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17 Small Yellow Birds That Are Fascinating (Types & Photos)

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We can find several varieties of small, yellow birds in North America, such as the American Goldfinch, orioles, and yellowthroat.

In this article, discover 17 small, yellow birds that are fascinating to watch in your backyard feeders, perched on trees, or in flight.


Types of Small Yellow Birds

Several yellow birds make the United States and Canada their yearly home, while others visit for the summer months and migrate south to warmer weather in the fall. Here is our list of 17 small yellow birds.

1. American Goldfinch

A beautiful American Goldfinch perching on a branch.

Spinus tristis

  • Length: 11 – 13 cm
  • Wing Span: 19 – 22 cm
  • Weight: 14 g

The American Goldfinch is a small yellow bird primarily habitant to the Nearctic region and spotted throughout North America.

Goldfinch birds live near trees, weedy fields, and thistle plants. They are frequent visitors to backyard bird feeders and parks. This small brown and yellow bird nests in shrubs or trees during the mid-summer to ensure food for its offspring in late summer.

This beautiful bird has a lifespan of five to ten years.

2. Canada Warbler

A beautiful Canada Warbler perching on a branch.

Cardellina canadensis

  • Length: 12 – 15 cm
  • Wing Span: 17 – 22 cm
  • Weight: 9 – 13 g

The Canada Warbler is a small yellow bird with a distinct black neckline found in males. Females have a less-prominent neckline, a yellow face and belly, and a black head.

This tiny bird breeds in the northeast United States and Canada during summer. In the winter, the Canada Warbler migrates west to South America.

You can spot Canada Warblers hiding among thick forests and scavenging for bugs on the ground near shrubs and ferns. A healthy Canada Warbler lives approximately seven years in the wild.

3. The Western Kingbird

A beautiful Western Kingbird perching on a thin branch.

Tyrannus verticalis

  • Length: 20 cm
  • Wing Span: 38 cm
  • Weight:: 40 g

The Western Kingbird is a colorful small bird commonly seen in the western United States area during the summer.

We can find Western kingbirds in grasslands, fields, pastures, and urban settings. In the fall, they migrate east to warmer climates, such as Florida and Mexico.

The Western Kingbird can live up to six by fending predators with loud buzzing sounds and fast-whirling wings.

4. Audubon’s Oriole

A beautiful Audubon’s Oriole perching on a branch.

Icterus graduacauda

  • Length: 19 – 24 cm
  • Wing Span: 32 cm
  • Weight: 31 – 53 g

The Audubon’s Oriole is native to Mexico. They also live in parts of the United States, such as Texas and the coast of Mexico. These beautiful birds love feeding stations, brush, and forest areas. They have a long life span for birds of up to nine years.

5. Yellow Cardinal

A beautiful Yellow Cardinal perching on a branch.

Gubernatrix cristata

  • Length: 21 – 23.5 cm
  • Wing Span: 32 cm
  • Weight: 33 – 64 g

The yellow cardinal is a small yellow songbird with a black pointy crest on the top of its head.  This vibrant bird thrives in forests and open woodlands of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It avoids man-made landscapes and grasslands.

It is rare to spot a yellow cardinal in the wild because they are a popular cage bird. The yellow cardinal has a short lifespan of just one to three years.

6. Yellow Warbler

A beautiful Yellow Warbler perching on a thin branch.

Dendroica petechia

  • Length: 12 – 13 cm
  • Wing Span: 16 – 20 cm
  • Weight: 9 – 11 g

The yellow warbler breeds in North American thickets, shrubs, and wooded areas. During the winter, we can find them in South America.

We can spot this flashy yellow bird hopping from small branches and twigs in search of bugs and caterpillars. The lifespan of a yellow warbler is approximately six years.

7. Yellowhammer

A cute Yellowhammer perching on a branch.

Emberiza citrinella

  • Length: 16 cm
  • Wing Span: 23 – 29 cm
  • Weight: 20 – 36 g

The yellowhammer is a small yellow bird native to Australia and New Zealand. The female bird nests in the springtime in shrubs close to the ground.

The life span of a yellowhammer varies greatly from three to 13 years, depending on diet, habitat, and other factors.

8. Golden Babbler

A cute Golden Babbler perching on a thin branch.

Cyanoderma chrysaeum

  • Length: 12 cm
  • Wing Span: 12 cm
  • Weight: 6 g

The golden babbler is a small yellow bird that inhabits the eastern Himalayas to the southern parts of Asia. This territorial bird does not migrate and prefers wooded areas of familiar land.

The golden babbler has a long lifespan of approximately 17 years.

9. Prothonotary Warbler

A beautiful Prothonotary Warbler perching on a thin branch.

Protonotaria citrea

  • Length: 11 – 13 cm
  • Wing Span: 17 cm
  • Weight: 10 – 14 g

The prothonotary warbler lives in southern parts of Canada and the eastern United States. They breed in swamps and woodlands, streams, and lowland forests. This beautiful yellow bird has a long lifespan of approximately eight years.

10. White-Eyed Vireo

A cute White-Eyed Vireo perching on a thin branch.

Vireo griseus

  • Length: 11 – 13 cm
  • Wing Span: 17 cm
  • Weight: 10 – 14 g

This small songbird breeds throughout the United States and migrates to warmer climates in the south during winter.

Making grass-line nests in trees, bushes, shrubs, and abandoned or overgrown cultivation, the white-eyed vireo is an endangered species. It has a life span of five to seven years.

11. Verdin

A cute Verdin perching on a thin branch.

Auriparus flaviceps

  • Length: 11 cm
  • Wing Span: 16 cm
  • Weight: 6 – 8 g

The verdin is a small white American bird with a yellow face and head. They can be seen in pairs building nests in trees and brush. These tiny but tough little birds are hardy and have a lifespan of five years.

12. Magnolia Warbler

A cute Magnolia Warbler perching on a branch.

Setophaga magnolia

  • Length: 10 – 13 cm
  • Wing Span: 20 cm
  • Weight: 6 – 15 g

The magnolia warbler is a sparrow-like North American bird that lives in lush forests. This small yellow bird nests near the base of tree trunks. With a relatively short lifespan, the magnolia warbler lives approximately two years.

13. Yellow Canary

A beautiful Yellow Canary perching on a thin branch.

Crithagra flaviventris

  • Length: 13 cm
  • Wing Span: 21 – 23 cm
  • Weight: 12 – 29 g

The yellow canary is a popular bird to keep as a pet. They are excellent singers and are a beautiful, vibrant yellow.

Yellow canaries are native to the Canary Islands in West Africa. They thrive in mountains and woodlands in their natural habitat. This gorgeous small bird has a long lifespan of 15 years.

14. Common Yellowthroat

A cute Common Yellowthroat perching on a green stem.

Geothlypis trichas

  • Length: 11 cm
  • Wing Span: 15 cm
  • Weight: 9 g

The common yellowthroat lives in North and South America in marshes and wetlands. These soft-spoken yellow birds have a lifespan of 12 years.

15. Western Meadowlark

A cute Western Meadowlark perching on a big wooden pole.

Sturnella neglecta

  • Length: 22 cm
  • Wing Span: 41 cm
  • Weight: 85 g

The Western meadowlark nests in grasslands of North America. It survives n eating bugs, berries, and seeds. This beautiful yellow bird has a lifespan of five to eight years.

16. Western Tanager

A beautiful Western Tanager perching on an old wooden pole with moss.

Piranga ludoviciana

  • Length: 18 cm
  • Wing Span: 28 – 30 cm
  • Weight: 24 – 36 g

The western tanager is a small yellow bird native to North America. It nests in forests and high mountains. However, during migration, you can spot the western tanager in several habitats.

This bird has a lifespan of approximately eight years.

17. Eastern Meadowlark

A cute Eastern Meadowlark with an open beak perching on a wooden pole.

Sturnella magna

  • Length: 19 – 28 cm
  • Wing Span: 35 – 40 cm
  • Weight: 76 – 150 g

The Eastern meadowlark is a small to medium-sized songbird that lives in grasslands, hayfields, and pastures in Canada and North America. The lifespan of an Eastern meadowlark is from three to nine years.

Final Thoughts

We have skimmed the surface of small yellow birds that are fascinating. Did we miss your favorite? Please let us know your favorites in the comments below.

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