12 Yellow Birds Found in Michigan (with Pictures)

Yellow Birds in Michigan

Michigan is known as “the State of Great Lakes”, having more than 11,000 lakes and the longest freshwater coastline in the world. The abundance of freshwater attracts all kinds of birds and animals in the state. In this article, we are going to talk about 12 species of yellow-colored birds that are found in Michigan.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Scientific name – Setophaga petechia
Body length – 10-18 centimeters (3.9-7.1 inches)
Weight – 7-25 grams (0.25-0.88 ounces)
Wingspan – 16-22 centimeters (6.3-8.7 inches)
Lifespan – about 9 years
Diet – insectivore
Conservation status – least concern

Out of all the 33 bird species belonging to the diverse family of the New World Warblers, the Yellow Warblers are by far the most widespread. These birds are also known as the “American Yellow Warbler” in many regions.


Description – Yellow Warblers display very little sexual dimorphism, both the males as well as females looking alike.

They have black, beady eyes with a short, pointed bill. Their underparts are a brilliant shade of yellow with a greenish-golden tint on their back.

On their breast and flanks are rusty-red streaks that have a washed-out look. The upper parts of the breeding males are colored most stunningly.


Habitat and range – Yellow Warblers are migratory birds that spend their breeding season in the shrubs or wet woodlands of temperate North America. During winters, these birds travel to Central and South America.


Feeding habits – The Yellow Warblers are primarily insectivores that feed on moths, spiders, beetles, ants, etc. Occasionally, when they can’t find insects, these birds switch to fruits. This mostly happens in the winters.


Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher

Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher

Scientific name – Empidonax flavivientris
Body length – 13-15 centimeters (5.1-5.9 inches)
Weight – 9-16 grams (0.3-0.6 ounces)
Wingspan – 18-20 centimeters (7.1-7.9 inches)
Lifespan – about 4 years
Diet – insectivore
Conservation status – least concern

The Yellow-bellied Flycatchers are small, insect-eating birds that belong to the family of the tyrant flycatchers.

Description – The Yellow-bellied Flycatchers lack sexual dimorphism and appear very similar to each other. While their upperparts are slightly greenish, their lower body is covered in yellow, which appears to be the brightest on their throat.

They have black wings barred with yellow and a tail much shorter than the other insect-eating passerine birds. Their bills are broad, flat, and colored in two shades, the lower mandible being orange-pink, while the upper one appears to be dark.


Habitat and range – The Yellow-bellied Flycatchers prefer to build their nest in the spruce bogs and other wet northern woods and are found in the north-eastern parts of the United States as well as in Canada. During winters, these migratory birds travel to Central America and southern parts of Mexico.


Feeding habits – Insects make up the main diet of the Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. These birds mainly feed on ants, wasps, true bugs, flies, beetles, spiders, caterpillars, etc. When they don’t find enough insects, they can also turn to berries occasionally.


Townsend’s Warbler

Townsend’s Warbler

Scientific name – Setophga townsendi
Body length – 110-130 millimeters (4.5-5 inches)
Weight – 8.8 grams (0.31 ounces)
Wingspan – about 200 millimeters (8 inches)
Lifespan – about 9.7 years
Diet – omnivore insectivore
Conservation status – least concern

Belonging to the New World Warblers’ family, Townsend’s Warblers are small birds named after John Kirk Townsend, a renowned American ornithologist.


Description – Townsend’s Warblers have olive-colored upperparts and a white belly, with black streaks are scattered all over their back and flanks. Their face is yellow, with a black stripe running across their cheeks. They have greyish wings with two prominent wing bars on each one of them, and a pointed, thin bill.

These birds display sexual dimorphism, wherein the adult males have a black throat, cap, and yellow lower breast. The females, on the other hand, have a dark cap with a yellow throat. The juveniles take after the adult females, having a green cap and cheeks.


Habitat and range – Townsend’s Warblers breed in the tall trees of the coniferous forests, and are found in the north-western coasts of North America during summers.


Feeding habits – Preferring to nest on the higher parts of the trees, Townsend’s Warblers forage on the higher tree-branches actively, hoping to catch insects in flight. Their main diet includes spiders, insects, and seeds. However, during winters, they are also known to feed on berries as well as plant nectar.



Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Scientific name – Icterus galbula
Body length – 17-22 centimeters (6.7-8.7 inches)
Weight – 22.3-42 grams (0.79-1.48 ounces)
Wingspan – 23-32 centimeters (9.1-12.6 inches)
Lifespan – about 6-10 years
Diet – insectivore, frugivore, nectarivore
Conservation status – least concern


Commonly found in the eastern parts of North America, the Baltimore Orioles are migratory birds that belong to the family of the Icterids or the New World Blackbirds. The color of the male Baltimore Orioles matches with the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore, lending them their name. These birds are also the state bird of Maryland.


Description – Baltimore Orioles are medium-sized passerine birds that have a sturdy body. They have long legs and tail, with a thick, pointed bill. These birds are sexually dimorphic; wherein the males are slightly larger than their female counterparts, a feature often noticed in all the blackbirds. Both sexes have white wing bars.


The adult males have a blackhead, neck, and plumage, with a rich shade of orangish-yellow on their underparts. On the other hand, the females have dull yellow-brown back with dark but not black wings. Their breast and belly have a dull yellow-orange color. The immature birds resemble adult females.


Habitat and range – During summers, the Baltimore Orioles can be found in northern Georgia, central Mississippi, Montana, and Alabama in the United States, and New Brunswick, and southern parts of Quebec and Ontario in Canada.

During winters, these birds mostly travel to northern South America and Central America, occasionally seen in Mexico and the southern coasts of the US.


Feeding habits – The Baltimore Orioles feed both on insects as well as a wide variety of fruits, including oranges, apples, berries, etc.


Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Scientific name – Protonotaria citrea
Body length – about 13 centimeters (5.1 inches)
Weight – 12.5 grams (0.44 ounces)
Wingspan – about 22 centimeters (8.75 inches)
Lifespan – about 3 years
Diet – insectivore, frugivore
Conservation status – least concern

Being the only member of the genus Protonotaria, the Prothonotary Warblers are small songbirds that belong to the family of the New World Warblers.


Description – The Prothonotary Warblers have a long, pointed bill, an olive back, yellow underparts, bluish-grey wings, and black legs. These birds display sexual dimorphism, wherein the adult males have a bright orangish-yellow head while the head of the females is a duller shade of yellow.


Habitat and range – In their breeding season, the Prothonotary Warblers nest in the hardwood swamps found in the eastern parts of the United States as well as in South-eastern Ontario. During winters, they migrate to the West Indies, northern South America, and Central America.


Feeding habits – The Prothonotary Warblers forage in the low foliage of the dense, woody streams. Insects and snails make up their main diet.


Bullock’s Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole

Scientific name – Icterus bullockii
Body length – 17-19 centimeters (6.7-7.5 inches)
Weight – 29-43 grams (1.0-1.5 ounces)
Wingspan – 31 centimeters (12.2 inches)
Lifespan – about 7 years
Diet – omnivore, insectivore
Conservation status – least concern

Initially placed in the same species with the Baltimore Orioles, the Bullock’s Orioles are small members of the New World Blackbird family that have been named after the English amateur naturalist, William Bullock.


Description – The Bullock’s Orioles display a strong sexual dimorphism, wherein the males are larger, heavier, and more brightly-colored than their female counterparts.

The male adults have black and orangish-yellow plumage with white wing bars. They have a black throat patch, yellow face, breast, and underparts. They have a long, black, square-tipped tail.

On the other hand, the females have dull-yellow underparts and gray-brown upperparts, with an olive crown atop their heads. The throat patch of the females is dark, but not black. The immature birds resemble the females in appearance but have darker wings.


Habitat and range – The Bullock’s Orioles inhabit scrub forests, riparian corridors, and the open deciduous woodlands.

These birds are endemic to the western parts of North America and are found in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range, Kansas, Dakota, and north-central Texas in the summers.

In the winters, these birds migrate to northern Central America and Mexico.


Feeding habits – The main diet of the Bullock’s Orioles are insects, berries, and nectar.


Blue-Winged Warbler

Blue-Winged Warbler

Scientific name – Vermivora cyanoptera
Body length – 11.4-12.7 centimeters (4.5-5.0 inches)
Weight – 8.5 grams (0.3 ounces)
Wingspan – 17-19.5 centimeters (6.7-7.7 inches)
Lifespan  – about 7 years
Diet – insectivore
Conservation status – least concern

The Blue-winged Warblers are one of the most widespread members of the New World Warbler family.

Description – The Blue-winged Warblers are sexually dimorphic birds.

The adult males have a bright yellow head, breast, and underparts. A narrow, black line runs through their eyes. They have light bluish grey wings with two white wing bars.

Although the plumage of the females is yellow as well, it is of a lighter shade than their male counterparts. The juveniles are not much different in appearance than the adults, only they are smaller, have a pinkish bill, and lack wing bars.


Habitat and range – The Blue-winged Warblers are migratory birds that inhabit the open scrubby areas in the breeding season.

You can find them in Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Connecticut, both Carolinas, and New York in summers. However, in winters, these birds migrate to the southern parts of Central America.


Feeding habits – The Blue-winged Warblers mainly feed on beetles, crickets, caterpillars, ants, grasshoppers, spiders, and flies.


Hooded Oriole

Hooded Oriole

Scientific name – Icterus cucullatus
Body length – about 20.3 centimeters (8 inches)
Weight – 24 grams (0.85 ounces)
Wingspan – 25.4-27 centimeters (10-11 inches)
Lifespan – about 6 years
Diet – insectivore, frugivore, nectarivore
Conservation status – least concern

The Hooded Orioles are medium-sized members of the New World Oriole family.

Description – The adult Hooded Orioles have a curved, black bill and black wings with white wing bars. These birds are sexually dimorphic, with the males having yellow heads and underparts with black upperparts, while the females have olive-yellow upperparts with dull-yellow breast and belly.


Habitat and range – In the breeding season, the Hooded Orioles are found in Texas, California, and Arizona in the United States. They prefer to build their nest in the palm trees. During winters, these birds migrate to the south-western coasts of Mexico and Belize.


Feeding habits – The Hooded Orioles feed on insects, fruits, and nectar. These birds are acrobatic feeders, often hanging upside down while eating.


Wilson’s Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

Scientific name – Cardellina pusilla
Body length – 10-12 centimeters (3.9-4.7 inches)
Weight – 5-10 grams (0.18-0.35 ounces)
Wingspan – 14-17 centimeters (5.5-6.7 inches)
Lifespan – about 6.8 years
Diet – omnivore, insectivore
Conservation status – least concern

Named after the Scottish-American ornithologist Alexander Wilson, Wilson’s Warblers are small members of the family of New World Warblers.

Description – Wilson’s Warblers have yellow underparts and green upperparts. They have rounded wings and a long, thin tail. The males possess a small black cap, which is absent in the females.


Habitat and range – Wilson’s Warblers inhabit open woodlands with shrubs and thickets and ponds or streams nearby. During summers, you can find them in the northern parts of Canada and western parts of the United States. However, during winters, they inhabit tropical evergreens, coffee plantations, deciduous forests, mangroves, brushy fields, etc.


Feeding habits – Insects such as beetles, caterpillars, or bees, make up the main diet of Wilson’s Warblers.


Couch’s Kingbird

Couch’s Kingbird

Scientific name – Tyrannus couchii
Body length – 21-22 centimeters (8.2-8.6 inches)
Weight – 11-20 grams (0.38-0.70 ounces)
Wingspan – 39 centimeters (15.3 inches)
Lifespan – about 7.1 years
Diet – insectivore
Conservation status – least concern

Belonging to the genus of Kingbirds, the Couch’s Kingbirds are small passerine members of the family of the Tyrant Flycatchers. These birds are named to commemorate the American naturalist and soldier, Darius N. Couch.


Description – The Couche’s Kingbirds have minimal sexual dimorphism, with both sexes looking almost alike. The upper parts of these birds are greyish olive with a pale-grey head, while their underparts are a bright shade of yellow. They have a dark, forked tail, and a long bill. The immature birds have paler wings and brown underparts.


Habitat and range – The Couch’s Kingbirds are found in Belize, northern Guatemala, the Gulf Coast, southern Texas, and Yucatan Peninsula. You can also find these birds in the lower stretches of the Rio Grande Valley.


Feeding habits – The Couch’s Kingbirds feed on insects like wasps, beetles, grasshoppers, berries, and other small fruits.


Yellow-Throated Vireo

Yellow-Throated Vireo

Scientific name – Vireo flavifrons
Body length – 13-15 centimeters (5.1-5.9 inches)
Weight – 15-21 grams (0.5-0.7 ounces)
Wingspan – about 23 centimeters (9.1 inches)
Lifespan – about 6.1 years
Diet – insectivore, omnivore
Conservation status – least concern

Endemic to the Americas, the Yellow-throated Vireos are small songbirds belonging to the family of Vireos.


Description – Yellow-throated Vireos lack sexual dimorphism; it is very difficult to tell both the sexes apart.

While their head and upperparts are olive, their underparts are yellow, with a white underbelly. They have dark wings and tail barred with white wing bars.

Around their eyes are thin, yellow circles, making them look bespectacled. They have a stout bill and thick, bluish-grey legs.


Habitat and range – The Yellow-throated Vireos breed in the open deciduous forests and are mostly found in the eastern parts of the United States and southern Canada during the summers. In winters, these birds migrate to the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and southern parts of the US.


Feeding habits – The Yellow-throated Vireos forage on the high branches of trees, looking for insects to feed on. During winters, their diet depends on fruits and berries.


Canada Warbler

Canada Warbler

Scientific name – Cardellina canadensis
Body length – 12-15 centimeters (4.7-5.9 inches)
Weight – 9-13 grams (0.32-0.46 ounces)
Wingspan – 17-22 centimeters (6.7-8.7 inches)
Lifespan – about 8 years
Diet – omnivore
Conservation status – least concern

The Canada Warblers are boreal songbirds that belong to the family of the New World Warblers.


Description – Canada Warblers have dark grey upperparts, while their throat, chest, and belly are yellow in color. On their neck is a band of dark streaks that appears like a necklace, giving them the name of the “Necklace warbler.

These birds have very little sexual dimorphism, with both sexes looking almost alike except the adult males having a longer tail and a darker necklace.

They have white under-tails with spotless wings and tail. The most prominent feature of their face is their white eye-rings, which lends them a bespectacled expression.


Habitat and range – The Canada Warblers have “Canada” in their name for a reason; a large population of these birds spend their summers in Canada. Those that are found in the United States consist of only 10% of their total population.

Canada Warblers prefer to nest in the moist thickets throughout the year, regardless of the season. You can find these birds in the riparian thickets, forest bogs, brushy ravines, swamps, and wetlands.

In the winters, these birds migrate to the north-western parts of South America.


Feeding habits – Canada Warblers are primarily insectivores, feeding on a variety of insects, including moths, flies, beetles, caterpillars like cankerworms, mosquitoes, flies, etc. They use worms, snails, spiders, and fruits as their dietary supplements.


Final Thoughts: Yellow birds in Michigan 

The Warblers make up a large population of yellow-colored birds in the state of Michigan. These birds are very easy to attract to your backyard; all you need to do is to add berries and sunflower seeds in your feeder and arrange enough water for a birdbath, and they won’t be able to resist flying into your feeder.

Yellow Bird Names