Are you a keen birdwatcher living in Michigan? Perhaps you’re visiting the State on a nature expedition. Or maybe you’ve simply spotted a yellow bird flitting around your backyard that you’ve never seen before.
Whatever the situation, if you’re looking to identify your newly-spotted feathered friend, you’ve come to the right place!
Below, you’ll find a list of 32 yellow birds you can see in Michigan.
Some are summer visitors while others are year-round residents but, regardless of their migratory habits, you’ll learn everything there is to know. We’ll look at each of their identifying features, discuss the best place to find them, and explore their diets.
We’ll even give you a few pointers to help you attract some of these beautiful birds into your own garden.
Although the Pine Warbler isn’t a year-round resident in Michigan, it does stay in the State for 6 months between April and October.
It can be identified by its yellow breast and underparts, olive-green back, and light gray wings with white wing bars.
This bright yellow coloring is only found on the male Pine Warbler, however, and the female is a light brown color with white underparts.
Both sexes are about the same size, measuring an average of 5.3-inches and with an 8-inch wingspan.
The best place to spot a Pine Warbler is in their natural habitat of pine forests, from which they take their name.
They are also most abundant in the Southern States, although some have been known to venture as far North as Canada.
The Pine Warbler nests in pine trees, constructing a nest from bark, pine needles, and twigs that is held together with grass and spider silk. It is also lined and insulated with animal hair and feathers.
Once complete, the female Pine Warbler will lay up to 5 eggs, incubate them for two weeks, and then raise them alongside her partner for 10 days before helping them fledge.
Throughout spring and summer, the Pine Warbler feeds almost exclusively on insects such as beetles, caterpillars, ants, and larvae. Come winter, they’ll begin to eat seeds and other high-fat foods such as peanuts and suet.
This helps them prepare for the long journey South and you can encourage them into your garden by offering these foods in your bird feeders.
One of the most commonly spotted birds in Michigan during the spring and summer, the Common Yellowthroat visits the State between May and October.
Measuring an average of 4.5-inches and with a 7-inch wingspan, this tiny bird can is most easily identified by its yellow breast and black mask, although this mask is only present in males.
It also has a white stripe that surrounds its mask, olive-green upper parts, wings, and tail.
Found throughout most of North America, the Common Yellowthroat isn’t only seen in Michigan but in almost every State.
The only State you won’t find this tiny bird in is Alaska, and it isn’t present in Canada either.
Also, while the Common Yellowthroat is a migratory bird, some will remain in the Pacific Southwest and the Gulf Coast all year round.
You’re most likely to spot a Common Yellowthroat in wetlands or marshy areas. Here, the female constructs a nest in dense vegetation close to the ground, such as reeds.
She will forage for sedge, grass, and leaves to build this nest and, once ready, she’ll lay up to 6 eggs.
These eggs go through a 12 day incubation period, followed by another 12 days of rearing before they are ready to fledge.
Due to their preferred habitat, attracting the Common Yellowthroat isn’t that easy.
It isn’t impossible though, and you’ll increase your chances of enticing them in by planting dense bushes or by letting areas of your garden “go wild”.
The Yellow-Headed Blackbird is a medium-sized songbird, measuring around 9-inches and with an average wingspan of 17-inches.
It also has some unmistakable identifying markings including a bright yellow breast, matching face, and jet black eye mask.
The rest of its feathers are also jet black, contrasting beautifully against the striking yellow.
The best time of year to spot a Yellow-Headed Blackbird in Michigan is between April-June, although they aren’t very common in the State.
Their preferred habitat is wetlands or grasslands near a source of water, and here they hunt for insects to feed on throughout the summer.
This bird constructs its nest in this wetland habitat, building it from long, wet stems that they expertly weave together.
The female then lays up to 5 eggs and will spend around two weeks incubating them. The mating couple will raise these chicks together for a further two weeks before helping them fledge.
Once the breeding season has ended, the Yellow-Headed Blackbird takes to the skies and migrates toward Mexico in large flocks.
They’ll spend the winter in Mexico feeding on grain and seed, before heading back to North America the following spring.
Cape May Warbler
The Cape May Warbler is a truly striking bird that can be spotted in Michigan from spring to fall.
They can be identified by their distinctive, leopard print-like black markings across their bright yellow breasts, as well as their orange face markings and black head stripes.
They also measure around 5-inches long and have an average wingspan of 8-inches.
Migratory birds, the Cape May Warbler spends its breeding season in Michigan, Eastern United States, and Canada. Come fall, they’ll begin their migration to the Caribbean, although some will head to Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula.
The best place to find a Cape May Warbler is in their preferred breeding ground of spruce forests.
Here, they construct a nest high up in the spruce trees made of pine needles, twigs, and bark.
This is formed into a cup shape and lined with soft plant material, animal hair, and feathers. The female lays as many as 9 eggs and will incubate them for a period of 10 days.
During the migratory period, the Cape May Warbler isn’t nearly as fussy when it comes to a roosting place and can be spotted in multiple habitats including woodland, parks, and gardens.
You can also entice this beautiful bird into your garden by planting fruiting shrubs or native bushes that attract insects; their preferred food source.
Female American Redstart
Another bird that flocks to Michigan during the breeding season, the American Redstart can be spotted throughout the State from May to November.
As is the case with most birds, there is a clear difference between males and females, and it’s the female American Redstart that has the yellow coloring.
She sports olive-gray plumage across most of her body and has multiple yellow patches throughout.
The male American Redstart, on the other hand, is mostly black with orange patches.
Both sexes are around the same size though, with an average length of 5-inches and a wingspan of around 7-inches.
You’re most likely to see a female American Redstart in its preferred habitat of deciduous woodlands.
Here, they hunt for insects and are especially good at catching them on the wing. They will also eat berries and seeds, making them fairly easy to attract to your garden.
The American Redstart constructs its nest in these deciduous trees as well, building it from grass, bark, and other plant material close to the ground.
The female will lay up to 5 eggs in this nest and incubate them for two weeks. The mating couple will then raise them together for another two weeks before helping them fledge.
The Palm Warbler can be spotted in Michigan during its migratory period of April to June, and again from August to October.
It can be identified by its bright yellow breast and underparts, rust-red patch on the top of its head, and light brown, sparrow-like wings and tail.
It is also a relatively small songbird measuring around 5-inches in length and with an average wingspan of 7.5-inches.
Michigan is the Palm Warbler’s chosen breeding ground, although it has also been spotted in other Eastern States and in parts of Canada.
Come winter, it heads further South to warmer temperatures and can be found in Florida and along the Southeastern Coast.
The best place to spot a Palm Warbler is in forest edges, weedy fields, or scrubby areas.
Here, they build their nests close to the ground and form them into a cup shape by weaving together ferns, grass, and sedge.
They’ll also line this nest with feathers, soft grass, and animal hair for comfort and insulation.
The female lays up to 5 eggs, and then spends two weeks incubating them.
The Palm Warbler’s diet consists mainly of insects during the spring and summer, and they’ll spend a lot of time foraging on the ground, flipping over leaf litter and stones in search of a meal.
You can attract the Palm Warbler into your garden by planting native, insect-attracting plants as well as fruiting bushes such as hawthorn and bayberry.
One of Michigan’s rarest birds, the Yellow-Throated Warbler spends summer in the South of the State before migrating to the Caribbean, Central America, Florida, and the Gulf Coast for winter.
Some will also remain residents in Florida all year round.
The Yellow-Throated Warbler can be identified by its namesake bright yellow throat, along with its white and gray plumage that is striped with black.
It is also quite a small songbird, measuring around 5-inches and with an average wingspan of 8-inches.
During their summer stay, the Yellow-Throated Warbler uses Michigan as its breeding grounds, creating a hanging nest from the branches of trees.
This nest is constructed from Spanish moss, weeds, and grass woven into a cup shape. The female lays up to 4 eggs in this nest and then spends the next two weeks incubating them.
While rare, you can increase your chances of spotting a Yellow-Throated Warbler by visiting their preferred habitat of pine forests.
You can also entice them into your backyard during their migration seasons by letting areas of your garden “go wild” and by planting native shrubs.
This will increase the number of insects in your yard, drawing in the Yellow-Throated Warbler as they look for a meal.
Another rare bird, the Dickcissel, spends the breeding season of April to October in Michigan.
Measuring around 5.5–inches long and with a wingspan of 10-inches, this little bird can be identified by its black throat, gray upper parts, brown-tinged wings, and striking yellow breast.
The Dickcissel also has a matching yellow eyestripe and a gray head.
These markings are only present on the male, however, and the female is much duller in color.
She also doesn’t have a black throat and her breast is a much paler yellow.
Its natural habitat is tall grasslands such as prairies and meadows, and the Dickcissel constructs its nest here in thick shrubs and trees about 4-feet off the ground.
It uses grasses, leaves, and weeds to create a bulky nest and lines it with animal hair and fine grass. Once ready, the female lays up to 6 eggs, incubates them for two weeks, then spends the following 10 days raising them.
Come winter, the Dickcissel migrates South to Central America, South America, and Mexico.
Like many birds, the Dickcissel’s diet changes depending on the time of year.
During summer, it is almost exclusively insectivorous, feasting on caterpillars, crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles. Throughout the colder months, they’ll feed on grain and seed.
The American Goldfinch is resident in Michigan all year-round, and is one of the State’s most common birds.
Measuring around 5-inches long and with an average wingspan of 8-inch, the male American Goldfinch is the easier of the two sexes to spot.
It can be identified by its bright yellow breast, upperparts, head, and black and white wings. The female American Goldfinch is a much duller brown color.
Numbers of American Goldfinches increase throughout the Eastern States during the winter as those that breed in Canada head further South for the winter.
They have very varied habitats and can be spotted in woodlands, parks, and suburban backyards.
They also nest in each of these areas, building an intricately woven nest made from plant material and rootlets, and held together with spider silk.
In this nest, the female American Goldfinch lays as many as 7 eggs, incubates them for two weeks, and then raises them with the male for the next 10 days.
Like most members of the Finch family, the American Goldfinch feeds almost exclusively on seeds all year round.
This, mixed with their varied habitat, makes them one of the easiest birds to attract to your garden.
An offering of Nyjer and sunflower seeds is almost guaranteed to draw them in, and you can also increase your chances by planting milkweed and thistles.
The Magnolia Warbler can be identified by its yellow breast, underparts, and throat which are all marked with black patches.
It also has black upperparts, wings, and head that are marked with white and a white rump.
These colors are only present in the male Magnolia Warbler, however, and the female is much duller in color and does not have that characteristic black steaking.
Both sexes are around the same size, measuring about 4.5-inches long and with a wingspan of 7-inches.
The Magnolia Warbler is also one of Michigan’s migratory birds, spending the breeding season in the North of the State.
When in Michigan, the Magnolia Warbler can be found living in parks and forests. Here, they build their nests on branches of conifer trees, placing them quite close to the trunk.
These nests are made from weeds and grass in a fairly loose construction and, once secure enough, the female Magnolia Warbler will lay up to 4 eggs.
She’ll then spend the next 12 days incubating them and the couple will raise them together for a further 9 days before helping them fledge.
Throughout the summer, the Magnolia Warbler feeds almost exclusively on insects and spiders.
They’ll search for these with more vigor ahead of their migration as well in a bid to store as much energy as possible, and you can encourage them to your backyard by planting native shrubs and trees.
This won’t only attract insects, but offers the Magnolia Warbler a place to rest mid-migration.
The Canada Warbler is most abundant in Michigan during May, and it spends the spring and summer in the State before migrating further South during fall.
It’s quite an easy bird to spot, and can be identified by its bright yellow underparts, throat, and breast. The breast is also dotted with black markings, while its head and wings are black.
Like most species of birds, the male is the more colorful sex and the female Canada Warbler is much duller in color.
She also lacks the black dotted “necklace” across the chest. Both sexes are the same size, however, averaging around 5.5-inches long with an 7.5-inch wingspan.
The Canada Warbler resides in conifer and poplar forests, and builds its nest close to the ground in ferns and shrubs. The nest is made from leaves, grass, bark, and other plant material and in this the female lays up to 6 eggs.
The incubation period takes around 12 days and, once hatched, the mating couple will raise their young for another 8 days before helping them fly the nest.
Their chosen forest habitat also offers them the perfect place to forage for spiders and insects, which is their preferred food source.
It is quite hard to attract the Canada Warbler into your garden, but you can increase your chances by planting conifer trees and native bushes.
Another of Michigan’s rarer birds, the Western Kingbird is only in the State during the summer.
It remains fairly elusive but if you think you have seen one, you’ll be able to identify it by its yellow underparts, gray head, gray upperparts, white breast, and white-edged black tail.
It also measures around 8.5-inches long and has a wingspan of around 15-inches.
While in Michigan, the Western Kingbird resides in open habitats such as agricultural fields.
Here, they perch on utility lines and fences as this gives them the perfect vantage point to swoop down on insects and catch them mid-air.
They also nest in any trees they find in these areas, constructing them from grass, twigs, and other plant materials and weaving them into a cup-shape.
The Western Kingbird has also been known to nest in man-made buildings including barns and outhouses.
Once their breeding season has ended in fall, the Western Kingbird begins to migrate further South towards Central America and Mexico, although some will also overwinter in Southern Florida.
Due to their rarity, attracting the Western Kingbird into your backyard isn’t that easy. You can, however, increase your chances by planting insect-friendly bushes such as hawthorn and elderberry.
These won’t only attract the Western Kingbird due to increased insect activity, but also offers them fruit to feed on too.
Like many of the birds on this list, the Nashville Warbler spends the breeding season in Michigan and is most commonly spotted during spring and fall migration.
It is most abundant in the South of the State, and can be identified by its yellow underparts and breast, white rump, olive-green upperparts, and gray head.
Unusually for birds, the colors and marking are the same across both sexes, although females and juveniles are duller.
The Nashville Warbler’s preferred habitat is low deciduous forests and scrublands, as these offer the best insect-hunting opportunities.
They also nest in these areas, building their nests close to the ground in dense shrubs and vegetation.
The Nashville Warbler builds its nest from grass, bark, and moss, and weaves it into a cup shape before lining it with animal hair, feathers, and soft plant material.
Once constructed, the female Nashville Warbler lays up to 4 eggs in this nest. She’ll then spend 12 days incubating them and, once hatched, the couple will raise them together for a further 10 days before the young chicks are ready to fly the nest.
Once the breeding season is over, the Nashville Warbler will start its fall migration South to Mexico.
Interestingly, they’ll migrate along the Atlantic Coast for their first year of migration but, after that, they’ll migrate exclusively inland.
Attracting the Nashville Warbler to your garden is quite easy, especially during the migratory periods.
An offering of suits and seeds is usually enough to entice them in, and you can increase your chances by providing them with a safe place to shelter.
Female Orchard Oriole
The female Orchard Oriole can be identified by the pale yellow plumage that covers the majority of its body.
It also has dark gray wings with white markings and slightly paler yellow underside. Males, on the other hand, look entirely different and are covered with scarlet red feathers, aside from the head and wings which are jet black.
Both sexes are the same size though, measuring around 6.5-inches long and with a 10-inch wingspan.
Orchard Orioles visit Michigan during the summer months, spending May to September building nests and raising their young.
These nests are constructed using long grasses expertly woven together into a cup shape and suspended from the branches of a tree.
In this nest, the female lays between 4-6 eggs and spends two weeks incubating them.
The best place to spot an Orchard Oriole in Michigan is in their breeding grounds, which mainly consist of open woodland near a source of water, such as a river or lake.
This isn’t their exclusive habitat though, and many Orchard Orioles have been spotted nesting in farms and backyards.
The Orchard Oriole’s chosen food source is insects and they’ll spend most of the summer foraging for beetles, ants, spiders, and caterpillars. They’ll also eat berries and drink the nectar from flowers.
Attracting the Orchard Oriole into your garden is quite easy and, as with all birds, it’s all about the food you have on offer!
Hummingbird feeders are a great way to entice this beautiful bird to your backyard, and you can also increase your chances by planting chokeberries and mulberries.
Orchard Orioles will also be drawn to bird tables with sliced mangoes and oranges to snack on.
The Prothonotary Warbler is a colorful little bird that measures around 5-inches long and has an average wingspan of 8-inches.
It can be spotted in Michigan from mid-April to September, choosing to spend the breeding season in the State.
With blue-gray wings and a bright yellow head, breast, and underparts, the male Prothonotary Warbler is one of the most striking birds you can see in Michigan.
Females are duller in color than males, but retain the same markings.
The best place to find a Prothonotary Warbler is in wet woodlands near a river, stream, or lake.
They also nest in these areas, using abandoned Woodpecker holes. The male is solely responsible for building the nest and will pack the abandoned hole with moss, before forming a cup-shaped nest made from leaves, grass, and other soft plant material.
Once the nest is ready, the female Prothonotary Warbler will lay up to 7 eggs and incubate them for two weeks.
Once hatched, the couple will take turns in feeding them for another 10 days before they are ready to fledge.
The Prothonotary Warbler’s diet consists mainly of insects and spiders, although they will also eat fruit and seeds.
This is especially true during the winter months when insect activity is quite low.
You can attract Prothonotary Warblers into your garden by putting out a good selection of seeds for them to feed on, particularly during the migration season when they need as much energy as possible.
You might also be wondering where the Prothonotary Warbler got its interesting name from.
Well, they are named after their yellow feathers that are reminiscent of the bright yellow robes worn by certain members of the Roman Catholic church!
Measuring just 4-inches long and with an average wingspan of 5.5-inches, the Wilson’s Warbler is one of the smallest birds on our list.
Like many others, it is resident in Michigan throughout the breeding season of May and September.
The Wilson’s Warbler can be identified by its bright yellow plumage that covers most of its body including the underparts, head, face, and shoulders.
It also has olive-green wings with yellow streaks and a jet black cap. These colors and markings are the same across both sexes, although the cap is smaller in females.
Despite their colorful appearance, the Wilson’s Warbler is one of the most difficult birds to spot in Michigan.
This is due to the fact that they build their nests in well-hidden areas close to the ground, making them from leaves and sedge that blend in almost perfectly with their surroundings.
The interior of these nests is lined with moss, grass, bark, and other soft plant material, and then the entire nest is formed into a cup-shape.
The female Wilson’s Warbler lays up to 5 eggs in this nest, then incubates them for 11 days.
Once hatched, the breeding couple will feed and raise their young together for another 10 days. After this, they are ready to leave the nest.
It’s quite rare to spot a Wilson’s Warbler in your backyard and they are far too shy to visit a bird feeder or table.
However, you can increase your chances of seeing this beautiful bird in your garden by planting native trees and shrubs. This offers them somewhere to nest and to rest during their migration.
Another tiny yellow bird, the Prairie Warbler measures just 4-inches and tops the scales at 0.3 ounces.
What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in color though! The Prairie Warbler can be identified by its bright yellow breast and underparts, olive-green head, back, and wings, and yellow face.
It also has a black stripe just underneath each eye. Females and males are the same in appearance, although females are slightly duller.
The Prairie Warbler can be seen in Michigan during the breeding season, although they are not very common in the State.
If you want to try and find one to cross off your bird watching list, it would be best to visit their preferred habitat of forests and fields.
Here, they build their nests deep inside the safety of trees and shrubs, using plant material and animal hair.
Once the nest has been constructed, the female Prairie Warbler lays up to 5 eggs and incubates them for around ten days.
Once the young chicks have hatched, the breeding couple will raise them together, taking it in turns to feed them for another 10 days before they are ready to leave the nest.
As soon as the breeding season is over, the Prairie Warbler takes to the skies to migrate to warmer climes for the winter.
These include Central America, the Caribbean, and Florida. Some may also remain in Florida all year round.
The Prairie Warbler’s diet is purely insectivorous, and they feed on spiders, snails, beetles, caterpillars, and many other insects.
They also have a habit of bobbing their tails up and down as they search for food along tree branches and the ground.
The Yellow-Throated Vireo is another of Michigan’s summer visitors and can be spotted flying through the State from April to October.
They can be identified by their bright yellow breasts, white underparts, and olive-green upperparts and heads.
They also have a yellow face with a black eyestripe and dark-gray wings with white markings. A relatively small songbird, the Yellow-Throated Vireo measures around 5-inches long and has a 9-inch wingspan.
The best place to find a Yellow-Throated Vireo is in mixed woodlands. Here it builds a nest high up in the tree canopy from pine needles, bark, and grass.
It also uses insect and spider silk to expertly weave this nest into cup shape and suspend it from the branch of a tree.
As soon as the nest is ready, the female Yellow-Throated Vireo lays up to 4 eggs and incubates them for a period of two weeks.
The breeding couple will then spend the next two weeks hatching, feeding and raising their young, at which point they are ready to fly the nest.
Its preferred woodland habitat also offers the Yellow-Throated Vireo the perfect place to find loads of different insects to feed on throughout the summer.
It also feeds on berries and, while it is rare to spot this bird in your garden, you can increase your chances of enticing it in by planting fruiting trees and bushes.
One of Michigan’s only winter residents, the Yellow-Rumped Warbler can be spotted in the State all year round.
Its numbers increase during the migration seasons of April to May and September to October though, as birds from other parts of North America flock to and from Michigan for the colder seasons.
The Yellow-Rumped Warbler is a colorful little bird measuring around 5-inches and with an average wingspan of 8-inches.
It can be identified by the flashes of bright yellow under each wing and across the neck, while the rest of the body is almost Sparrow-like with light gray, brown, and white markings.
You’re most likely to spot a Yellow-Rumped Warbler in coniferous forests during the breeding season.
However, come winter, their range extends and they can be found in loads of different habitats including open space, parks, and backyards.
During the breeding season, the Yellow-Rumped Warbler creates a nest from pine needles, twigs, and grass then lines it with moss, hair, and feathers.
Inside this nest, the female Yellow-Rumped Warbler lays up to 6 eggs. These are incubated for two weeks and raised for a further two weeks before the chicks are ready to fledge.
As with their habitat, The Yellow-Rumped Warbler’s diet changes with the seasons as well.
During spring and summer, it is almost exclusively insectivorous, feeding on caterpillars, ants, beetles, and spiders.
Come fall and winter, it turns to eating fruit and is especially fond of wax myrtle and bayberries.
With this in mind, one of the best ways of encouraging the Yellow-Rumped Warbler into your garden is by planting fruiting bushes.
Alternatively, you can leave sliced fruit and berries on your bird tables. They’ll also snack on peanut butter, suet, and sunflower seeds if available.
A member of the Blackbird family, and one of the larger birds on our list, the Western Meadowlark measures around 10-inches and has an average wingspan of 16-inches.
While not very common in Michigan, they can be spotted throughout the summer and can be identified by their bright yellow underparts and throat which are separated by a black “necklace” marking.
They also have brown and white upperparts, as well as dark gray patches on either side of the face.
During the breeding season, you may be able to spot this elusive bird in grasslands, fields, and meadows.
Here, they construct a nest in deep grass-depressions on the ground, and some may form a roof over the top using plant stalks, grass, and other flexible plant matter.
The Western Meadowlark isn’t a very sociable bird, choosing to live in solo or in small flocks.
This may mean that there’s less competition for space and food, although it doesn’t offer much in the way of predator warnings from other members of the flock.
Like many birds, the Western Meadowlark mostly eats insects during the summer and finds them by foraging on the ground, flipping over stones and rustling through leaf litter.
In the winter, they feed on grain and seeds.
Female Scarlet Tanager
You’d be forgiven for wondering why the Scarlet Tanager has found its way onto our list of yellow birds you can find in Michigan.
Well, the answer is quite simple. While the male Scarlet Tanager is covered with bright red feathers, the female is covered with bright yellow feathers, making its name a little redundant but certainly making it one of the yellowest birds out there!
Scarlet Tanagers can be spotted for most of the year in Michigan, from April to mid-December.
During this time, they reside in the State’s Eastern forests before heading to South America for a short migratory period at the start of the year.
During this migration, they are most abundant in the South of the State.
Despite their bright coloring, the Scarlet Tanager can be quite difficult to find. This isn’t only due to their dense forest habitats, but also because they nest high up in the canopy of the trees.
The nests they build here are also well-hidden, made from an intricate mix of grass, twigs, and plant material then lined with pine needles, animal fur, and feathers.
The female Scarlet Tanager lays up to 4 eggs in this nest and incubates them for two weeks. After they have hatched, the parents will raise their chicks together for another two weeks before they fledge.
Throughout the summer, Scarlet Tanagers rarely stray from their habitat as there are plenty of insects for them to feed on here.
Come winter, they’ll venture further afield in search of fruits and berries such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, chokeberries, and juneberries.
Planting any of these fruiting bushes into your garden is an excellent way to attract the Scarlet Tanager into your backyard.
If you aren’t able to do this, simply scattering a few berries across your bird table should be enough to entice them in!
Another of Michigan’s summer-visiting birds, White-Eyed Vireo is most commonly spotted in the State during the May migration season.
They can be identified by their namesake white eye markings, yellow sides, olive-green back, and dark wings which sport two white wing bars.
They also measure around 5-inches long and have a 6-inch wingspan, making them a relatively small songbird.
It can be quite difficult to spot a White-Eyed Vireo as their chosen habitat of overgrown brambles and pastures keeps them well hidden from predators.
They also nest in thickets here, constructing their nests from plant material, bark, and leaves then suspending them from branches using spider silk.
The female White-Eyed Vireo lays up to 4 eggs in this nest, incubates them for two weeks, and then raises them for a further 10 days.
During the summer, the White-Eyed Vireo feeds on insects including flies and spiders.
Come winter, they eat berries. While it’s quite rare for this bird to visit backyards, it can be drawn in by planting fruiting shrubs such as raspberries, blackberries, and huckleberries.
The Yellow Warbler is a small bird measuring around 5-inches long and with an average wingspan of 7-inches.
It can be identified by its yellow-green back and wings marked with black, while the rest of its body is covered with pale yellow feathers.
Males are brighter than females and juveniles, but both sexes have the same coloring.
Found in Michigan throughout the summer months, the Yellow Warbler spends the breeding season in forest edges, wetlands, and mixed woodland near a source of water.
Come winter, they start their long migration back South towards Central and South America, although if temperatures are warm enough some will remain in the Southeastern States.
The Yellow Warbler constructs a nest using bark, plant material and grass which it weaves together using spider silk, forming a cup shape in the process.
It then lines the nest with a softer material such as animal fur or plant down, and the female then lays up to 7 eggs.
She’ll spend 12 days incubating the eggs and, once hatched, the pair will raise their young together for another 10 days. After this, the chicks are ready to fly the nest.
During the summer, the Yellow Warbler’s diet consists primarily of insects including beetles, caterpillars, wasps, and midges.
Once these food sources start to deplete, they turn towards fruits and berries instead, and can be drawn into gardens by placing sliced fruits and berries on your bird table.
You can increase your chances of attracting the Yellow Warbler to your garden even further by offering suet, peanut butter, and seed mixes.
Planting fruiting shrubs will also encourage them in, as will providing a bird bath.
Female Summer Tanager
As with the Scarlet Tanager, the female Summer Tanager looks entirely different from the male.
She is covered with bright yellow feathers, has a few olive-green highlights on the back, and some black streaks.
Males, on the other hand, are covered with bright red feathers with some black barring on their wings.
The Summer Tanager is another fairweather visitor to Michigan, visiting the State throughout the summer.
It is most common during May as it flocks in during their spring migration.
They breed in Michigan as well as other Eastern and Southern states and, as soon as fall comes round, they head South to South America and Central America for winter.
You’re most likely to spot a Summer Tanager in open woodlands near a source of water, such as a stream, river, or lake.
Here, they feed exclusively on insects throughout the summer and they are particularly fond of eating wasps and bees. They also have a unique, rather ingenious way of eating them.
They’ll catch the wasp or bee in mid-flight, then fly to the nearest branch. They’ll then rub and beat them against the bark.
This removes the stinger, meaning that they can be eaten without any fear or being stung!
The Summer Tanager also nests in its preferred open woodland habitat. Here, the female will build a nest made from grass and soft plant material, placing it near the end of a tree branch.
In this fairly loose construction, she’ll lay up to 4 eggs and incubate them for a period of 10 days.
Once hatched, both the parents will feed and raise their chicks for another 10 days before they are ready to fly the nest.
Although they are insect-eaters, you can attract the Summer Tanager to your garden during the migration season by leaving out sliced fruits and berries.
You can also increase your chances of enticing it in by planting native fruit-bearing trees and bushes.
Black-Throated Green Warbler
Despite its confusing name, the Black-Throated Green Warbler finds its way onto our list of yellow birds you can see in Michigan due to its yellow face and flashes of yellow across each cheek and eye.
It can also be identified by its namesake black throat and green upperparts, along with black-streaked breast and white underparts.
A small songbird, the Black-Throated Green Warbler measures around 4.5-inches and has an average wingspan of 7-inches.
The Black-Throated Green Warbler visits Michigan from April to October, spending its breeding season in the State.
It is most commonly spotted at either end of this timeframe, as it begins its long migration to and from South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The best place to spot a Black-Throated Green Warbler is in mixed forests. Here, they build nests in small trees, forming them from bark and twigs that are carefully woven together with spider silk.
This nest is then lined with soft material such as moss and animal hair for insulation and protection before the female Black-Throated Green Warbler lays up to 4 eggs.
She then incubates these eggs for around 12 days and, once hatched, the couple will raise their young chicks together for a further 10 days. Once this time has passed, the chicks are ready to leave the nest.
The Black-Throated Green Warbler rarely strays from its forest home as it has everything it needs to survive there, including its preferred food of insects.
This does mean that attracting this little bird to your garden can be a difficult task, but it’s not impossible.
The best thing you can do is plant mature trees. These will offer shelter during their migration period, as well as attract a plethora of insects for them to feed on.
Another little bird with a confusing name, the Orange-Crowned Warbler only sports an orange crown at certain times of the year!
For the majority of the year, it can be identified by the yellow-green feathers that cover its entire body, along with its white-edged dark gray wings.
It’s also a small songbird, measuring around 5-inches and with an average wingspan of 7-inches.
Like the majority of yellow birds on this list, the Orange-Crowned Warbler is a summer visitor to Michigan, spending the months of May to October in the State before heading further South for winter.
It is most commonly spotted in both May and October as it begins its migratory journey to and from Mexico, the Pacific, East, and Gulf Coasts.
If you’d like to find the Orange-Crowned Warbler in its natural habitat, you’ll need to head to open woodland.
Here they nest in shrubs and low vegetation, building their nests on or close to the ground. These nests are constructed from twigs, plant stems, and dead leaves before being lined with animal hair.
The female Orange-Crowned Warbler lays up to 4 eggs in this nest and then spends two weeks incubating them until they are ready to hatch.
The breeding couple will then spend another 10 days feeding and raising their young before they are ready to fly the nest.
Like many birds, the Orange-Crowned Warbler is almost exclusively insectivorous throughout the summer months, feeding on spiders, caterpillars, beetles, ants, and flies.
However, if food sources start to run low they will feed on fruit, seeds, and berries. They’ll also turn to these foods during fall and winter.
You can attract the Orange-Crowned Warbler to your garden by offering peanut butter and suet, and you’ll have a good chance of drawing them in with these foods during their migratory seasons.
They’ll also visit hummingbird feeders with sugar water nectar, so make sure you place these out too if you want to increase your chances.
One of the most striking birds on our list, the Eastern Meadowlark can be found in the South of Michigan all year-round.
Those that live in the North of the State migrate further South for winter, and some may move to Southern States if temperatures start to drop a little too low.
That being said, it is quite a rare sight as, sadly, it is considered a near-threatened species.
If you do think you’ve spotted an Eastern Meadowlark, you’ll be able to identify it by its bright yellow underparts, pale brown upperparts, and black-dotted white wings.
It also has a black patch on its throat and a black and white striped head. A medium songbird, the Eastern Meadowlark measures around 8.5-inches long and has an average wingspan of 14-inches.
If you would like to try and find this rare bird out in the wild, the best place to find them is prairies and open grasslands.
Here, they nest on the ground, constructing nests from woven grasses. These nests are intricately woven as well, and some even have a series of tunnels and roofs.
Because of the fact that the Eastern Meadowlark is so rare, it’s very unlikely that you’ll spot one in your backyard. Likewise, drawing them in will be quite difficult unless you have a large plot of open grassland.
It’s quite easy to see where the Hooded Warbler gets its name from. With a jet black hood that runs from the throat, around the neck, and up to the cap of the head, it’s one of the most interesting-looking birds you’ll ever see.
It can also be identified by its bright yellow breast and underparts, matching face, and olive-green upperparts and wings tinged with dark-gray.
Relatively small, the Hooded Warbler measures an average of 5-inches and has a wingspan of around 7-inches.
Hooded Warblers can be spotted in Michigan from April until October, although they are quite a rare sight.
Their preferred habitat is dense forests and woodlands which, along with their small size, can make them quite difficult to spot.
They also nest in hard-to-reach places (high up in the trees) for example, making them all the more difficult to see.
Their nests are constructed using grass, bark, and other soft plant material. It is woven into a cup-like shape and, once ready, the female Hooded Warbler lays up to 4 eggs.
She’ll then incubate the eggs for 12 days and, once hatched, the parents will raise their chicks for a further 9 days before helping them fledge the nest.
Being such an elusive, secretive bird, the Hooded Warbler very rarely ventures out of the safety of its woodland home.
It has everything it needs to survive here including its preferred food source of insects and spiders.
You can, however, try enticing the Hooded Warbler into your backyard by planting native shrubs and trees. These will attract insects and, in turn, you’ve got a much better chance of drawing this bird in.
Identified by their yellow-green upperparts, breast, underparts, and bright yellow face stripe, the Evening Grosbeak is found in Michigan throughout the summer.
However, some will stay in the South of the State all year round. They can also be identified by their large bills, black and white wings, and black cap.
They’re quite a stocky little bird too, measuring around 7-inches in length and with an average wingspan of 13-inches.
Sadly, the Evening Grosbeak is considered a vulnerable species. This means that the chances of spotting one are quite rare.
However, if you head to their natural habitat of mountainous forests you may get lucky enough to see one!
That being said, the Evening Grosbeak nests very high up in the canopy of pine trees – sometimes as high as 100 feet above the ground.
These nests aren’t very intricately made, and are formed into a loose structure using pine needles, twigs, moss, grass, and rootlets.
Once satisfied with their build, the female Evening Grosbeak will lay up to 5 eggs and she will incubate these for two weeks.
The Evening Grosbeak also feeds in its mountain forest home, snacking on insects and larvae throughout the summer before switching to fruit, seeds, and berries during the winter.
Although fairly elusive, the Evening Grosbeak has been known to visit bird feeders and you can increase your chances of drawing them into your garden by offering berries and sunflower seeds.
Planting maple trees will encourage them in as well, as they’ll feed on the buds during spring.
The Cedar Waxwing can be spotted in South Michigan all year round, however, in other parts of the State it is a summer-visiting bird.
It’s also one of the most striking birds on our list, sporting a peach-colored crest, thick black eye stripe, gray wings and tail, and a pale yellow breast and underside.
Each of their wings is also tipped with a bright red dot. A medium sized bird, the Cedar Waxwing has an average wingspan of 10-inches and measures around 6-inches in length.
The best time of year to spot a Cedar Waxwing is in spring and summer, especially if you live in North, West, or East Michigan.
Outside of these months, this bird will migrate to the South of the State and, if temperatures get very low, will travel as far South as Central America and Mexico for the winter.
Given their name, you might think that Cedar Waxwings live exclusively in cedar forests.
But, they actually have quite a varied habitat and can be found in grasslands, mixed woodlands, and even some urban areas. As long as there is a source of water close by, they’re happy!
They’ll also nest in these areas, building a nest from plant material, grass, twigs, and hair and lining it with soft grasses and pine needles.
Once complete, the female Cedar Waxwing lays up to 6 eggs and will incubate them for a period of 12 days.
The rearing period for Cedar Waxwing chicks is quite long compared to some other birds, and they won’t be ready to leave the nest for another 16 days after hatching.
Another unusual thing about the Cedar Waxwing is that they almost exclusively feed on fruit and berries.
Some will eat insects throughout the summer, but fruit remains they’re go-to snack of choice!
With this in mind, attracting the Cedar Waxwing to your garden is as simple as leaving some sliced fruits and berries out on your bird table.
You can also increase your chances of enticing this intriguing bird into your backyard by planting native fruit-bearing shrubs. Some examples include juniper, hawthorn, dogwood, serviceberry, and winterberry.
Another rare bird, the Blue-Winged Warbler visits Michigan from April to September, spending its breeding season in the State.
It can be identified by its namesake blue-gray wings, green upperparts, and bright yellow underparts, breast, and face.
One of the smallest yellow birds on our list, it measures just 4.5-inches long and has an average wingspan of 7-inches.
Like most migratory birds, the best time of year to spot a Blue-Winged Warbler is at either end of their migratory season.
This is when they are at their busiest, either gathering materials for their nests or searching for energy-rich foods to fuel them through their long journeys.
Come winter, the Blue-Winged Warbler takes to the skies and heads towards the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.
Their rarity is owed to their habitat, which is remote forest edges, brushy fields, thickets, and pastures.
Here, they nest high up in areas with lots of security from the overhead canopy. They also build their nests in thick growth, using dead leaves and forming them into a perfectly-camouflaged cup.
In this nest, the female Blue-Winged Warbler lays up to 7 eggs and spends 12 days incubating them.
The Blue-Winged Warbler is exclusively insectivorous, feeding on ants, beetles, caterpillars, larvae, and spiders.
This, along with their rarity and preferred habitat, means that it is quite unlikely that you’ll spot one in your garden. Likewise, trying to entice them into your backyard is quite a difficult task.
Female Baltimore Oriole
We round off our list of yellow birds you can find in Michigan with the female Baltimore Oriole.
This is also one of the most commonly spotted birds in Michigan, visiting the State from May to September for the breeding season.
The female Baltimore Oriole can be identified by yellow-green underparts, green head and shoulders with black markings, and dark gray and white wings.
The male Baltimore Oriole looks almost entirely different to the female, and sports bright orange plumage with black wings marked with white.
About the same size as a Robin, both sexes of Baltimore Orioles measure around 7-inches in length and have an average wingspan of 10-inches.
As summer visitors to Michigan, the Baltimore Oriole spends its time in the State living in forest edges and open woodlands near a source of water, such as a river or stream.
Here, they nest high up in the tree canopy, foraging for insects and pecking at any fruit or berries they can find.
They have also been known to venture into urban areas and gardens when food is scarce, so attracting this bird to your garden isn’t too difficult.
Offering a variety of fruits is a sure-fire way to bring this colorful bird into your garden.
Sliced oranges placed on bird tables or left hanging from tree branches is a great way to entice them in, as is leaving out raspberries, cherries, bananas, and mulberries.
You can also increase your chances by planting fruiting bushes in your garden and by offering sugar water.
Come winter, the Baltimore Oriole takes to the skies and leaves Michigan for warmer temperatures.
Their winter homes include Central America, the Caribbean, and Florida. Some will even leave the State as early as July if they feel they’ve bred successfully that year.
As you can see, there are loads of yellow birds flying around Michigan! While the majority of these are summer visitors, there are the odd year-round residents that are guaranteed to add a flash of color to an otherwise bleak winter.
So, next time you spot a yellow bird in your backyard, garden, or while you’re out on a walk, be sure to check out this list – you may have spotted something you’ve never seen before!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Yellow Birds Are Most Common In Michigan?
Some of the most common yellow birds you’ll find in Michigan include:
- American Redstart
- Pine Warbler
- Western Meadowlark
- Black-Throated Green Warbler
- Yellow-Headed Blackbird
- Cedar Waxwing
- Western Kingbird
- Hooded Warbler
- Nashville Warbler
- Eastern Meadowlark
- White-Eyed Vireo
- Yellow Warbler
- Common Yellowthroat
- Summer Tanager
- Blue-Winged Warbler
- Prothonotary Warbler
- Orchard Oriole
- Prairie Warbler
- Yellow-Throated Warbler
- Baltimore Oriole
- Yellow-Throated Vireo
Many of these birds can be enticed into your garden with an offering of their favorite foods or a safe place to shelter during the migration seasons.
Take a look at the details for each that we’ve explored above if you’d like to bring these birds into your garden, or if you’d simply like help identifying them.
What Yellow Birds Are Resident In Michigan All Year-Round?
While the majority of Michigan’s yellow birds are summer visitors, there are some that remain in the State all year round.
The most common year-round resident yellow bird in Michigan is the American Goldfinch.
Others, such as the Evening Grosbeak, remain in the South of the State all year round, but will migrate to other places during winter.
What Is the Most Common Yellow Bird In Michigan At Winter?
The American Goldfinch is Michigan’s most common yellow bird during the winter, remaining in the State all year-round.
It can be found in multiple habitats, and is fairly easy to entice into your garden with an offering of Nyjer seeds or sunflower seeds.
The Evening Grosbeak can also be spotted in Michigan during the winter months, however, it only remains year-round in the South of the State.