American Goldfinch feeding.

16 Yellow Birds With Black on Wings (Explained)

There are many birds in the United States and Canada that have yellow feathers and black wings. This article will explore 16 of the most common yellow birds with black on wings.

In the United States and Canada many birds that are colored yellow and black can be seen flying around gardens, backyards, trees, bushes and other places, singing, or building nests in trees.

These yellow-and-black winged creatures range from warblers to goldfinches to finches, so there is no shortage of species for bird watchers to find while walking through a park, forest, marshland, or even open grasslands.

Common Backyard Visitors

Lesser Goldfinch

The Lesser Goldfinch is a small, yellow bird that resides in the West and Southwest regions of North America primarily living on mountain ranges. The lesser goldfinch is only found in regions like California and Arizona but can also be found in parts of Texas, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. They are very common throughout these areas and can often be seen in groups of about five or six birds. 

Lesser Goldfinches have features in common with American Goldfinches, such as appearance. They are often mistaken for one another because they share similar physical traits; however, the Lesser Goldfinch has a smaller bill than its counterpart and shorter wingspan. In addition to these features, Lesser Goldfinches also have an olive-green back. They are usually around 5 inches long and weigh just over half an ounce or 14 grams.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch
Image by Miles Moody from Pixabay

American Goldfinch is a bird that can be found in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is characterized by its bright yellow body with black wings and white under tail coverts. The males are slightly brighter than females, but otherwise they look very similar to each other. They have black spots on their wings that sometimes appear as lines or stripes of white feathers.

This beautiful bird can be seen around gardens, fields, woodlands and parks during springtime when they feed on seeds from plants. These birds are typically between 4.3 and 5.5 inches long with an average wingspan of 7.5 to 8.5 inches and weight of 11-20 grams, though there can be some variation depending on sex or age, with males being larger than females

Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeak
Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

The evening grosbeak is a small song bird of the woodlands. It can be found in coniferous and mixed forests across southern Canada and the mountains of the western United States. These birds have a bright yellow forehead and body, with brown head, large white patch on wing. The length of an adult can range from 16-22 cm (6.3-8.7 in) with wings spanning 30-36 cm (12-14 in).

These brightly colored little birds feed mostly on insects and berries during their breeding season from April to July; they will switch over to seeds as their main food source. In our northern forest they come in great numbers, filling up all the trees that offer them shelter for their nests and leaving very few branches free for other birds to use.

 Golden-crowned Kinglet 

 Golden-crowned Kinglet
Image by NickyPe from Pixabay

Golden-crowned Kinglets are small, secretive song birds. At 8 to 11 cm (3.1 to 4.3 in) long, they are one of the smallest birds in North America. It has an olive-green to gray upper parts, whitish breast and orange crown patch on its head with black and yellow edges surrounding it, it also has white eyebrows and black bill. Golden-crowned Kinglet is a common winter visitor from Canada or northern United States.

The Golden-crowned Kinglet is only found in North America east of the Rocky Mountains from southern Canada south to eastern Mexico and Costa Rica, preferring moist deciduous areas. They are difficult to spot, but with a little patience you can find them hiding in the leaves on top of tree branches. In winter these birds can be found high up in coniferous trees but come spring they will descend into lower forests or even urban areas to feed on insects.

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager
Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

The Scarlet Tanager is a medium-sized American songbird. They are usually found in deciduous forests, especially with oaks, across eastern North America. You may see one in your backyard, parks, and they migrate to northwestern South America passing through Central America around April and again around October. They are migratory birds that travel south for the winter months, and north during summer months looking for food sources such as berries, fruits, and insects.

The Scarlet Tanager is a bird that most people will be able to spot right from their own backyard if they live near the Eastern side of North America. The male of the species has a bright red head and blackish or olive wings, while the female’s head is dull yellowish or greenish with an olive back with black on the wings. In size, they weigh around 26 grams (0.9 oz) and have a length from 15 to 20 cm (6.0 to 7.5 in) and from 25 to 30 cm (9.8 to 12 in) in wingspan.

Western Tanager

Western Tanagers are a species of songbird that have black wings and a red head. They have a yellow body with white wing bars, and they have short, stubby tails. These birds can be found in the Rockies from Colorado to Alberta during their breeding season, but they will fly south for winter, where they migrate to Mexico or Guatemala. 

Western Tanagers typically eat insects but will also occasionally eat berries or nectar from flowers such as morning glory, goldenrod, This bird is 6.3-7.5 in (16-19 cm) long and weighs 0.8-1.3 oz (24-36 g). The wingspan of this bird is 11.5 in (29 cm).

Orchard Oriole

The Orchard Oriole is one of  North America’s most beautiful birds. It has a black chin and throat, yellowish body with some black streaks on the wings, tail and neck. The bird also has a pointed bill with a long narrow point that it uses for poking into holes in trees or vines to get insects or spiders. This particular species prefers semi-open areas with. The oriole lives semi-open areas with deciduous trees, and  feeds mostly on insects and spiders.

Their range stretches from Canada to Mexico across the US states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas. They can be seen near orchards, gardens, fields of wheat, barley or corn ​​​​​​​fields. The length of this small animal ranges from 5.9 to 7.1 inches (15-18 cm) while its weight ranges from 0.6 to 1 ounce (16-28 grams).​​​​​​​ 

Scott’s Oriole

Scott's Oriole
Image by diapicard from Pixabay

The Scott’s Oriole is a medium-sized icterid bird found in the Southwestern United States and south to Baja California Sur and central Mexico. These birds will migrate south for winter, returning in early springtime. The Oriole is mostly yellow with a black head, breast, back, wings and tail make it easy to identify. The orchard oriole is usually about 9 inches long (23 cm) and weighs 1-1/2 ounces (40 g).

It has wings that span 12 inches (30 cm). Its bill is slender, straight, slightly curved. Scott’s Orioles are migratory birds that live mostly in desert scrublands or juniper woodlands. They eat mostly insects but also berries such as honeysuckle, trumpet vine, sumac fruit, mistletoe fruit and chaparral seed pods.​​​​​​​

Blackhooded Oriole

Black-hooded Oriole
Image by Darcy Rogers from Pixabay

The Hooded Oriole, Icterus cucullatus, is a small passerine bird that breeds in open areas with trees across the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The Hooded Oriole has black wings with some white streaks and its back, face, tail and bib are all black. Its chest is yellow underneath. This particular oriole’s habitat includes areas with palms but it can also be found in open shrubs or forests.  

They are typically found in places like desert scrubland or arid woodlands. The Hooded Oriole forages in trees and shrubs as well as feeding from flowers when they’re available.  However, recent sightings of this elusive bird have been reported as far north as Colorado and Utah.

Common in Open Grasslands, and Pastures.

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark
Image by reneesluv from Pixabay

The Eastern Meadowlark is a medium-sized icterid, which has yellow underparts with a black on its breast and white flanks with black streaks on its wings. The head is grayish brown, the bill is short and dark brown or blackish, and their tail feathers are light brown tipped with white or grayish coloration.

It measures 19 to 28 cm (7.5 to 11.0 in) long and wingspan of 35–40 cm (14–16 in) 76 to 150 g in weight. ​​​​​​​ It breeds from the southern Canadian prairies eastward across the United States​​​​​​​ and migrates in winter as far south as Central America, northern South America, southern Mexico​​​​​​​.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlarks are a beautiful, common medium-sized icterid bird, that is common in North America. It measures 6″ -10″ inches in length and weigh around 3.1-4.1 oz (89-115 g).  They are found mostly across the western and central part of the continent. This type of meadowlark is brown with some black streaks on its upper body, yellow belly and underparts, and a black bib on its chest.

It has long pointed bills that it uses to feed mainly on bugs, seeds or berries near water sources like streams or ponds. Western meadowlarks have nests which they build in open grasslands, pastures, or near water.

Common in Woodland Areas

Townsend’s Warbler

Townsend’s Warblers are small song bird with olive green upper bodies and yellow below that have black masks on their faces and black caps on their heads. They also have yellow faces with black streaks going down them, as well as having white streaks on their wings and backs. They measure 5.0″ inches in length and weigh approximately 9.0 grams.

Townsend’s Warblers are found mostly in coniferous forests across Canada, and United States of America from southeast Alaska to New England and as far south as Texas, and Louisiana. It migrates to winter on the northwestern coast of North America in coniferous forests, from southern British Columbia through Washington into Oregon​​​​​​​.

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler
Image by lajo1 from Pixabay

The Hooded Warbler is back in the Eastern United States and Southeast. In many areas, these birds are difficult to find and considered endangered because of their specific habitat needs. In other areas, such as southern Florida and New Jersey, they are common but usually found in different habitats than their original home range. Their bright yellow underparts and black hood over their head are distinctive, as well as the black streaks on their wings.

The bird’s weight ranges from 10-12 grams, and it has a length of 5 inches (12.7 cm). They mainly live in swampy areas, but can also be found in open woodlands or forests where they will eat insects like beetles and caterpillars that they find on leaves or​​​​​​​ foraging on the ground.

Wilson’s Warbler

The Wilson’s Warbler is a small bird, about 11 cm (4.3 in) in length and weighs an average of 20 grams (0.71 oz). ​​​​​​​The male has a black crown, olive green upperbody and yellow below with black streaks on the wings and a long, tail, making it an easy bird to identify.

The Wilson’s Warblers are found across Canada and western United States during their breeding season but then migrates to Mexico, and as far south as Central America each winter, but flies north for spring after they return into North America at the end of April or beginning of May. They stay up in trees during their migration.

Common in Marshland Areas

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Image by Akiroq Brost from Pixabay

The Yellow-headed Blackbird is a medium-sized blackbird that has an overall black body and a bright yellow head and chest. They mainly eat seeds and insects, but can also be seen eating fruit, berries, earthworms, spiders, small fish or amphibians from time to time, with some fruit consumption in the summer months. The average length of these birds is 9 inches (22 cm) and they weigh 1.6 to 3.5 ounces (44 to 100 grams).

They are common in marshes in North America, Great Lakes, as well as migrating to the southwestern United States or Mexico during winter​​​​​​​. It has been spotted as far north as Michigan, Canada, Ohio, New York state (Long Island), Maine to Washington state. ​​​​​​​

Common Yellow-throat

The Common Yellow-throat is a small, slender songbird that thrives in all seasons. They are olive back, wings and tail with bright yellow throat, belly and chest. Their black mask has white eyebrows giving them their common name. The average length of the bird is 4.7 inches (12 cm) with an average weight of 10 grams (0.35 oz.). They are very common in North America and ranges from Southern Canada to Central Mexico.

These birds are common in wet marshes or dense shrub around early spring, from February to late May. Yellow-throats are known for their varied diet which includes insects, spiders, seeds and berries among other things. They will typically perch on top of low shrubs or grasses waiting for a meal. They start preparing to migrate south of the border in the fall around August to October.