For the Birds: Yellow Birds - Oh So Pretty!

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Orange-crowned Warbler
Phoro by Dan Streiffert

By Christine Southwick

How many local insect-eating yellow birds can you identify?

Townsend's Warbler
Photo by Craig Kerns
Townsend's Warbler can be found here all year. They prefer evergreen forests, but in winter will use deciduous forests as well. Birdbaths and suet will draw them into your yard.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler can be found all year long, though less common here in the summer since they go north to breed. They love to eat bugs in flowering trees.

Orange-crowned Warbler—olive yellowish green above with yellow below, with a small erectable orange crown on males. Found here from late March thru usually September.

Wilson’s Warbler usually arrive here about April and leave September-ish. They prefer willow and alder stands in dense moist areas. Fountains and bird baths will likely lure them into your yard.

Wilson's Warbler
Photo by Elaine Chuang
Western Tanager
fly through our area during migration in late April-May. The breeding males have bright red heads, and brilliant yellow with back wings. 

They usually perch in trees with yellow tints (like willows) during migration which makes them hard to see. 

They can be found locally in high forested areas of Washington, especially in Ponderosa-pine and Douglas-fir forests (like Roslyn). 

The sound of fountains often attracts them to yards while migrating.

American Goldfinch are mainly in our area from May through Oct, with some wintering flocks staying and searching for local food. Basically seed-eaters, these finches prefer open areas, and will not come to feeders under branches. They use thistle down to line their nests so nest later than all our other local birds,

Yellow Warbler, male,
Photo by Tony Varela
Yellow Warbler
arrive here in May and are usually gone by September. They are most often found in deciduous habitat near streams. Running water could attract them to your yard.

Pine Siskin intermittently can be here all year long, often in numbers. They are finches with narrow bills, and yellow streaks on flanks and tails.

Evening Grosbeak can be seen intermittently all year. They arrive at feeders in numbers, with the males being a bright yellow and black, the females being brownish gray with a dark head and yellow underwing coloring. They love spruce budworm. Their large bills are indeed gross beaks.

Golden-crowned Kinglet a small yellow-tinged, fluttering insect-eating bird frequently near human habitat. Usually high in the canopies during the summer they come down lower during the winter when they may join mixed flocks.

Common Yellowthroat can be heard (witchity, witchity), and maybe seen, in wet marshy areas from early April through September.

Save birds by saving insects!

Previous columns by Christine Southwick can be viewed here.


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