17 Yellow Birds in Washington (ID and Song Guide)

Lesser Goldfinch male

Yellow birds are common in Washington in spring and summer when the warblers arrive, and some stay in winter, but in lower numbers. 

This guide will help you identify yellow birds in Washington that you have spotted by giving you pictures, identification information, song recordings, and when they migrate in and out.

Most yellow birds in Washington are warblers, orioles, or tanagers, and sometimes they are female birds that look very different from the male of their species.

Identifying yellow birds will be a lot easier with all the information in this guide. I have listed these yellow birds in the order of which are most commonly spotted in Washington according to ebird checklists in spring and summer (May and June).

Yellow birds in Washington all year: Yellow-rumped Warbler, Western Meadowlark, Evening Grosbeak, Lesser Goldfinch
Yellow birds in Washington in summer:
American Goldfinch, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Western Tanager, Western Kingbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Nashville Warbler, American Redstart
Yellow birds in Washington in winter:
Palm Warbler, Tropical Kingbird

So read on to identify those yellow birds you have spotted.

17 Yellow Birds In Washington:

1. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch for identification

American Goldfinches spend the breeding season in western Washington, but they also remain in the east of the state all year. They are recorded in 31% of summer checklists and 9% of winter checklists submitted by bird watchers for the state.

American Goldfinches are popular birds. The males have bright yellow and black coloring in spring. The females are duller brown, as are males in winter.

  • Spinus tristis
  • 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 and are usually resident all year. However, those that breed in Canada and the Midwest migrate to the southern US States for winter.

You can find American Goldfinch in weedy fields and overgrown areas foraging for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants. They are also common in suburbs, parks, and backyards.

American Goldfinch Song:

Nests of American Goldfinches are usually located in saplings or shrubs. They are made of grass, bark strips, and feathers on which the female lays four to six eggs. It takes ten to twelve days for the eggs to hatch, and while the male feeds the female, she incubates the eggs.

Attract American Goldfinches to your backyard by planting thistles and milkweed. They will visit most bird feeders and prefer sunflower seed and nyjer seed. 

Fun Fact: Brown-headed Cowbirds are known for laying eggs in an American Goldfinch nest, but unfortunately, the seed-based diet that the parents feed them is unsuitable for them, and they eventually die.

2. Yellow-rumped Warbler

yellow rumped warbler

Yellow-rumped Warblers can be spotted during the breeding season in Washington, but their numbers increase during the migration from March to May and from September to October. However, some also stay during winter. They are recorded in 11% of summer checklists, 6% of winter checklists, and up to 38% of checklists during migration.

Yellow-rumped Warblers are gray with flashes of yellow on the face, sides, and rump and white in the wings.

Females may be slightly brown, and winter birds are paler brown with bright yellow rumps and sides turning bright yellow and gray again in spring.

  • Setophaga coronata
  • Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz (12-13 g)
  • Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)

Yellow-rumped Warblers breed predominantly in Canada and parts of the Rockies and the Appalachian mountains.

They can be seen in the Midwest during migration before overwintering in southern and southwestern US states and the Pacific Coast, and into Mexico and Central America.

You can find Yellow-rumped Warblers in coniferous forests, especially during the breeding season. During winter, they can be found in open areas with fruiting shrubs. In summer, they eat mostly insects and on migration, and in winter, they eat mostly fruit, including bayberry and wax myrtle. 

Yellow-rumped Warbler Song:

Credit: Christopher McPherson, XC602699. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/602699.

Nests of Yellow-rumped Warblers are made by females in conifer trees from twigs, pine needles, and grass and lined with soft grass, moss, and hair. They lay up to six eggs which take around two weeks to hatch and a further two weeks to leave the nest.

Attract Yellow-rumped Warblers to your backyard with sunflower seeds, suet, raisins, and peanut butter.

Fun Fact: Yellow-rumped Warblers form flocks numbering thousands in the winter, and they can be aggressive to any other species getting too close.

3. Cedar Waxwing

cedar waxwing

Cedar Waxwings are mainly seen in Washington during the breeding season, but some also remain here all year. They are recorded in 19% of summer checklists and 1% of winter checklists.

Cedar Waxwings are elegant social birds that are pale brown on the head, chest, and crest, which fades to gray on the back and wings, and tail. Their belly is pale yellow, and there is bright yellow on the tip. They have a narrow black mask over their eyes and bright red on the wingtips.

  • Bombycilla cedrorum
  • Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1 oz (32 g)
  • Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm)

Cedar Waxwings breed in Canada before heading to the southern US, Mexico, and Central America for winter. They are resident all year in northern US states.

You can find Cedar Waxwings in berry bushes, woodlands, grassland, in towns, and along streams. They feed mainly on fruit but also eat insects in summer.

Cedar Waxwing Call:

Credit: Peter Ward and Ken Hall, XC512254. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/512254.

Nests of Cedar Waxwing are in trees from twigs, grass, hair, and plant material and lined with pine needles and soft grass. They lay up to six eggs which take around twelve days to hatch and a further sixteen or so days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Cedar Waxwings to your backyard try planting native trees and shrubs that have small fruit, such as serviceberry, dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn. You can also try fruit on platform feeders.

Fun Fact: Cedar Waxwings give gifts when courting a potential mate, which they pass between them.

4. Common Yellowthroat

common yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroats spend the breeding season in Washington and are mainly spotted from April to October. They appear in 14% of summer checklists.

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

  • Geothlypis trichas
  • 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. Then, they migrate south for winter.

You can find Common Yellowthroats often in marshy or wetland areas and brushy fields living in thick, tangled vegetation. 

Common Yellowthroat Song:

Credit: Paul Marvin, XC629250. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/629250.

Nests of Common Yellowthroats are built by females near the ground in marshy areas and supported by reeds. The nest is made from grass and sedges supported on a platform of leaves and grass. They lay up to six eggs which take around twelve days to hatch and the same for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Common Yellowthroats to large backyards with dense vegetation and native plants to attract insects.

Fun Fact: The black mask of Common Yellowthroats is a sign to courting males that that bird is male, and they attack when fake birds are used, but they do not attack when the bird has no mask.

5. Orange-crowned Warbler


Orange-crowned Warblers spend the breeding season in Washington, but they are more common during migration. They are recorded in 10% of summer checklists and up to 21% of checklists during the spring migration.

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

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

Orange-crowned Warblers breed in Canada and western US states before migrating to the Pacific, East and Gulf Coasts, and Mexico. They can also be seen during migration in all US states, except the northeastern.

You can find Orange-crowned Warblers in shrubs and low vegetation, but they breed in open woodland. Their diet consists mainly of spiders and insects such as caterpillars and flies. They will also eat fruit, berries, and seeds and regularly visit backyard feeders.

Orange-crowned Warbler Song:

Credit: Paul Marvin, XC671865. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/671865.

Nests of Orange-crowned Warblers are near to or on the ground and made from dead leaves, twigs, and stems and then lined with soft grass and animal hair. They lay up to six eggs.

Attract Orange-crowned Warblers to your yard with suet and peanut butter or hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water nectar.

Fun Fact: Orange-crowned Warblers will drink from the sapwells of sapsuckers and woodpeckers.

6. Yellow Warbler

yellow warbler

Yellow Warblers are frequently spotted in Washington during the breeding season. They arrive in April and start to migrate in October. They occur in up to 14% of summer checklists.

Yellow Warblers are small bright yellow birds with a yellow-green back, and the males have chestnut streaks on the breast. Females and juveniles are not as bright as males.

  • Setophaga petechia
  • 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 in Canada and the US, except for southeastern states, before heading back into Central and South America for winter. However, they can be seen during migration in southeastern US states.

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

Yellow Warbler Song:

Credit: Richard E. Webster, XC662546. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/662546.

Nests of Yellow Warblers are in small trees or shrubs and made from bark, grass, and plant material woven together and secured with spider webs to form a cup. It is then lined with softer material such as hair, feathers, and plant down.

They lay up to seven eggs which take around twelve days to hatch and a further ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Yellow Warblers to your backyard with suet, oranges, peanut butter, and plants with berries. Also, plant native plants that attract insects without pesticides or being too tidy! Also, try birdbaths with fountains near secluded planting to provide protection.

Fun Fact: Cowbirds often lay their eggs in Yellow Warblers’ nests, and if detected, then the Yellow Warblers build a new nest on top of the old nest and eggs and start again – up to six times!

7. Western Meadowlark

western meadowlark

Western Meadowlarks can be spotted all year in Washington and are most common from March to June. They are recorded in 7% of summer checklists and 2% of winter checklists.

With their bright yellow bellies and melodious song, Western Meadowlarks can brighten up your day.

Western Meadowlarks are part of the blackbird family and are about the size of a Robin with shades of brown and white upperparts and a black V-shaped band across the bright yellow chest that turns gray in winter.

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

Western Meadowlarks that breed in northern US states and Canada migrate to more southern states in winter. However, those in the west and midwest remain all year.

You can find Western Meadowlarks usually on the ground in grasslands, meadows, and fields. They forage for food alone or in small flocks and are not usually found in woods or dense shrubby vegetation.

Western Meadowlarks’ diet consists of insects and seeds. They eat more insects n summer and more seeds and grain in winter.

Western Meadowlark sounds: They make a pleasant series of tweets, warbles, and whistles.

Matt Wistrand, XC638594. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/638594.

Check out the video below to hear the beautiful whistles and warbles of this songbird.

Nests of Western Meadowlarks are in depressions in the ground in grasslands. This is filled with soft material such as grass and may have a roof over the top, also made from grass and plant stalks.

Attract Western Meadowlarks to your backyard with sunflower seeds and cracked corn.

Fun fact: Western Meadowlarks have been chosen as the state bird for 6 US states.

8. Wilson’s Warbler

wilsons warbler

Wilson’s Warblers are spotted in western Washington during the breeding season and during migration across the rest of the state. They are mainly spotted from April to September.

Wilson’s Warblers are tiny round yellow warblers with a large black cap in the males and a smaller black cap 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)

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

You can find Wilson’s Warblers along streams in thickets and near forest edges foraging for insects and their larvae and spiders.

Wilson’s Warblers song:

Credit: Thomas G. Graves, XC561438. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/561438.

Nests of Wilson’s Warblers are well hidden on the ground near trees or shrubs and made from leaves and sedges for the base. Grass, bark, moss, and plant material are woven into a cup shape and lined with soft grass and animal hair. They lay around five eggs which take about eleven days to hatch and an additional ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Wilson’s Warblers to your backyard with native trees and shrubs, but they do not visit feeders.

Fun Fact: Wilson’s Warblers distract potential nest predators by pretending to have a broken wing and drawing the predator away before flying off.

9. Western Tanager

western tanager
Female Western Tanager

Western Tanagers are spotted in Washington during the breeding season and are mainly seen from May to September. They are recorded in 13% of summer checklists.

Western Tanagers have a flaming orange-red head, yellow body, and black wings. Females have only red faces, and their bodies are yellow-green.

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

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

You can find Western Tanagers in open conifer forests, but they stay hidden in the canopy, despite their bright coloring. Their numbers are actually increasing in the last forty years.

They eat mainly insects in summer, such as wasps and grasshoppers, and in the fall and winter, they also eat fruit.

Western Tanager Song:

Credit: Richard E. Webster, XC678811. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/678811.

Nests of Western Tanagers are built by females in open areas of trees and are made from large twigs and then roots and smaller twigs to weave them into a sturdy cup shape. The nest is lined with soft grass, pine needles, hair, and other plant materials. They lay around four eggs which take around two weeks to hatch.

Attract Western Tanagers with dried fruit, cut oranges, and other fruits from bird feeders.

Fun fact: Western Tanagers’ red coloring probably comes from eating insects that produce a pigment that they cannot produce themselves.

10. Evening Grosbeak

Male Evening Grosbeak, Coccothraustes vespertinus, in tree

Evening Grosbeaks are vulnerable species in Washington, but they can be spotted here during the breeding season in the north and west of the state, during winter in the southeast, and some remain here all year.

Evening Grosbeaks are chunky birds with big bills and a striking yellow and black pattern. Adult males have a bright yellow stripe over their eyes, making them look fierce. Their heads are black, with gray necks, and their chest and belly are yellow. They also have a white patch on their wings.

Females and juvenile males have greenish bills, mostly gray bodies, black and white wings, and a yellow tinge to the neck. 

  • Hesperiphona vespertina
  • Length: 16 to 22 cm (6.3 to 8.7 in)
  • Weight: 38.7 to 86.1 g (1.37 to 3.04 oz) 
  • Wingspan:  30 to 36 cm (12 to 14 in)

Evening Grosbeaks remain all year in southern Canada and down the west coast to northern California. However, when cone crops are poor, they will migrate south to most US states.

You can find Evening Grosbeaks in forests and mountain regions. During the winter, they’re often attracted to bird feeders in backyards, most often because it’s an easy food supply. 

Evening Grosbeaks naturally feed on flower buds during spring; insect larvae from treetops during the summer; and in the winter, they flock to backyard feeders or feast on seeds, berries, and small fruit. 

Evening Grosbeak Song:

Credit: Peter Ward and Ken Hall, XC598472. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/598472.

Nests of Evening Grosbeaks are usually found up to 100 feet above ground in pine trees. The nests are loosely made, composed of twigs, rootlets, grass, moss, and pine needles. There are usually up to five eggs laid by the female, and she incubates them for two weeks until they hatch.

Attract Evening Grosbeaks to your backyard during winter with sunflower seeds, berries, and maple buds. 

Fun Fact: Evening Grosbeaks have such powerful bills that they can crush seeds that are too hard to open for other smaller birds, so these birds hang around to eat whatever is left behind.

11. Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbirds spend summer in Washington and occur in 5% of checklists at this time. They are spotted here from April to mid-October.

Western Kingbirds are large flycatchers with yellow bellies, whitish chests, gray heads, grayish-brown wings, and black tails with white edges.

  • Tyrannus verticalis
  • 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)

Western Kingbirds breed in summer in western US states, the plains area, and into Canada. They migrate to Mexico and Central America, but some may overwinter in the south of Florida.

You can find Western Kingbirds in open habitats, and they are often found perched on fences and utility lines, waiting for insects to fly by before catching them in mid-flight.

Western Kingbird call:

Credit: Paul Marvin, XC552239. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/552239.

Nests of Western Kingbirds are usually built in trees or shrubs, but they also nest in human-made buildings or posts. The nest is made by the female from twigs, grass, and plant material woven into a cup.

They lay up to seven eggs which take two or nearly three weeks to hatch, and the same again for the young to leave the nest.

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

Fun Fact: Western Kingbird parents will feed their young for a further three weeks after they leave the nest.

12. Yellow-headed Blackbird

yellow headed blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are mainly spotted in Washington from mid-March to September and appear in 3% of summer checklists.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are striking birds with glossy black bodies, bright yellow heads and chests, 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.

  • Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
  • 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)

Yellow-headed Blackbirds breed in western and prairie wetlands and nest in the reeds. They forage over surrounding wetlands, grasslands, and fields, mostly for insects in the summer.

After breeding, Yellow-headed Blackbirds migrate to fields and farmland in Southwest states and Mexico for the winter in large flocks.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds feed on insects in summer and seeds and grains in winter.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds sounds: The screeching buzz at the end of a few more musical notes is very distinctive.

Bobby Wilcox, XC544023. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/544023.

Nests of Yellow-headed Blackbirds are made from long wet stems weaved together and attached to cattails or reeds over the water. They lay 2 – 5 eggs taking about two weeks to hatch and another week or two before fledging.

Attract Yellow-headed Blackbirds to your yard with sunflower seeds.

Fun fact: Yellow-headed Blackbirds hunt for insects by flipping over stones to flush them out.

13. Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch male

Lesser Goldfinches mainly spend the breeding season in Washington, but some remain all year. They appear in 1% of summer and winter checklists for the state.

Lesser Goldfinches are tiny bright yellow and black songbirds with long pointed wings and short notched tails. Females have olive backs and are more dull yellow underneath.

  • Spinus psaltria
  • 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 southwestern US states and the West Coast all year, but those that breed in the interior of western US states migrate for winter.

You can find Lesser Goldfinches 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.

Lesser Goldfinch call/Song:

Credit: Manuel Grosselet, XC428720. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/428720.

Nests of Lesser Goldfinches are built in a tree or a low bush. The female uses twigs, barks, leaves, and rootlets to make the nest for her three to six eggs. She will incubate them for as long as twelve days until they hatch.

Attract Lesser Goldfinches to your backyards with sunflower seeds and nyjer in tube feeders or platform feeders.

Fun Fact: The Lesser Goldfinch is named as such because it’s the smallest Goldfinch.

14. Nashville Warbler

nashville warbler

Nashville Warblers can be spotted in Washington during summer from April, and they start to migrate in September and occur in 3% of checklists at this time.

Nashville Warblers are mostly yellow underneath but with white lower bellies. They have a greenish yellow back and gray head with a white eyering. Females and juveniles are less bright than males.

  • Leiothlypis ruficapilla
  • 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)

Nashville Warblers breed in northeastern US states and Canada, and there is a smaller population in northwestern US states and into British Columbia. They can also be seen during migration in most US states. They spend the winter mainly in Mexico.

You can find Nashville Warblers in scrubby habitats and low deciduous forests hunting for insects.

Nashville Warbler song:

Credit: Peter Ward and Ken Hall, XC512262. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/512262.

Nests of Nashville Warblers are hidden in shrubs close to the ground. The nest is built from bark, grass, and moss woven into a cup lined with softer material. They lay around four eggs which take about twelve days to hatch and ten days for the young to leave the nest.

Attract Nashville Warblers to your backyard in winter in southern US states with suet.

Fun Fact: Nashville Warbles migrate along the Atlantic Coast in their first year but only migrate inland after that.

15. American Redstart Female

Female American redstart

American Redstarts are not very common in Washington, but they have been spotted here mostly during summer.

Male American Redstarts are mostly black with bright orange patches and a white belly. Females are olive-gray instead of black and have lots of yellow patches.

  • Setophaga ruticilla
  • Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
  • Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (6-9 g)
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.5 in (16-19 cm)

American Redstarts breed in eastern US states and Canada and into northwestern US states. They may also be seen during migration in central and western US states.

You can find American Redstarts in deciduous woodlands eating insects and also in backyards and thickets eating berries such as serviceberry and magnolia.

American Redstart song: Their song drops in pitch at the end.

Credit: Nick Kiehl, XC522368. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/522368.

Nests of American Redstarts are close to the trunk in trees or large shrubs and are made from bark, grass, and other plant material. They lay up to five eggs which take just under two weeks to hatch and a week or two for the young to leave the nest.

Attract American Redstarts to your backyard with berry plants such as magnolia and serviceberry.

Fun Fact: American Redstart parents only feed certain chicks each rather than feeding them all.

16. Palm Warbler

palm warbler

Palm Warblers are not often seen in Washington, but you might get to spot some during winter, mostly in the west of the state.

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

  • Setophaga palmarum
  • 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)

Palm Warblers breed predominantly in Canada and can be seen during migration in eastern US states. Some winter in Florida and along the southeastern coast.

You can spot Palm Warblers mainly during the spring and fall migration 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.

Palm Warbler song:

Credit: Richard E. Webster, XC189604. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/189604.

Nests of Palm Warblers are in bogs and boreal forests on the ground and are made from grass, sedge, and ferns woven into a cup shape and lined with soft grass, feathers, and animal hair. They lay around five eggs.

Attract Palm Warblers to your backyard by planting native plants that attract insects and also plant bayberry or hawthorn for their berries.

Fun Fact: Unlike most warblers, Palm Warblers usually walk on the ground bobbing their tails while looking for insects.

17. Tropical Kingbird

Tropical Kingbird, Tyrannus melancholicus,

Tropical Kingbirds are not often spotted in Washington, but there have been a couple of sightings in the west of the state from mid-September to December.

Tropical Kingbirds are large flycatchers that are bright yellow underneath and gray on the back. Their wings and tail are gray-brown.

  • Tyrannus melancholicus
  • Length: 7.1-9.1 in (18-23 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.5 oz (32-43 g)

Tropical Kingbirds are usually resident in Central and South America however, they do move north into southern US states for breeding and occasionally on the Pacific Coast of the US.

You can find Tropical Kingbirds in open country with plenty of flying insects. They will also eat fruit and berries.

Tropical Kingbird song:

Credit: Manuel Grosselet, XC623969. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/623969.

Nests of Tropical Kingbirds are built high up in trees by the female and are a messy collection of twigs, vines, and grass, into which she lays around three eggs.

Fun Fact: Tropical Kingbirds nest near wasps or blackbirds, which are known to fiercely defend their nests and chase predators away.

How Frequently Yellow Birds are Spotted in Washington in Summer and Winter

Checklists are a great resource to find out which birds are commonly spotted in your state. These lists show which yellow birds are most frequently recorded on checklists on ebird in summer and winter in Washington.

Yellow Birds in Washington in Summer:

American Goldfinch 31.8%
Cedar Waxwing 19.7%
Common Yellowthroat 14.8%
Yellow Warbler 14.7%
Western Tanager 13.6%
Wilson’s Warbler 13.3%
Yellow-rumped Warbler 11.6%
Orange-crowned Warbler 10.0%
Western Meadowlark 7.0%
Western Kingbird 5.4%
Evening Grosbeak 4.4%
Yellow-headed Blackbird 3.7%
Nashville Warbler 3.0%
Lesser Goldfinch 1.4%
American Redstart 0.4%
Palm Warbler <0.1%

Yellow Birds in Washington in Winter:

American Goldfinch 9.0%
Yellow-rumped Warbler 6.7%
Western Meadowlark 2.3%
Cedar Waxwing 1.8%
Lesser Goldfinch 1.0%
Evening Grosbeak 0.9%
Orange-crowned Warbler 0.6%
Yellow-headed Blackbird 0.1%
Palm Warbler 0.1%
Common Yellowthroat <0.1%
Western Tanager <0.1%
Wilson’s Warbler <0.1%
Nashville Warbler <0.1%
Tropical Kingbird <0.1%
Yellow Warbler <0.1%