Michigan is known as a haven for birders and it is easy to see why. Whether you are looking to see yellow birds in Michigan or plan to travel around the country searching for different birds, Michigan has hundreds of different options that you can explore.
The extensive list of birds available in this state allows anyone who would like to learn more about their preferred species every opportunity to do so. Each year new bird species are discovered, and it is likely that many more will be found in the future.
In other words, if you are planning to visit this Great Lake State, there will always be something new to find or explore.
Yellow Birds In Michigan
From the common warblers, Cedar waxwing and Baltimore Oriole of summer to flocks of finches and sparrows in winter, check out this list for a glimpse of some of the most reliable yellow bird sightings across Michigan.
The most common Yellow Birds In Michigan are ranked by the percentage probability of you seeing them in your michigan backyard:
- Townsend’s Warbler (45%)
- Baltimore Oriole (42%)
- Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher(30%)
- Yellow Warbler(26%)
- Prothonotary Warbler (25%)
- Blue-Winged Warbler(22%)
- Bullock’s Oriole (20%)
- American Goldfinch (20%)
- Common Yellowthroat (40%)
- American Redstart Female (30%)
- Great Crested Flycatcher (20%)
- Cedar Waxwing (6%)
- Nashville Warbler (15%)
- Scarlet Tanager Female (20%)
- Black-throated Green Warbler (20%)
- Palm Warbler (30%)
- Canada Warbler (6%)
- Wilson’s Warbler (7%)
- Cape May Warbler (15%)
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (50%)
1. Townsend’s Warbler
Townsend’s Warblers are small songbirds that live in the coniferous and mixed forests of Michigan. They are one of the most common birds in Michigan and beautiful yellow birds in Michigan.
They have olive-colored upper parts and a white belly with black streaks spread all over their back and flanks. Their face is yellow with a black line going across their cheeks, their wings are greyish, and they have two wing bars.
- Length: 4.5-5 inches
- Weigh: 0.31 ounces
- Wingspan: 8 inches
Townsend’s warblers are very social birds and tend to migrate together, typically in small numbers of two to twenty-five birds. They are like most other warblers and migrate to Central and South America for the winter months.
During the breeding season, unlike many other warblers, Townsend’s warblers prefer to nest on higher trees within the branches of trees in the forests.
2. Baltimore Oriole
The Baltimore Oriole is a small songbird that belongs to the Icteridae family of birds. These birds are often found in orchards or residential areas in North America. They are yellow birds in Michigan.
They nest primarily in the northeastern parts of the country and some parts of the South. During summers, these birds mostly travel to northern South America and Central America, occasionally seen in Mexico and the southern coasts of the US.
- Length: 6.7-8.7 inches
- Weight: 0.79-1.48 ounces
- Wingspan: 9.1-12.6 inches
The Baltimore Orioles feed on insects as well as a wide variety of fruits, including oranges, berries, apples and several types of nuts.
3. Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher
The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher is a small bird that lives in North America. This species is lacking sexual dimorphism, so males and females are indistinguishable from each other.
Overall, the upper parts of this bird are slightly greenish while the lower body is yellow, which is why it is called the yellow-bellied flycatcher.
- Length: 5.1-5.9 inches
- Weight: 0.3-0.6 ounces
- Wingspan: 7.1-7.9 inches
The Yellow-bellied Flycatchers are small, insect-eating birds. Unlike most flycatchers, these birds do not have a pointed bill and their legs are not long. They live in places with a high density of trees or bushes and they are mainly found on the edges of wet woods or in fields.
Their diet consists mostly of insects. They are slow fliers and they only migrate as far south as Mexico or Guatemala, where they mainly winter around lakes and swamps. When there are not enough insects, they eat berries.
4. Yellow Warbler
The Yellow Warblers are by far the most widespread birds among the New World warbler species. Most of these yellow birds in Michigan are also found in the woodlands and wooded mountains of North America and Canada, but there are also populations that breed in Alaska and even farther north.
- Length: 3.9-7.1 inches
- Weight: 0.25-0.88 ounces
- Wingspan: 6.3-8.7 inches
Yellow Warblers are shy and elusive small songbirds that prefer to stay hidden below thick vegetation. They can often be heard singing from beneath the leaves.
The Yellow Warblers are insectivores that eat spiders, moths, ants, beetles, etc. Occasionally, when they cannot find insects, these birds switch to fruits. This mostly happens in the winters. The young of this species are fed not with seeds and nuts but with insects as well. These birds mostly breed during the spring.
5. Prothonotary Warbler
The Prothonotary Warbler is known for its yellow-orange head and bright coloration. It has light blue-grey wings with white bars, a slightly curved beak, a long tail, and black legs. The males are slightly brighter than those of the females.
- Length: 5.1 inches
- Weight: 0.44 ounces
- Wingspan: 8.75 inches
At the beginning of their breeding season, male Prothonotary Warblers perform aerial displays over the water in the swamps where they nest. They often hover and swoop over the water’s surface.
The males gather at potential nesting sites, then perform pseudospecies groups to defend a territory, while flicking their wings to attract a female.
This bird is an insect eater and it also eats snails. They forage in woody streams to get their food.
6. Blue-Winged Warbler
One of the yellow birds in Michigan, the Blue-winged Warbler is a sexually dimorphic species of New World warblers. The male birds are yellow with a black line through their eyes, bluish decorated wings and two white wing bars.
The female’s plumage has been described as being of a lighter shade than the males with similar markings. The juvenile’s appearance is not much different than the adults, but are smaller, lack wing bars and have bills with pink color.
- Length: 4.5-5.0 inches
- Weight: 0.3 ounces
- Wingspan: 6.7-7.7 inches
The Blue-winged Warblers (Vermivora cyanoptera) are migratory birds that make open scrubby areas their habitats. The main diet of the bird consists of insects, spiders, and the nectar from flowers.
7. Bullock’s Oriole
Bullock’s Orioles are cousins of the well-known Baltimore Orioles, a species that has recently been separated into two species. One of the yellow birds in Michigan, Bullock’s Orioles are migratory birds native to California.
Their nests resemble Baltimore Orioles’ nests but are smaller and built using finer materials and plant fiber. The black plumage is identical to the males and females in both species but is paler for the Bullocks Orioles’ females. The bill is also smaller than its cousin
- Length: 6.7-7.5 inches
- Weight: 1.0-1.5 ounces
- Wingspan: 12.2 inches
The Bullock’s Orioles are found in North America, especially along the Pacific coast and the higher elevations of western Mexico. As per their name, they have been named after English naturalist William Bullock – a collector of bird skins and hunter of bird specimens.
Countless descriptive words have been used to describe the male bullock oriole. Some even describe him as a “screaming rainbow” with his brilliant orange plumage and its glowing black and white wings. These colorful small birds sing melodious warbles to defend their territory.
They mainly eat berries, insects and nectar.
8. American Goldfinch
Looking for a common yellow bird in Michigan? The American Goldfinch is a beautiful bird with bright yellow, black, and white coloring in spring. The females are dull brown while the males are more colorful in winter.
You can find these birds all throughout North America in most of Canada and the US except for northern parts of Canada and Alaska. They are also one of the most common birds in Michigan. They breed in Canada and the mid-west and remain in the south for the rest of the year.
- 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)
Release your garden into a paradise that attracts delightful American Goldfinches to your backyard. To attract these colorful birds, plant thistles and milkweed. They will also visit most bird feeders and prefer sunflower seed and Nyjer seed.
9. Common Yellow-throat
Common Yellow-throats are small songbirds with a distinctive thin, bill that is used for catching insects. They are brownish on the back and have bright yellow breast and pale-yellow bellies, long tails. Common Yellowthroats have a well-deserved reputation for being difficult to see as they tend to be skittish.
The Common Yellowthroat is one of the only few birds that can breed in Michigan that has a black mask across the face. It is very photo-worthy. They are adventurists and will come pretty close to people if they feel safe.
- 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)
If the birding bug has never bitten you and you live in North America, do not wait! Give them a try. And for those already hooked on bird-watching – get ready for the best of times.
Common Yellowthroats seek out dense vegetation along the edge of ponds and marsh areas during the summer months. They eat mostly insects and some seeds. Males will sing to attract a mate and defend their feeding territories.
10. American Redstart Female
The male American Redstart is one of the most colorful yellow birds in Michigan, although it spends most of its time hidden in dense undergrowth. The female American Redstart female is olive-gray with bright yellow patches on its wings and sides, and a black hood.
The American Redstart is a small songbird. From May to mid-September, you can find the American Redstart settling into its territory in Michigan. It is called the “American Redstart” because it is red and will start a family with another redstart if another bird does not steal its mate.
- 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)
The female lays four to five eggs in a twig nest built by both parents. She is the only bird who sits on the eggs until hatch day, which takes about two weeks. If a predator gets too close, she will smash her own eggs to distract and defend her babies.
Admire the American Redstart’s gorgeous yellow plumage. Listen for the male’s high-pitched song and watch for it to perch in bright sunlight.
The American Redstart Female can be found primarily in deciduous woodlands eating insects and in backyards and thickets eating berries such as serviceberry and magnolia.
11. Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatchers are medium-sized birds with long tails, short wings and crested heads. They have reddish flashes in the wing and tail feathers.
Flycatchers’ natural habitats range from plus and alkaline ponds to freshwaters on mixed woodland such as stream bottomlands, swamps, wet meadows, marshy thickets and coniferous woods. During migration, they may be found in brushy edges of fields and forest interiors.
- Length: 6.7-8.3 in (17-21 cm)
- Weight: 0.9-1.4 oz (27-40 g)
- Wingspan: 13.4 in (34 cm)
The Great Crested Flycatcher loves to eat large insects and spiders. You can attract Great Crested Flycatchers to your backyard by leaving brush piles for insects and planting native plants.
Berry-producing plants will also attract them and you can also put up a nest box as they love taking up residence in it.
12. Cedar Waxwing
The Cedar Waxwing is a common bird in most wooded areas in Michigan. They are generally present through April and May, but also remain all year. Cedar Waxwings do not migrate as far south as many birds do, but they will flock more often in the summer when they arrive.
This can make them less skittish. They are easy to find in summer when they flock to berries and cedar trees, where they gather to breed and feed their young.
- Length: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)
- Weight: 1.1 oz (32 g)
- Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in (22-30 cm)
If you enjoy birds in the backyard, planting native trees and shrubs is a great way to attract Cedar Waxwings and other species. Cedar Waxwings like small fruit such as dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn.
They also love insects and can be found in streams hunting for tadpoles and water insects. Move a platform feeder to more than ten feet away from other feeders to attract them.
13. Nashville Warbler
The Nashville Warbler is a small, yellow and green warbler with a gray head. It is often observed in Michigan but is not seen as often as other warblers. it is another one of the yellow birds in Michigan that you want to see.
The Nashville Warbler is a favorite backyard bird. It nests in shrubs and thickets, is found in wooded swamps, clearings, edges and openings in forests. In spring, its song is variable, but the most often heard elements include a sweetly fluted whistle followed by a descending warble of two or three notes.
- 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)
They are mostly found in scrubby habitats and low deciduous forests looking for insects.
14. Scarlet Tanager female
You may see Scarlet Tanager females in Michigan in the summer from May until October for breeding. The Scarlet Tanager is a medium-sized bird.
The females are usually yellow with darker tails and wings, but some females can be orange or red. Both males and females eat insects while they migrate through Michigan.
- Length: 6.3-6.7 in (16-17 cm)
- Weight: 0.8-1.3 oz (23-38 g)
- Wingspan: 9.8-11.4 in (25-29 cm)
Scarlet Tanagers are members of the cardinal family that can be hard to spot because they stay high in the forest canopy.
In Michigan, you can attract more Scarlet Tanagers by planting berry plants like juneberries, blackberries, raspberries, serviceberries, huckleberries, mulberries, chokeberries and strawberries.
15. Black-throated Green Warbler
The Black-throated Green Warbler is a small yellowish-green songbird with a yellow face and head and olive-yellow back. They breed in Michigan and as one of the common birds in Michigan have black streaking on the wings and sides and are whitish underneath.
- Length: 4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm)
- Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz (7-11 g)
- Wingspan: 6.7-7.9 in (17-20 cm)
They breed in Michigan between May and October and their numbers swell during the spring and fall migration. The Black-throated Green Warblers build a cup-shaped nest out of long grasses, leaves, and bark high in mature trees or shrubs to protect their eggs from predators.
16. Palm Warbler
Palm Warblers live in bushes which makes them hard to see. When these birds migrate from Canada to states like Michigan, they will stay there searching for food and living in bushes until summer comes when they need to return to their breeding grounds.
They will give a continuous whistle call and have a plain grayish-colored mated pair with yellow bellies and breasts.
- 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 are best spotted in spring and fall in weedy fields and scrubby areas, foraging for insects. Palm Warblers are fun to watch and make a wonderful addition to any backyard.
Native plants that attract insects, along with bayberries or hawthorn, will attract more Palm Warblers to your own backyard.
17. Canada Warbler
This bird has been named the official bird of Michigan. It is known as a Canada Warbler because it spends most of its time in Canada. If a warbler were to visit Michigan during migration it would most likely be a Canada warbler.
This species does not nest here but could be spotted during migration in May and late August until mid-September.
- 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)
As one of the yellow birds in Michigan, the Canada Warbler is seeing a decrease in its population. Due to deforestation, poisoning, and acid rain, the numbers have greatly reduced. With this information, we can travel through time to discuss how humans impact wildlife and how we can improve our environment for these birds.
18. Wilson’s Warbler
Head to a stream in thickets to look for Wilson’s Warblers. This cheerful bird, with a yellow body, black cap and olive band, migrates through Michigan during the spring and fall. This particular warbler sight in Michigan during the rest of the summer is considered a rare sighting.
- 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)
Since there is not a specific diet for these warblers, finding them will be hard. You will need to find the habitat and species of birds that live in this area and focus on them instead. A good place to start is to look near streams in thickets.
19. Cape May Warbler
The Cape May Warbler is a bright yellow bird found in Michigan during migration in May and from Mid-August until October when they are migrating from breeding places in Canada.
Cape May Warblers are members of the wood-warbler family. They are yellow birds with black tiger-style stripes on their chest.
A unique two-toned bird, with a distinctive crown and yellow underbelly, chestnut cheeks and eye-ring, the Cape May Warbler is a favorite of birdwatchers who flock to locations in mid-Michigan in search of this treasured bird.
- 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)
The Cape May Warbler is one of the most sought-after yellow birds in Michigan.
It winters in small numbers on the Caribbean coast and on a narrow band of the coast on the Yucatan Peninsula, where it eats fruit, nectar and hummingbird feeders and in summer feeds mainly in spruce budworm. In the US it is only found on the Cape May peninsula.
20. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker lives year-round in Michigan. It is a small bird and is about the size of a robin.
This woodpecker gets its name from its habit of climbing up trees to eat tree sap, which it then feeds on by making holes in mature trees. It has a yellow belly with black and white stripes and spots. It also has red on its foreheads.
- Length: 7.1-8.7 in (18-22 cm)
- Weight: 1.5-1.9 oz (43-55 g)
- Wingspan: 13.4-15.8 in (34-40 cm)
They make nests out of twigs and limbs high up in the trees, but they are most often seen along power lines. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is one of the few birds that drill holes in trees to drink the sap.
Yellow Birds In Michigan FAQs
What Are The Yellow Birds In Michigan?
- Townsend’s Warbler
- Baltimore Oriole
- Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher
- Yellow Warbler
- Prothonotary Warbler
- Blue-Winged Warbler
- Bullock’s Oriole
- American Goldfinch
- Common Yellowthroat
- American Redstart Female
- Great Crested Flycatcher
- Cedar Waxwing
- Nashville Warbler
- Scarlet Tanager Female
- Black-throated Green Warbler
- Palm Warbler
- Canada Warbler
- Wilson’s Warbler
- Cape May Warbler
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Where Do Yellow Birds Live?
Yellow birds breed across America and spend their winters in northern South America and Central America.
Watch More Yellow Birds In Michigan | Video
Michigan is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Whether you want to listen to the songs of our feathered friends, view them in beautiful locations or try to attract new birds to visit your yard, there are lots of things you can do.
If you are at all interested in the fun and colorful bird population of Michigan, this article was designed for you. We hope you have been able to learn more about yellow birds in Michigan.