Skip to content Skip to footer

The Top 10 Yellow Birds in Alabama (With Pics)

A ray of sunshine on feathered wings; Alabama’s yellow birds bring the golden hues of the sun down to earth. These avian wonders, ranging from the radiant Prothonotary Warbler to the delicate Yellow Warbler, paint Alabama’s landscapes with a spectrum of yellows. Join us in celebrating the sunlit symphony of Alabama’s feathered residents!

1. American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch
  • Scientific Name: Spinus tristis
  • Size: 11-13 cm (4.3-5.1 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 19-22 cm (7.5-8.7 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Year-round, but more numerous in Winter

The American Goldfinch, with its bright yellow plumage during the breeding season, is a delightful presence in Alabama’s meadows and gardens. These birds have a penchant for seeds, especially those of dandelions, sunflowers, and thistles.

Their flight is unique, displaying a series of bounds and pauses, which are often accompanied by their melodic calls. During the winter, their plumage becomes more subdued, turning into a pale brown, but come spring, males don a brilliant yellow once again.

Did you know? The American Goldfinch is the only finch that molts its body feathers twice a year, once in late summer and again in late winter.

2. Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler
  • Scientific Name: Protonotaria citrea
  • Size: 13 cm (5.1 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 22 cm (8.7 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Spring to early Fall

Draped in golden-yellow, the Prothonotary Warbler is a striking bird primarily found in Alabama’s swampy woodlands. These warblers have a unique nesting preference, choosing to nest in cavities often close to water.

Their diet mainly comprises insects and spiders. They’re known for their loud and distinct song, which echoes through the swampy forests, making them relatively easy to locate during the breeding season.

Did you know? The name “Prothonotary” refers to clerks in the Roman Catholic Church, whose robes were bright yellow, much like the bird’s plumage.

3. Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler
  • Scientific Name: Setophaga petechia
  • Size: 10-18 cm (3.9-7.1 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 16-20 cm (6.3-7.9 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Spring and Summer

With its vibrant yellow hue and chestnut streaks, the Yellow Warbler can be spotted flitting through the trees in Alabama during its breeding season. They are insectivorous, often gleaning the foliage for their meals.

The presence of these birds is often marked by their cheerful song. Their nesting habits are unique, often building their nests in shrubs or trees, carefully concealed among dense foliage.

Did you know? When a parasitic cowbird lays its egg in a Yellow Warbler’s nest, the warbler often builds a new layer over the top, concealing the intruder’s egg.

4. Yellow-Throated Warbler

Yellow-Throated Warbler
  • Scientific Name: Setophaga dominica
  • Size: 13 cm (5.1 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 20-23 cm (7.9-9.1 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Spring to early Fall

Featuring a bright yellow throat contrasted with a gray back and white belly, the Yellow-throated Warbler is an exquisite bird that resides in Alabama’s pine forests and swamps. Their long bill helps them forage for insects hiding in bark crevices.

They’re agile climbers, often seen maneuvering the branches and trunks of trees with finesse. The bird’s melodic song resonates through the woodlands, adding to the auditory pleasures of the forest.

Did you know? The Yellow-throated Warbler’s habitat preference varies by region. In the Midwest, they favor sycamore trees along riverbanks, while in the Southeast, they are often found in pines.

5. Yellow-Breasted Chat

Yellow-Breasted Chat
  • Scientific Name: Icteria virens
  • Size: 17-20 cm (6.7-7.9 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 23-27 cm (9.1-10.6 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Spring to early Fall

This bird, with its conspicuous yellow breast, stands out in Alabama’s thickets and brushy areas. As the largest member of the wood warblers, its size alone is distinctive.

They’re known for their varied and unusual song, which is a mix of whistles, clucks, and other sounds. Insects and berries constitute a major part of their diet. They often skulk in dense vegetation, but their distinct song betrays their presence.

Did you know? The Yellow-breasted Chat’s eclectic song is so varied that it was once believed these birds were mimics, similar to mockingbirds.

6. Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat
  • Scientific Name: Geothlypis trichas
  • Size: 11-14 cm (4.3-5.5 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 16-18 cm (6.3-7.1 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Spring to early Fall

With a distinctive black “bandit” mask and bright yellow underparts, the male Common Yellowthroat is an attractive sight in Alabama’s marshes, wetlands, and brushy fields. These small warblers are skulking in nature, often staying low and out of sight.

They mainly feed on insects and spiders. While they might be a bit challenging to spot due to their behavior, their distinct “witchity-witchity-witchity” song reveals their location.

Did you know? Despite their vibrant appearance, Common Yellowthroats are experts at camouflage. Their olive backs blend seamlessly with reeds and grasses.

7. Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler
  • Scientific Name: Setophaga pinus
  • Size: 12-14 cm (4.7-5.5 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 20-23 cm (7.9-9.1 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Year-round

The Pine Warbler, as its name suggests, is mostly found in pine forests across Alabama. With a mix of olive-green and yellow hues, these birds have a soft, melodious trill that becomes a common sound in their preferred habitats.

While many warblers are insectivores, Pine Warblers have a varied diet and are known to consume seeds, particularly during the colder months. Their affinity for pine trees isn’t limited to feeding; they also nest high in pine branches, hidden amongst the needles.

Did you know? Pine Warblers are one of the few warblers that can be seen in the U.S. throughout the entire year, and they’re among the first birds to return to the North in spring.

8. Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager
  • Scientific Name: Piranga rubra
  • Size: 17 cm (6.7 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 28-30 cm (11-11.8 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Spring to early Fall

Predominantly red, the male Summer Tanager is a sight to behold, while the females are more uniformly yellow, like in the picture above. In Alabama, they can often be seen perched high in trees, where they sing their sweet melodies.

Summer Tanagers are adept flycatchers, and they have a particular liking for bees and wasps. They snatch these insects mid-air, then cleverly remove the stingers before consuming them.

Summer Tanagers are appropriately named as they are primarily summer residents in Alabama. They typically arrive in the state during the spring, breed throughout the summer months, and then migrate south to their wintering grounds in Central and South America by early fall.

Did you know? The Summer Tanager has been nicknamed the “bee bird” due to its skill and preference in capturing bees and wasps.

9. Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler
  • Scientific Name: Setophaga citrina
  • Size: 13 cm (5.1 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 18-22 cm (7.1-8.7 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Spring to early Fall

The Hooded Warbler is named for its distinctive black hood and bib, which contrasts dramatically with its bright yellow face and underparts. They typically inhabit Alabama’s understory in mature forests, especially in areas with dense shrubbery.

While they primarily feed on insects, during migration and winter, berries become a significant part of their diet. Their song, a series of clear tones, is often heard before the bird is seen.

Similar to the Summer Tanager, Hooded Warblers are also present in Alabama during the warmer months. They arrive in the spring, breed during the summer, and depart by early fall to their wintering habitats in Central America and the Caribbean.

Did you know? Male Hooded Warblers are known to have two types of songs: one to attract females and another to deter rival males.

10. Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole
  • Scientific Name: Icterus spurius
  • Size: 16-18 cm (6.3-7.1 in) in length
  • Wingspan: 24-26 cm (9.4-10.2 in)
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Observation Period: Late Spring to early Fall

Sporting a deep chestnut hue combined with black and a touch of yellow, the male Orchard Oriole stands out in Alabama’s open woods and orchards. Females and immature birds are bright yellow.

They often construct hanging nests woven with grasses and other plant material, which they skillfully attach to tree branches. Their diet consists of insects, fruit, and nectar. Their melodious song is a cheerful addition to any outdoor experience.

Did you know? Despite their vibrant colors, Orchard Orioles have a relatively short lifespan, with many not living past two years.

Leave a Comment