13. Pine Warbler
  14. Yellow Warbler
  15. Orchard Oriole Female
  16. Western Kingbird
  17. Baltimore Oriole Female
  18. Altamira Oriole
  19. Audubon’s Oriole
  20. Eastern Meadowlark
  21. Yellow-throated Warbler
  22. Nashville Warbler
  23. Palm Warbler
  24. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  25. Evening Grosbeak
  26. Scott’s Oriole Female
  27. Baltimore Oriole Female
  28. Streaked Backed Oriole
  29. Hooded Oriole Female
  30. Wilson’s Warbler
  31. Hooded Warbler

1. American Goldfinch

American goldfinch male

American Goldfinches are popular birds with the males bright yellow and black coloring in spring.  The females are more dull brown as are males in winter.

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)

American Goldfinches can be found in most of North America. They breed in Canada and the Mid-West and Canada before migrating to southern states, they remain all year in the rest of the U.S.

They can be found in weedy fields and overgrown areas foraging for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants. They are also common in suburbs, parks, and backyards.

To attract more American Goldfinches to your backyard try planting thistles and milkweed.  They will visit most bird feeders and prefer sunflower seed and nyjer seed. 

2. Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroats are small songbirds that are brownish on the back and with bright yellow breasts and with paler yellow bellies, and with long tails.  The males have a black mask across the face.  The brightness of the yellow can vary geographically and they may be more olive in parts underneath.

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz (9-10 g)
  • Wingspan: 5.9-7.5 in (15-19 cm)

Common Yellowthroats spend the summer breeding over most of North America, except Alaska and northern Canada. Some remain all year along the Gulf Coast and Pacific Southwest.

They can be found in the spring and summer often in marshy or wetland areas and brushy fields living in thick, tangled vegetation. 

They eat mostly insects and will be found in large backyards that have dense vegetation.

3. Western Meadowlark

western meadowlark

Western Meadowlarks with their bright yellow bellies and melodious song can brighten up your day.  This is probably what makes them so popular, so popular in fact that they are the state bird of 6 states.

Western Meadowlarks are related to blackbirds and are about the size of a Robin with shades of brown and white upperparts and with a black V-shaped band across the bright yellow breast that turns gray in winter.

  • Length: 6.3-10.2 in (16-26 cm)
  • Weight: 3.1-4.1 oz (89-115 g)
  • Wingspan: 16.1 in (41 cm)

Breeding in northern U.S and Canada before moving to more southern states.  Those in the west and midwest remain all year.

Western Meadowlarks can be found foraging for insects and seeds from weeds and seeds, on the ground alone or in small flocks in grasslands, meadows, and fields.

4. Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch male

Lesser Goldfinches are tiny bright yellow and black songbirds with long pointed wings and short notched tails. They are darker on the back and with yellow breasts and bellies. Females have olive backs and are more dull yellow underneath.

  • Length: 3.5-4.3 in (9-11 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (8-11.5 g)
  • Wingspan: 5.9-7.9 in (15-20 cm)

Lesser Goldfinches live in the Southwest and Westcoast all year, but some may move down from higher elevations in winter.

Lesser Goldfinches can be found in large flocks in open habitats including thickets, weedy fields, forest clearings parks, and gardens. They forage for seeds, especially sunflower seeds, but also fruits from elderberry, coffeeberry, and buds from cottonwoods, willows, sycamores, and alders.

You can attract more Lesser Goldfinches to your yard with sunflower seeds and nyjer in tube feeders or platform feeders.

5. Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor)

These small songbirds are olive green on the back and yellow on the breast and belly. They have black streaks on the sides and a dark semicircle under the eye. Female Prairie Warblers are duller in color.

  • Length: 4.3 in (11 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (6.4-8.8 g)

They breed over the eastern and southeastern states and spend the winter in Florida and the Caribbean and some coastal areas in Central America.

Those in Florida that remain all year are considered to be separate subspecies and are slightly larger.

Although called a prairie warbler they actually live in fields and forests

6. Orange-crowned Warbler

Orange-crowned Warblers are not as brightly colored as other warblers with their yellow-olive coloring, which is more yellow on the Pacific Coast. The orange crown is rarely seen.

They are darker on the back and with yellow breasts and bellies.

  • Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (7-11 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5 in (19 cm)

Breeding in Canada and western states before migrating to the Pacific, East and Gulf Coasts and Mexico. Orange-crowned Warblers can also be seen during migration across all states.

Orange-crowned Warblers can be found in shrubs and low vegetation and breed in open woodland.

Their diet consists mainly of insects and spiders such as spiders, caterpillars, and flies.  They will also eat fruit, berries, and seeds and regularly visit backyard feeders.

To attract more Orange-crowned Warblers to your yard try suet and peanut butter or hummingbird feeders with sugar water nectar.

7. Prothonotary warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

A warbler that breeds in eastern US states so more chances to spot them. The males are bright yellow and blue-winged so a bright contrast to watch for. Streams and wet woodlands are your best bet.

Prothonotary Warblers are bright yellow with blue-gray wings and tails. Females are less bright than males.

Unusual for warblers, Prothonotary Warblers breed in eastern and southeastern states before migrating to Central and South America.

They breed in wet wooded areas that are flooded, near streams, or in swamps. 

Prothonotary Warblers eat spiders, insects and snails. In winter they will also eat fruit and seeds.

8. Orchard Oriole Female

orchard oriole female

Orchard Orioles females are greenish-yellow overall, paler underneath and darker on the back, with darker wings and white wingbars. Males look very different with black heads and backs and with reddish undersides.

  • Length: 5.9-7.1 in (15-18 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-1.0 oz (16-28 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.8 in (25 cm)

Orchard Orioles breed in central and eastern states in summer, before migrating south to Mexico and Central America. 

Preferring open woodland, Orchard Orioles can also be found along river banks and open shrubland and farms as well as backyards. They build hanging pouch-like nests.

Their diet is mostly insects such as ants, caterpillars, beetles, and grasshoppers, as well as spiders. they will also drink nectar from flowers and eat fruit such as mulberries and chokeberries.

To attract Orchard Orioles to your yard try hummingbird feeders or platform feeders with cut oranges or mango.  Also, plant native berry plants such as mulberries or chokeberries.

9. Western Tanager

western tanager

Western Tanagers have a flaming orange-red head, yellow body, and black wings. 

  • Length: 6.3-7.5 in (16-19 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8-1.3 oz (24-36 g)

They breed in western US states and into Canada. They can be seen during migration in the east and south of this range. Winter is spent in Mexico and Central America.

They live in open conifer forests but stay hidden in the canopy, despite their bright coloring. The red coloring probably comes from eating insects that produce a pigment that the Western Tanagers cannot produce themselves.

You can attract Western Tanagers with dried fruit, cut oranges, and other fruits from bird feeders.

10. Canada Warbler

canada warbler

Canada Warblers are similar in appearance to the Magnolia Warbler and have a similar range. However, they are grayish-black on the back and the black ‘necklace’ does not extend over the belly, in the males, only over the chest. They have yellow chests, bellies and throats.

Females and immatures are similar but paler on the back and with a less prominent ‘necklace’

  • Length: 4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-13 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.7-8.7 in (17-22 cm)

Canada Warblers breed in Canada and northeastern US states but they can also be seen during migration across the eastern half of the US.

They live in mossy forests and forage for insects. They are difficult to find as their numbers have been declining.

11. Cape May Warbler

Male Cape May warbler

The tiger stripes on the Cape May Warblers chest and unusual dark crown set this warbler apart from the rest. Usually spotted during migration over eastern states.

Male Cape May Warblers are distinctive heads that are framed in a ring of yellow around the neck, chestnut cheeks and dark caps. They are mottled yellow-olive above and yellow with dark streaks below.

Female and immature Cape May Warblers are less bright and lack the head coloring of the males.

  • Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz (10.2-15.2 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-8.7 in (20-22 cm)

Cape May Warblers winter in the Caribbean and a narrow band of the coast on the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America. They migrate to breeding grounds in Canada passing over Eastern US states.

They feed mainly in spruce budworm in summer but in winter they will eat fruit and nectar and will feed on hummingbird feeders.

12. Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Although not as distinctive in color as some warblers on the easy to spot list they are common on low branches so it’s easier to spot them during migration.

Magnolia Warblers males are black on the back and yellow underneath. They have black streaking from a ‘necklace’ on their necks down over their bellies. Females are grayer on the back and lack the distinctive streaking down the belly.

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.5 oz (6-15 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.9 in (16-20 cm)

Magnolia Warblers breed across Canada and Northeastern US states in forests. They can be seen during migration in the Eastern US.

They spend the winter in Central America and the Caribbean.

13. Pine Warbler

Pine Warblers are small plump yellow birds with olive backs, yellow throats, chests and upper bellies and white lower bellies, and gray wingbars.  Females can appear browner and have more white on the belly.

  • Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (9-15 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

They breed in Northeastern US states before heading south. Some remain all year in Southeastern US states.

Pine Warblers can be found in pine forests, as their name would suggest, often high up in the trees. They eat caterpillars, beetles, spiders, and other insects and larvae and when the weather is colder they will eat fruit and seeds.

You can attract more Pine Warblers with tube feeders and platform feeders with millet, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, peanut hearts, and suet.  Also plant native fruits and vines such as bayberry, grape, sumac, and Virginia creeper.

14. Yellow Warbler

yellow warbler

Yellow Warblers are small bright yellow birds with a yellow-green back, and the males have chestnut streaks on the breast, which are a common sight in summer.

  • Length: 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (9-11 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.9 in (16-20 cm)

Yellow Warblers migrate a long distance to breed over much of North America before heading into Central and northern South America for winter.

They can be seen during migration in the far south.

Yellow Warblers can be found along streams and wetlands in thickets and along the edges of fields foraging for insects, including caterpillars, midges, beetles, bugs, and wasps.

Warblers are hard to attract to your backyard as they are shy and eat mainly insects,  but you can try suet, oranges, and peanut butter. 

15. Orchard Oriole Female

orchard oriole female

Orchard Orioles females are greenish-yellow overall, paler underneath and darker on the back, with darker wings and white wingbars. Males look very different with black heads and backs and with reddish undersides.

  • Length: 5.9-7.1 in (15-18 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-1.0 oz (16-28 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.8 in (25 cm)

Orchard Orioles breed in central and eastern states in summer, before migrating south to Mexico and Central America. 

Preferring open woodland, Orchard Orioles can also be found along river banks and open shrubland and farms as well as backyards. They build hanging pouch-like nests.

Their diet is mostly insects such as ants, caterpillars, beetles, and grasshoppers, as well as spiders. they will also drink nectar from flowers and eat fruit such as mulberries and chokeberries.

To attract Orchard Orioles to your yard try hummingbird feeders or platform feeders with cut oranges or mango.  Also, plant native berry plants such as mulberries or chokeberries.

16. Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbirds are large flycatchers with yellow bellies, gray throats, gray and yellow breasts, gray heads, grayish-brown wings, and a darker tail.

  • Length: 7.9-9.4 in (20-24 cm)
  • Weight: 1.3-1.6 oz (37-46 g)
  • Wingspan: 15.0-16.1 in (38-41 cm)

They breed in summer in western US states, the plains area and into Canada.

They are a familiar sight in summer before migrating to Mexico and Central America, some may overwinter in the south of Florida.

They live in open habitats and are often found perched on fences and utility lines waiting for insects to fly by before catching them in mid-flight.

They can often be found near the edge of woodlands so they can nest in the trees and forage in the open. They also nest in human-made structures.

You can attract more Western Kingbirds to your yard by making it insect-friendly and planting elderberry or hawthorn, which they will also eat the fruit from.

17. Baltimore Oriole Female

baltimore oriole

Baltimore Orioles females are yellowish underneath and on the head and grayish-brown on the wings, their backs or brownish-yellow. Adult males are bright orange and black with white wing bars on the black wings.

  • Length: 6.7-7.5 in (17-19 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.4 oz (30-40 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.1-11.8 in (23-30 cm)

Breeding in eastern and central North America from April, Baltimore Orioles then migrate to Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean for winter, leaving as early as July. They make incredible hanging bag-like nests woven from fibers.

Baltimore Orioles can be found high up in open woodland, riverbanks, and forest edges foraging for insects and fruit and they often come to parks and backyards. Their diet is fruit and insects.

To attract more Baltimore Orioles to your yard try oranges cut in half on a platform feeder or hanging from trees. Also, oriole feeders filled with sugar water. 

18. Altamira Oriole

Altamira Oriole

Altamira Orioles are bright yellowish-orange with black backs, wings and tails. They also have black around the eyes and down the throat. Juveniles are more yellow and have olive backs rather than black.

  • Length: 8.3-9.8 in (21-25 cm)
  • Weight: 1.7-2.3 oz (47-64 g)
  • Wingspan: 14.2 in (36 cm)

Altamira Orioles are rare in the US except in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas and they remain year-round.

Look for them in backyards at sunflower or nectar feeders or in wildlife refuges in southeastern Texas and along the Gulf Coast of Central America. They prefer open woodlands.

Altamira Orioles stay in pairs year-round. Try to look for their amazing hanging nests that measure up to 2 feet long.

19. Audubons Oriole

Audubons Oriole

A bright yellow and black oriole with black wings and tail and a black head and throat. Males and females are similar.

  • Length: 7.5-9.4 in (19-24 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.9 oz (31-53 g)
  • Wingspan: 12.6 in (32 cm)

They have a small range and do not migrate. Audubon’s Orioles live in southeastern Texas and Mexico.

Audubon’s Orioles can be found in wooded areas or thickets and they will come to backyards for sunflower seeds and nectar feeders. They can be hard to see as they are shy and forage for insects and fruit in thick vegetation.

The nests of Audubon’s Orioles are often the favored new homes for cowbird eggs.

20. Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

A medium-sized songbird that are bright yellow underneath and pale brown with black marks on the back. They have a distinctive black band across the chest.

  • Length: 7.5-10.2 in (19-26 cm)
  • Weight: 3.2-5.3 oz (90-150 g)
  • Wingspan: 13.8-15.8 in (35-40 cm)

Found all year across eastern US states, but they will also breed in the northeast and into Canada before migrating south.

They can be found in grasslands and prairies eating insects. In winter they gather in large flocks in fields looking for seeds.

21. Yellow-throated Warbler

Similar in appearance to the Common Yellowthroat but with black streaks down their sides. The Yellow-throated Warbler has a gray and white body with yellow extending down the throat and chest.

  • Length: 5.1-5.5 in (13-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (9-11 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.3 in (21 cm)

Yellow-throated Warblers breed across the southeastern states and spend winter in Florida, the Caribbean and along the Gulf Coast into Central America. Some birds may remain resident all year in Florida.

They spend their time at the top of pine trees but may forage lower down during migration.

22. Nashville Warbler

nashville warbler

Nashville Warblers are mostly yellow with a green back and gray head. 

  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.5 oz (6.7-13.9 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.7-7.9 in (17-20 cm)

Breeding in northeastern US states and Canada and a smaller population in northwestern Us states and into British Columbia. They can also be seen during migration in most states.

They can be seen in scrubby habitats and low deciduous forests hunting for insects.

23. Palm Warbler

palm warbler

The palm warbler has a rusty red patch on the top of its head and is a browny-olive color over the rest of its body and yellow on the breast and belly.

  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz (7-13 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.9-8.3 in (20-21 cm)

The breed in Canada but can be found in eastern states during the migration and all year along the far south coast and Florida.

Spring and fall is the best time to spot them in weedy fields, forest edges, and scrubby areas. They are often found foraging along the ground for insects, mixed in with other birds such as Sparrows, Juncos, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

To attract more Palm Warblers to your backyard try planting native plants that attract insects and bayberry or hawthorn for their berries.

24. Yellow-headed Blackbird

yellow headed blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are striking birds with a glossy black body, bright yellow heads and chest, and white patches on the wings in males. Females are brown instead of black and the yellow head is duller. They are larger than the Red-winged Blackbird.

  • Length: 8.3-10.2 in (21-26 cm)
  • Weight: 1.6-3.5 oz (44-100 g)
  • Wingspan: 16.5-17.3 in (42-44 cm)

Breeding in western and prairie wetlands, nesting in the reeds, and foraging over surrounding wetlands, grasslands, and fields for mostly insects in the summer.

They migrate to fields and farmland in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico for the winter to feed predominantly on seeds in large flocks.

You can attract more Yellow-headed Blackbirds to your yard with sunflower seeds.

25. Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeak males are yellow and black with a white patch on the wings. Females and immature males are mostly gray.

  • Length: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)
  • Weight: 1.9-2.6 oz (53-74 g)
  • Wingspan: 11.8-14.2 in (30-36 cm)

They live all year in southern Canada and the Rocky Mountains in coniferous forests. They may move as far as southern US states if pine cone crops are scarce.

Evening Grosbeaks may turn up in winter at sunflower seed feeders if pine cone crops are bad. 

26. Scott’s Oriole Female

scotts oriole female

A large distinctive oriole with a bright yellow underside and black head and back in the males. Females are a paler yellow with olive-brown backs.

  • Length: 9.1 in (23 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.4 oz (32-41 g)
  • Wingspan: 12.6 in (32 cm)

Scott’s Orioles breed in southwestern US states and can be found in arid areas feeding on insects in yuccas.

27. Baltimore Oriole Female

baltimore oriole female

Baltimore Orioles are a colorful sign of spring in the east of North America. The adult males are bright orange and black with white wing bars on the black wings.

Females are yellowish underneath and on the head and grayish-brown on the wings, their backs or brownish-yellow. They are about the size of a Robin but more slender and are members of the blackbird family.

  • Length: 6.7-7.5 in (17-19 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.4 oz (30-40 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.1-11.8 in (23-30 cm)

Breeding in Eastern and Central States, including central-southern Canadian provinces and along the southern border with the US, from April.

Baltimore Orioles, then migrate to Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean for winter, leaving as early as July.

They make incredible hanging bag-like nests woven from fibers.

Baltimore Orioles can be found high up in open woodland, riverbanks, and forest edges foraging for insects and fruit and they often come to parks and backyards.

Their diet is insects such as beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers as well as spiders and snails and they help eat pest species. They eat a wide variety of fruits and can damage crops such as raspberries, mulberries, cherries, bananas, and oranges.

To attract more Baltimore Orioles to your yard try oranges cut in half on a platform feeder or hanging from trees. Also, oriole feeders filled with sugar water.  Plant fruit and nectar plants such as raspberries, crab apples, and trumpet vines.

28. Streaked Backed Oriole

streak backed oriole female

Streak-backed Orioles are orange and black orioles with orange heads and undersides and black-streaked wings and a black tail. They have black around the eyes and chin.

They are rare in the US but can be seen in the southwest. Mexico and Central America is their main habitat.

They are found in tropical woodland, grassland and backyards.

29. Hooded Oriole Female

Female and immature Hooded Orioles are yellow with grayish wings. Females lack the black face markings that the males have. 

  • Length: 7.1-7.9 in (18-20 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8 oz (24 g)
  • Wingspan: 9.1-11.0 in (23-28 cm)

They breed in the southwestern US states, making hanging nests on the undersides of palm fronds.

They will come to nectar feeders or use fruit to attract orioles.

30. Wilson’s Warbler

wilsons warbler

Wilson’s Warblers are small yellow warblers with a black cap in the males and olive cap in females.

  • 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)

Breeding in Canada, Alaska and northwestern states, Wilson’s Warblers can also be seen across all states during migration. They winter in Mexico and Central America.

To find Wilson’s Warblers look along streams in thickets.

31. Hooded Warbler

Hooded warbler

Male Hooded Warblers have a bright yellow face with a distinctive black hood and throat. They are yellow underneath and olive-green above.

Females and immature are more yellow and without the black face markings.

  • Length: 5.1 in (13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (9-12 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.9 in (17.5 cm)

They breed in eastern states before heading south into Central America and the Caribbean for winter.

Forests with dense understories to hunt for insects are the best place to find Hooded Warblers.