37 Types Of YELLOW Birds In Texas (ID Guide With Photos)
Did you recently come across a yellow bird in Texas, and want to know what species it was?
Identifying yellow-colored birds in Texas is not as easy as it might seem, since there are many species of birds in Texas that are either entirely or partially yellow.
To help you identify the bird you saw, we’ll cover the most common yellow birds of Texas in this article.
What are the types of yellow birds in Texas?
The 37 types of yellow birds found in Texas are:
- American Goldfinch
- Yellow Warbler
- Wilson’s Warbler
- Yellow-rumped warbler
- Common Yellowthroat
- Yellow-breasted Chat
- Eastern Meadowlark
- Western Meadowlark
- Canada Warbler
- Pine Warbler
- Scarlet Tanager (Female)
- Summer Tanager (Female)
- Magnolia Warbler
- Nashville Warbler
- Yellow-headed Blackbird
- Yellow-throated Vireo
- White-eyed Vireo
- Prothonotary Warbler
- Blue-winged Warbler
- Townsend’s Warbler
- Black-throated Green Warbler
- Cape May Warbler
- Mourning Warbler
- Hooded Warbler
- Northern Parula
- American Redstart (Female)
- Great Crested Flycatcher
- Baltimore Oriole (Female)
- Orchard Oriole (Female)
- Hooded Oriole
- Cedar Waxwing
- Altamira Oriole
- Audubon’s Oriole
- Orange-crowned Warbler
- Lesser Goldfinch
- Western Kingbird
While many of these birds are found all year in Texas, a number of them only occur in the state only during the breeding season in summer.
Yet other species are winter visitors in Texas, and a few are vagrants that only rarely occur in the state.
Now let’s dive into the details, and take a closer look at each of these bird species:
Scientific name: Spinus tristis
The American Goldfinch is a winter visitor in Texas, and can be seen between October and April in many parts of the state.
It has a dazzling, bright yellow color with a black forehead.
Their wings are black and decorated with white markings. The females are a bit quite different though, having a primary olive color and dull yellow underparts that are a lot paler than the male’s.
The American Goldfinch is usually found in weedy fields and floodplains, but can also be found in orchards, roadsides, and as backyard birds.
It generally likes to eat seeds and grains, and is readily attracted to bird feeders that offer black oil sunflower seeds.
Scientific name: Setophaga petechia
Also known as the American Yellow Warbler, this songbird lives up to its name.
Adult males have a brilliant yellow color, except for their wings, which are just slightly darker and have two pale wingbars.
They also have reddish stripes on the breast and the yellow sides. Adult females are very similar to the males, but have less black streaking and are thus more uniformly yellow.
These bright yellow birds are only seen in Texas during their migration in fall and spring, when they pass through on the way to their breeding grounds in the northern US and Canada.
It favors open habitat with low thickets and scrubland, which makes it easy to observe.
Scientific name: Cardellina pusilla
Wilson’s Warbler is a small Texas bird with olive colored upperparts and yellowish green underparts. Adult males also have a black crown.
This bird is spotted in Texas as a visitor during spring and fall migration, as it passes through Texas from its breeding grounds in Canada to its wintering grounds in Central America.
It prefers damp woodlands with dense shrubs, where it forages for small insects and other invertebrates.
Scientific name: Setophaga coronata
While the sexes of the Yellow-rumped Warbler are dissimilar, they both have a bright yellow rump.
This warbler exists in several variations, and the eastern population that can be found in Texas are also called “Myrtle Warblers”.
These birds have blueish-gray upperparts with dark streaks, as well as a yellow rump and flanks.
This warbler is a winter visitor in Texas, where it can be seen from September through April.
Scientific name: Geothlypis trichas
Common Yellowthroats are small songbirds with a brightly colored plumage. Adult males have a vivid yellow throat and chest, as well as a broad black mask that covers the forehead and cheeks.
Their black face mask is bordered on top by a grayish white band, which transitions into the olive brown nape and back. Females are similar, but lack the black face mask.
This warbler is present in northern Texas during the winter months from September through March.
It is a migratory bird that spends the winter in the southern United States and Central America. It prefers shrubland and grassy habitats, and feeds on insects and other invertebrates.
Scientific name: Icteria virens
These birds are between the size of a sparrow and a robin. They are an olive-green color with a bright yellow breast, a gray face, and a distinct white eyebrow stripe.
These chats are present as breeding birds in Texas during the months of May through August.
They can usually be found in dense areas such as thickets, bramble bushes, shrubs, and along streams.
The diet of this bird consists of small insects, such as moths, beetles, ants, and grasshoppers. They also eat berries such as wild grapes and elderberries.
Scientific name: Sturnella magna
This colorful bird spends most of its time foraging on the ground.
The Eastern Meadowlark, like other American lark species, has a short tail and a conical beak that is ideally adapted for gathering seeds and insects on the ground.
During the breeding season, the eastern meadowlark is most apparent because the males proclaim their territories by singing from a high perch or while flying over the ground.
Depending on the area, the eastern meadowlark may be a year-round resident or a visitor at certain times of the year. It can be seen in Texas year-round.
The upperparts of adult Eastern Meadowlarks are light brown with black markings, while the underparts are brilliant yellow, with a jet black V on the chest.
Eastern Meadowlarks can be difficult to spot, because they forage on the ground, where they are hidden by vegetation.
Grasslands, farm areas, and moist fields are all suitable habitats for Eastern Meadowlarks, as long as they can locate a territory that is large enough to raise a family.
During the summer months, males sing lovely melancholy whistles on exposed perches, particularly fence posts.
Scientific name: Sturnella neglecta
The Western Meadowlark closely resembles the Eastern Meadowlark, but is found in more western areas of North America. It occurs in west Texas as a breeding bird.
Although the two meadowlark species closely resemble each other, and their ranges overlap considerably, they almost never form hybrids.
This species is a favorite among birdwatchers, due to the fact that the male likes to sing loudly from a conspicuous perch, or while flying over its territory.
Combined with its striking black and yellow coloration, this makes the Western Meadowlark a pure joy to observe.
The very distinct songs of the two species of meadowlark allow for easy differentiation between them.
Scientific name: Cardellina canadensis
The Canada Warbler is a vibrant small songbird that may be found as a breeding bird in Canada and northern states of the eastern USA.
The sexes look different, but both have blue-gray upperparts and bright yellow underparts. Adult males also have a band of dark streaks that divides the throat from the breast.
The Canada Warbler is a migratory bird that can be seen on its passage through east Texas in spring and fall.
It favors damp forests with plenty of undergrowth, and is often found near water. It winters in South America.
Scientific name: Setophaga pinus
The Pine Warbler is almost always found in the vicinity of pine trees, which explains how it got its name.
Adult males have olive colored upperparts, as well as a yellow head and underparts, except for a white belly. The females are more grayish buff.
During the months of April through September, the Pine Warbler may be encountered nesting in the woods of eastern Texas.
It also winters in southeast Texas, and forages in the underground of pine forests, which makes it relatively easy to observe.
Scarlet Tanager (Female)
Scientific name: Piranga olivacea
While male Scarlet Tanagers have a tropical appearance, due to their bright scarlet plumage, the female looks like a distinct species, and is more dull yellow in color.
The Scarlet Tanager is a summer visitor to Texas, and spends its winter in Central and South America.
This bird loves warm temperatures, and thus arrives late in spring, and leaves early in fall. During spring and fall, Scarlet Tanagers from Canada can be seen passing through east Texas.
Both sexes sing a similar song in order to mark and defend their territory from other birds.
Summer Tanager (Female)
Scientific name: Piranga rubra
The Summer Tanager is a stunningly beautiful songbird of North America.
While adult male Summer Tanagers are entirely bright red Texas birds, females and immatures are buff yellow, although they sometimes have a few patches of orange.
It can be hard to observe Summer Tanagers, since they like to forage high in the treetops of deciduous and mixed forests.
The Summer Tanager is a scarce summer visitor in Texas, and can be seen here from May through August.
These birds migrate, and leave Texas in the fall to spend the cold season in Mexico and Central America.
Scientific name: Setophaga magnolia
Adult males of this colorful bird have dark upperparts and bright yellow belly with a distinctive black chest band and dark streaks on the flanks.
The crown is blueish gray, and is separated from the light throat by a black mask. Females look similar, but lack the areas of black plumage.
In Texas, the Magnolia Warbler may be seen on passage during spring and fall migration.
It favors coniferous forests, where it forages for insects and other invertebrates in the dense undergrowth.
Scientific name: Oreothlypis ruficapilla
The Nashville Warbler is a beautiful little songbird. Adult males have an olive gray back, a blue gray head, and lemon yellow belly.
Females and juvenile birds are similar to males, but slightly paler and less colorful.
Generally speaking, the Nashville Warbler is found as a migratory bird throughout Texas during spring and fall, and also as a scarce winter visitor in the southern part of coastal Texas.
Similar to many other warblers, it migrates to Central America in order to spend the winter. It favors the tangled undergrowth of mixed forests.
Scientific name: Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
While Yellow-headed Blackbirds are more common in western North America, west Texas is included within the eastern edge of their range.
Adult males stand out thanks to their distinctive bright yellow chest and head, paired with a mostly black body.
Females and immatures of this blackbird have more drab coloration and are dark brown rather than black.
Males will often mate with a number of different females during the breeding season, forming small colonies of nests.
Outside of the breeding season, these blackbirds gather into massive flocks, frequently mingling with other species of blackbirds, and feed on leftover grains on farmland.
At this time it is common for this blackbird to forage in fields and spend their winters in open cultivated areas.
During the summer months, they feed mostly on insects and other small invertebrates.
Typically, these birds breed in lowland areas with wetlands and dense growth of cattails. This Texas blackbird is most often observed during migration in fall and spring.
Scientific name: Vireo flavifrons
The Yellow-throated Vireo is a brightly colored songbird with a thick beak, and a head that is disproportionately large.
Both sexes look similar and have yellow and gray upperparts, yellow eyebrow stripe, throat, and breast. Their dark wings have two white wingbars.
During the months of April through August, this bird may be seen breeding over much of the eastern and central parts of Texas.
This yellow-colored bird favors dense forests, and is hard to observe as it usually forages in the tree tops. It migrates to Central America to spend the winter.
Scientific name: Vireo griseus
The White-eyed Vireo is a small bird with grayish brown upperparts and pale yellow flanks.The underparts are buff white, and there are two distinctive white wing bars.
A great feature to identify it by is its pale iris, which distinguishes it from many other similar birds.
The White-eyed Vireo is a summer visitor in central Texas, and is resident in south Texas all year. It breeds in deciduous forests, and feeds on insects and other small invertebrates.
Related: What are the white birds of Texas?
Scientific name: Protonotaria citrea
A small bird, the Prothonotary Warbler is a summer visitor in eastern Texas, and is a winter bird in the Gulf Coast and in Central and South America.
Male Prothonotary Warblers are bright yellow with gray-blue wings and long tail, as well as black eyes.
If you were to look at this yellow bird from underneath, you would see its white belly. The females are very similar to the males, but are more often than not slightly paler yellow.
You’ll usually find Prothonotary Warblers in woodlands near streams and lakes, as well as in wooded swamps.
Their diet mainly consists of snails and insects you’d find in swampy areas.
Scientific name: Vermivora cyanoptera
This is a colorful little wood warbler. Adult males can be recognized by their olive back and yellow belly and head.
Their blue gray wings have two subtle white wingbars, while the head has a thin black stripe between the eye and the beak.
Adult females look similar, but slightly more drab and less intensely colored. This bird favors clearings and forest edges with young trees.
The Blue-winged Warbler occurs as a passage migrant in southeast Texas during the months of April and September.
Scientific name: Setophaga townsendi
The Townsend’s Warbler is a beautiful small songbird.
Adult males have contrasting patches of bright lemon yellow and black on their heads, as well as a black chest and yellow underparts with dark streaks.
Females look similar to males, except they are often lighter in color, and the black portions of the head markings have been replaced with dark gray.
This is a breeding bird of the Pacific Northwest, and occurs in the western half of Texas during spring and fall migration.
Black-throated Green Warbler
Scientific name: Setophaga virens
Similar to the Townsend’s Warbler, the Black-throated Green Warbler is also a colorful little warbler.
Adult males have an olive green back, a bright yellow face and cheeks, and a black throat and chest. The belly is buff white with dark streaks in the flanks. Females look similar, but don’t have a black throat.
It is a migratory bird that can be seen in east Texas during fall and spring migration.
This yellow-colored bird favors mixed and coniferous forests, and migrates to the Caribbean to spend its winter.
Related: Green birds in Texas
Cape May Warbler
Scientific name: Setophaga tigrina
The Cape May Warbler is a northern species that breeds in eastern Canada, but also occurs in the northern parts of Texas.
Adult males have a streaked olive green back, white their face is yellow with chestnut cheeks. Their underparts are yellow with dark streaks.
Females look similar, but are less colorful and more grayish in their overall appearance.
During the months of May through August, the Cape May Warbler may be seen nesting in Canada.
During migration, however, it can be seen in eastern parts of Texas, on its way to its wintering locations in the Caribbean.
Scientific name: Geothlypis philadelphia
The Mourning Warbler is a colorful ground-dwelling warbler. Adult males have an olive green back, while their belly is golden yellow.
The head and throat are blue gray, and the chest has a black patch towards the top. Females look similar, but are paler overall.
This warbler is a visitor in east Texas during its migrations to and from Central America. It favors shrubland and dense thickets, but is very secretive, and hence hard to observe.
Scientific name: Setophaga citrina
These small yellow birds are common summer visitors in eastern Texas, where they can be seen from May to September.
The Male has a striking black hood, which contrasts with brilliant flashes of yellow, while its back is olive green.
Females and immatures are similar to males, but lack the black areas on their head. These birds don’t visit bird feeders, and are most often spotted in backyards during migration.
They prefer forests with dense undergrowth, and winter in Mexico and Central America.
Scientific name: Setophaga americana
The Northern Parula is a colorful wood warbler that has distinct markings on its body.
The upperparts of adult males are mostly blue, and they have a yellowish green patch on the back, in addition to two white wingbars.
One of the most distinctive features of this bird is the striking yellow throat, as well as a bright orange breast band.
The eye of the Northern Parula has a partial white eyering, which is a great feature for identification of this little warbler.
It is a common summer visitor in east Texas, where it breeds in deciduous and mixed woodland. It can be seen throughout the rest of the state during spring and fall migration.
American Redstart (Female)
Scientific name: Setophaga ruticilla
While male American Redstarts are orange and black, females have yellow plumage instead of the orange parts of the male.
Females also have much less black, and as a result look like pale green birds with bright yellow patches.
This bird is a breeding bird in the easternmost part of Texas from May through August, and favors a wide variety of woodland habitats, as well as backyards.
It migrates to South America to spend the winter months.
Great Crested Flycatcher
Scientific name: Myiarchus crinitus
The Great Crested Flycatcher is a slim, long-bodied flycatcher. Adults have a dark brown head and back, as well as yellowish belly.
The tail is rufous orange, and the crest of this bird is relatively small, and not very useful as a distinguishing feature.
The Great Crested Flycatcher is a common bird in Texas during the summer, and it can be seen throughout the state from April through September.
It nests in a wide variety of woodland habitats, and feeds on insects as well as berries. Its winter range extends from Central to South America.
Baltimore Oriole (Female)
Scientific name: Icterus galbula
The Baltimore Oriole is a wonderful singer that is more frequently heard than seen.
Adult males are very conspicuous due to their flaming orange belly, paired with a completely black head and back, as well as their black wings with white wing bands.
Females and immatures have a more brownish yellow coloration.
Baltimore Orioles are readily attracted to feeders that contain orange halves, grape jelly, or nectar.
And similar to Orchard Orioles, parents bring their recently fledged young to a nearby feeder.
This bird favors open spaces such as yards, parks, and woods, and frequently comes back to the same location year after year.
Keep an eye out for Baltimore Orioles in deciduous forests, but not in dense woods. You may encounter them in places like open forests, forest margins, orchards and even backyards.
Due to the fact that they forage high in trees in search of insects, fruit, and flowers, most Texas orioles are more frequently heard than seen.
While the Baltimore Oriole is a rare summer visitor to Texas, it is most often seen in the state during the migration season.
Scientific name: Icterus spurius
This Oriole got its name from its preference for orchards and open woods. It is a common summer visitor in Texas, and is found throughout the state.
Unlike the males (which are a combination of black and dark orange), females are mostly yellow.
Young males resemble females in color, and gradually become more and more black over their first two years.
Early in the summer, the Orchard Oriole feeds on insects, but later it will switch to eating wild fruit as they become mature.
After their young have fledged, parent Orioles will bring them to feeding stations (especially if you have a nectar feeder.
Some people mistakenly believe that the Orioles have departed since they do not see them at their feeders very often during the peak of the summer.
However, the birds are still present nearby, but are simply focused on catching insects to bring back to their nestlings.
The Orchard Oriole is one of the birds that gets here very late in the spring and is one of the ones that leaves quite early in the fall.
Scientific name: Icterus cucullatus
While the Hooded Oriole is most commonly found in California and other parts of the southwestern United States, it also breeds in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas.
The Hooded Oriole is a medium-sized bird that is highly conspicuous due to its flaming yellow belly and neck.
In addition to the bright parts, its throat, back, tail, and wings are a stunning jet black color.
The range of the Hooded Oriole in the Southwest has expanded as a result of both an increase in the number of palm trees and an increase in the availability of nectar bid feeders.
One of the favorite foods of this oriole is nectar, and as a result, they are on occasion observed at bird feeders in Texas that offer nectar or grape jelly.
Scientific name: Bombycilla cedrorum
Adult Cedar Waxwings have orange buff colors that fade into light yellow on the underparts. There is a crest on the head, as well as a dark mask around the eyes. Both sexes look similar.
This bird is present in Texas as an irregular winter visitor. During harsh winters its numbers go up in the Lone Star State due to northern birds that move south to escape the harsh climate.
During winter, these birds form small flocks that are nomadic, and wander around in search of areas with most food, such as berry bushes.
Scientific name: Icterus gularis
The Altamira Oriole is one of the most brightly colored orioles, which gives it a distinctive tropical appearance.
Its main range is in Mexico and Central America, but also breeds in the lower parts of Texas’s Rio Grande Valley.
Males and females look alike, and have a flaming orange-yellow head and underside. The striking orange body color contrasts with their jet black wings and back.
These birds are year-round residents, and sometimes visit bird feeders that offer nectar or orange slices.
Scientific name: Icterus graduacauda
Audubon’s Oriole has a similar range to the Altamira Oriole in South Texas, where it can be found in bushland close to the Rio Grande river.
Adult males and females look similar, and have a beautiful yellow body color, paired with an entirely black head, black wings, and a black tail.
It is a shy bird, and can be hard to observe, although it does sometimes visit feeding stations. The best way to identify this oriole is by the melodious whistling song of the male.
Scientific name: Oreothlypis celata
The orange patch on the head of the Orange-crowned Warbler is difficult to notice and is therefore not a helpful field trait to use for its identification.
Adult males are greenish yellow in color, with the upper portions a somewhat deeper shade than the lower bellies. They have a yellow-buff undertail and faint stripes on the underparts.
Adult females and juveniles have less vibrant colors than males, and are more grayish yellow tones.
The Orange-crowned Warbler is a winter visitor in the southern half of Texas, where it can be seen from September through April.
Scientific name: Spinus psaltria
The Lesser Goldfinch is found in southwest Texas, and this is the easternmost part of its breeding range in North America.
Adult males have a black cap and black wings, which contrast with bright yellow underparts. Their black wings have a white stripe, which is most obvious in flight.
Females and juveniles are olive green, with lighter underparts and dark wings with a white wing bar.
The Lesser Goldfinch is a year-round resident in southwest and south Texas, and outside of the breeding season it likes to forage in flocks, mainly feeding on thistles.
Scientific name: Tyrannus verticalis
The Western Kingbird has a yellow underside, paired with pale gray upperparts, with both sexes looking similar.
Adults have a head that is mostly a light gray color, with a thin black line that runs through each eye.
The feathers of their dark brown wings have light colored edges, as do the tail feathers. Young birds resemble adults but are paler.
The Western Kingbird is a summer visitor that breeds throughout Texas, and can be seen from April through August. It winters in Central America.
Its preferred habitat is farmland and open country mixed with woodlands.
Scientific name: Spiza americana
The Dickcissel is a songbird that resembles a sparrow, but has more colorful markings.
The backs of adult males are marked with black stripes of gray-brown and reddish brown, and they also have a gray nape.
They have a bright yellow eyebrow stripe, as well as a yellow malar stripe, and a yellow breast.
Females and juveniles are less colorful, and lack the yellow and black plumage of the males.
It is a summer breeding visitor throughout most of Texas, and is present from May through August.
Its preferred habitat are grassland and prairies, and it forms large flocks outside of the breeding season.
What Texas birds are yellow and black?
The following 12 types of birds in Texas are yellow and black:
- American Goldfinch
- Yellow-headed Blackbird
- Eastern Meadowlark
- Common Yellowthroat
- Yellow-throated Warbler
- Black-throated Green Warbler
- Magnolia Warbler
- Wilson’s Warbler
- Canada Warbler
- Hooded Warbler
- Altamira Oriole
- Audubon’s Oriole
As you can see, there are many Texas birds that are both yellow and black.
The most common of these are American Goldfinches, which are present in Texas during the winter.
So if you spot a black and yellow bird while bird watching, this is the first species that you should check for.
If you’re not sure which one of these birds you saw, check out our detailed description and ID photos above.
What small Texas birds are yellow?
The most common small yellow birds in the Lone Star State are American Goldfinches, which are widespread winter birds in grassland and urban areas.
Apart from Goldfinches, the smallest yellow birds in the state are warblers. There are no less than 11 types of yellow warblers in Texas, of which the most common one is the Yellow Warbler.
If you’re not sure which one of these birds you saw, check out our detailed descriptions and ID photos above.