15 Popular Small Yellow Birds in Georgia (Ultimate Guide + Pictures)

During the spring through autumn months, you can catch sight of a variety of birds with yellow feathers in Georgia. Many tiny yellow songbirds are hard to tell apart. That’s why we’ve compiled a helpful guide that covers some of the most popular yellow birds to help you identify an unusual bird in the state. 

Top yellow birds that you’re likely to see in Georgia include Cape May, Hooded, and Yellow Warblers in addition to Goldfinches and Eastern Meadowlarks.

Check out the next yellow bird you spot from these 15 popular small yellow birds in Georgia.  

Small Yellow Birds in Georgia

You also shouldn’t miss our other favorite picks in this category:

1. American Goldfinch

  • Scientific name: Spinus tristis
  • Diet: Mostly insectivore and winter granivore
  • Habitat: Backyards, suburban parks, weedy fields, and thistle patches
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Wingspan: 8 inches

A handsome Goldfinch perks up any backyard space. If you notice a bright, butter-yellow bird with a thick, pinkish beak, black eye mask, and black wings with white bars going at a thistle patch or pecking at nyjer or sunflower seeds in a backyard feeder, it’s likely that you’ve spotted an American Goldfinch.

They are year-round residents, but their bright plumage is more noticeable during spring and summer, the breeding and nesting season. In winter, males look like females with paler yellowish-brown feathers.

They like to spend time in fields, parks, or yards that have stary thistles, lots of weeds, and aster or milkweed plants.

2. Pine Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga pinus
  • Diet: A mixed granivore and fructivore diet
  • Habitat: Evergreen trees, deciduous trees, mixed forests, and rural yards
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Size: 5 or 6 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: 8 inches

These beautiful little Pine Warblers are round as a yellow ball, with white belly feathers, olive tones on their backs, and distinctive white and black wing bars. Males have this bright plumage while females are more brownish yellow with white undersides.

They prefer to perch at the top of pine trees where they consume insects from the bark. They also scout for bugs and grain on the ground during summer and turn to stray berries and seeds in the winter.

Fill your yard with grape vines, bayberry, or sumac, or let Virginia Creeper grow near platform or tube feeders set out with suet, peanut hearts, sunflower seeds, or cracked corn.

3. Common Yellowthroat

  • Scientific name: Geothlypis trichas
  • Diet: Mixed insectivore and herbivore diet
  • Habitat: Swamps, lowlands, and overgrown, weedy fields
  • Lifespan: 9
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Weight: About 3 ounces
  • Wingspan: 6 inches

Like its name, this bird is recognizable by its broad yellow throat. Other characteristics to look for include a yellow body with brown washes and a black mask with a white side crest that covers its face.

It’s most common to see Yellowthroats in the breeding season, but they are also found throughout the year in Georgia inspecting dense, marshy, or brush-filled areas for insects.

4. Hooded Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga citrina
  • Diet: Usually insectivore
  • Habitat: Old-growth trees, wetlands, and tangled understory
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: 8 inches

Hooded Warblers frequent Georgia in the months between March and November. You can recognize them by their greenish-olive back feathers, yellow fronts and underbelly, and white patches below the tail. They sport vivid yellow cheeks offset by a black throat and hood.

The most common place to spot Hooded Warblers is in mature forests that have dense undergrowth where they forage for bugs and spiders.

5. Cedar Waxwing

  • Scientific name: Bombycilla cedrorum
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Suburban yards and orchard spaces
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: 9 inches

A Cedar Waxwing is a lovely sight to see in Georgia in June through September after they migrate south from Canada after breeding in the far north.

 They are distinguished by their sleek, light brown bodies with soft washes of yellow across the breast and belly. Look for gray-brown wings with bright red pops of color on the wing bars, a vivid yellow tail tip, a black eye mask, and a pale brown crest atop the head.

Catch these birds in your sights during the summer and autumn months after migration from Canada. You can watch for them in orchards and shrubby areas where they are often seen feeding on fruit, insects, serviceberries, and juniper berries.

6. American Yellow Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga Petechia
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Marshy or bushy areas, orchards, gardens, shrubs, and creeks
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Wingspan: 8 inches

The American Yellow Warbler is another interesting small yellow bird that is often spotted in Georgia before spring migration to northern nesting grounds. These all-American warblers wear golden plumage with contrasting dark brown or blackish-olive shades across the wings and back.

Check out their habitats near swamp boundaries, local creeks, or rural yards where they are great at cleaning up a variety of bugs, flies, and caterpillars.

7. Yellow-Rumped Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga coronata
  • Diet: Herbivore and insectivore  
  • Habitat: Exposed pine or mixed woods, bushes, yards, and park areas
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Wingspan: 9 inches 

This bright warbler is most noticeable during cold, bleak months because they winter over in the state from September to May. They appear on 30% of winter checklists in the state. Look for a bird speckled with gray and black with a distinct yellow rump patch and yellow marks on the belly, chest, face, and throat.

Yellow-Rumped Warblers are drawn to insect life in scrub forests, pine trees, and wax myrtle trees, in addition to enjoying bayberries and sunflower seeds.

8. Cape May Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga tigrina
  • Diet: Insectivore, largely budworm caterpillars
  • Habitat: Conifer forests
  • Lifespan: 7 to 8 years
  • Size: 4 to 5 inches
  • Weight: 4 to 5 ounces
  • Wingspan: 8 to 9 inches

The Cape May Warbler’s favorite habitat lies at the open edges of evergreen woods where they build their nests along black spruce trunks. This shy and eye-catching little yellow bird has a belly striped with yellow and black like a tiger, yellow and black wings tipped with white wing bars, and a bold red patch around the eye.

This warbler earns its place in the forest ecosystem by hunting the spruce budworm that breeds in and harms fir and spruce trees.

9. Northern Parula

  • Scientific name: Setophaga americana
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Creeks, swamps, and lowlands with Spanish moss trees
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Size: 4 inches
  • Weight: 2 to 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: 7 inches

The Northern Parula is a unique small yellow bird that may appear in Georgia from March through October. Male birds have striking yellow chest and back patches with an unusual bluish-gray back and crown. Look for this bird’s thin, curved beak that is a vivid yellow color on the bottom and black on the top of the bill. Females wear the same pattern but in more muted colors.

Northern Parula songbirds spend their time perched in high canopies above trees strung with beard lichen and dangling Spanish moss. They are hard to spot except during migration times when they source food from local plants and scout for water sources such as fountains or bubbling birdbaths.

10. Yellow-Breasted Chat

  • Scientific name: Icteria virens
  • Diet: Insectivore and invertebrate
  • Habitat: Thick, deciduous woods that include sumac, hawthorn, and dogwood trees
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Size: 6 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: 7 inches

A Yellow-Breasted Chat is another interesting small yellow bird that returns to Georgia in spring just as the dogwoods bloom.

Their bodies look bulkier than a lot of warblers, with a large head and a very long grayish tail. Males are particularly bright with egg-yolk yellow chests and throats, a gray-brown back, wings, and head, a thick black beak, and striking eye “glasses” under white eyebrows.

They are shy and quiet birds, so might be hard to spot. They like to perch on branches and power lines to scout for a wide variety of caterpillars, spiders, praying mantises, ants, bees, wasps, beetles, katydids, and other bugs.

11. Female Scarlet Tanager

  • Scientific name: Piranga olivacea
  • Diet: Mostly insectivore, some fructivore
  • Habitat: Deciduous woods with some conifer, yards, and bushes
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Size: 7 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: 11 inches

Unlike their bold red and black mates, female Scarlet Tanagers have black wings and short dark tails against yellow body feathers. Look for their thick bills used for eating berries and bugs.

You’re most likely to see a small yellow bird that’s a Scarlet Tanager female if you’re looking up at the forest canopy. It’s also possible to draw them to your yard if it’s full of berry bushes such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, or huckleberries.

12. Magnolia Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga magnolia
  • Diet: Insectivore 
  • Habitat: Coniferous or mixed deciduous and evergreen forests and thick, dense, young stands of spruce, pine, or hemlock
  • Lifespan: 6 to 7 years
  • Size:4 to 5 inches
  • Weight: 2 to 5 ounces
  • Wingspan: 6.3 – 9.9 inches

This distinctive little yellow bird has a sunny yellow chest with bold black striations running down its chest and sides.

A Magnolia Warbler’s head looks slightly like a Nuthatch due to the gray cap with black and white markings. What distinguishes the Magnolia Warbler from the Nuthatch is its yellow and black striped body (a Nuthatch is black, white, and gray) and jet-black mask with white eyebrows across the eyes.

The bird is usually a migratory visitor in Georgia, lingering in evergreen forests during its passage through the state on its way up to northern breeding grounds and then south to winter in Mexico and the Caribbean.

13. Canada Warbler

  • Scientific name: Cardellina canadensis
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Mixed deciduous or conifer trees
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Size: 7 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: Around 8 inches

Often seen in migration, the Canada Warbler wears a black “statement necklace” with dangling black marks or “beads” across its yellow breast. The bird’s pop of yellow color is offset by gray wing and back feathers.  

If you spend time in coniferous or poplar woods filled with rhododendron blooms, you just might glimpse a Canada Warbler foraging for a meal of spiders and bugs.

14. Eastern Meadowlark

  • Scientific name: Sturnella magna
  • Diet: Mostly insectivore
  • Habitat: Open, rural fields
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Size: Between 10 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: 14 inches 

Migrating Meadowlarks first appear in Georgia in early Spring on their way north to nest. Since some birds linger through Fall and winter, it’s possible to spy on this lovely and almost-threatened species in the state around the year.

You can identify an Eastern Meadowlark by its elongated, needle-sharp bill, yellow body feathers, and wings and back streaked and spotted with black and brown shades. It wears a thick black V-shape pattern on its chest.

This bird sings in grasslands with a clear, fluting song in between hunting for seeds or insects in open fields.

15. Blue-Winged Warbler

  • Scientific name: Vermivora cyanoptera
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Shrubs, bushes, and old, abandoned forest thickets or edges
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Size: 4 to nearly 5 inches
  • Weight: 3 ounces
  • Wingspan: 6 to 8 inches

This endangered songbird may appear in Georgia during migration periods, but it is becoming increasingly rare in the state.

It has yellow plumage that covers its entire chest, belly, and crown of the head down to the back of the neck. Its wings sport unusual pale to bright blue washes contrasting with white bars across gray wings. Males also have a blacked winged eyeliner mark, while females wear a gray eye line.

The Blue-Winged Warbler is an omnivore, which means that it happily changes up its diet from one season to the next, depending on availability. If you’re lucky to see it, you might spot this bird clinging upside down to a bush like a chickadee to pluck insects from the leaves.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s a pale-yellow bird that heralds springtime, a flash of yellow floating like an autumn leaf as birds travel south, or the muted golden colors of a little avian traveler against a winter landscape, spotting a new, small yellow bird in your yard or the woods is an intriguing sight no matter the season.

This guide is designed to give you the fast facts about appearance, habitats, and diet to help you identify that tiny, mysterious yellow bird or distinguish two similar species from each other the next time a small yellow 

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