15 Popular Yellow Birds in Maine (Ultimate Guide + Pictures)

Flicks of yellow feathers in trees or beside streams in Maine’s woods and mountains are a fascinating sight for any bird lover. If you’ve spotted a bird that you don’t recognize in your home state or while visiting Maine, we’ve put together an identification list to help you give that mysterious bird a name.

Maine is home to multiple kinds of interesting yellow birds which include warblers in the spring, goldfinches in the winter in the northern parts of the state and year-round in the south, and an abundance of migratory visitors or permanent residents such as the Eastern Meadowlark, female Scarlet Tanagers and American Redstarts, and several varieties of orioles.

Yellow Birds in Maine

Check out these 15 popular yellow-colored birds in Maine that you’re likely to see when out and about in this beautiful state.

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1. Yellow Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga Petechia
  • Diet: Primarily insectivore
  • Habitat: Gardens, bushes, shrubs along roads, and marshes
  • Lifespan: 8 years on average
  • Size: 4-6 inches (depending on gender)
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: 6 to 7 inches

Warblers are usually springtime visitors in Maine where they fill the air with high, metallic buzzing and chipping notes. This gorgeous little bird sports tiny, blunt beaks, and bright, chick-yellow feathers on its face, chest, and belly, with specks of pale brown mottling. Its wings and back have a dark or olive-toned color.

Yellow Warblers are often spotted in gardens, thickets near streams and roads, and marsh edges. They mostly eat an insect-based diet, so if you want to see more of these birds near your house, consider putting in Maine plants or trees that draw a variety of insects to the area.

2. Common Yellowthroat

  • Scientific name: Geothlypis trichas
  • Diet: A mixed herbivore and insectivore diet
  • Habitat: Brushlands, wetlands, and fields
    Lifespan: 9 or 10 years at most
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Weight: About 3 ounces
  • Wingspan: 7 inches

While these unique little birds usually migrate into the state to breed, it’s also possible to spot them in northern areas of Maine during autumn and winter. 

You can identify a Common Yellowthroat by the bright yellow patch on its chest, fluffy olive-yellow feathers on its underbelly and rear, and yellowish-brown feathers on its wings and back. Males wear an eye-catching black mask, rimmed with white at the crown, across their faces, while females wear a more subdued gray cap. 

It’s most common to see Yellowthroats looking for bugs in swampy areas or places with lots of thick brush. Make your yard welcoming to this bird with open spaces crammed with flowers and plants that are humming with insect life.

3. American Goldfinch

  • Scientific name: Spinus tristis
  • Diet: Largely insectivore and some granivore
  • Habitat: Yards, city parks, and open fields
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Size: Around 4 inches
  • Weight: 1 to 2 ounces
  • Wingspan: 8 inches on average

With its butter-yellow body and distinctive, black frontal cap, shiny black wings decorated with tiny white bars, and thick, pinkish-orange, seed-eating beak, the American Goldfinch stands out as one of the most popular birds to see in summer and winter checklists in Maine.

In winter, males wear a subdued grayish-yellow plumage that mimics female birds instead of its striking black breeding season markings. These birds are seen hunting for sunflower seeds in backyard bird feeders, hopping through city parks, or plucking seeds from thistles, milkweed, or aster plants in rural meadows.

4. Yellow-Rumped Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga coronata
  • Diet: Usually herbivore and insectivore
  • Habitat: Pine and fir woods, shrubby areas, thin woods, yards, and suburban parks
  • Lifespan: Around 5 years
  • Size: Over 4 inches and up to 6 (depending on gender)
  • Weight: Less than 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: Around 8 inches

If you’re out walking in evergreen woods or a city park in the winter, it’s possible to spy this cheerful little avian hunting for fruit, seeds, or bugs.

Both males and females have mottled and streaked gray-and-black bodies, layered brown wings tipped with dark and white feathers, and a straight, short tail with a little rounded fork at the end. Males wear a saucy dash of buttercup yellow on their heads, breasts, and rumps, while females have a single dull yellow hue on their breasts. 

They enjoy yards and spaces filled with northern bayberry or evergreen trees.

5. Eastern Meadowlark

  • Scientific name: Sturnella magna
  • Diet: Insectivore and sometimes granivore
  • Habitat: Meadows and fields
  • Lifespan: Around 6 years
  • Size: Between 7 and 11 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: 15 inches

A striking songbird with a slurred, fluting, or whistling song, the Eastern Meadowlark has a long, sharp bill, a distinctive black V-mark on its chest, and yellow bodies with black speckled feathers. The top wings have multiple, regular black and brown bars.

Depending on the region, flocks of this species may converge to scavenge for seeds in abandoned fields.

6. Pine Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga pinus
  • Diet: Usually fructivore and granivore
  • Habitat: Yards, evergreen trees, and oak forests
  • Lifespan: 6 or 7 years
  • Size: Around 6 inches
  • Weight: 3 to 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: About 8 inches

This interesting little songbird has a long, pointed beak and white-barred, olive-yellow-brown feathers that merge smoothly with its soft yellow body plumage. Their swift, trilling song usually sticks to one note and lasts for just under a dozen seconds.

These birds like to stay in top canopies in evergreen forests where they pick up bugs, nuts, and seeds, or in yards where they can forage for spilled grain and berries. They are particularly drawn to platform or tube feeders full of cracked corn, suet, sunflower seeds, and peanut centers in yards made welcoming by a variety of plants that include bayberry, sumac, and grapevines.

7. American Redstart (Female Bird)

  • Scientific name: Setophaga ruticilla
  • Diet: Usually an insectivore diet
  • Habitat: Many mature deciduous woods and beside streams
  • Lifespan: 4 or 5 years
  • Size: Close to 5 inches
  • Weight: Around 3 ounces
  • Wingspan: 7 to 9 inches

While American Redstart males won’t fall into the yellow Maine bird category with their gaudy black and orange plumage, the more somber females have pale crowns, white bellies, olive-brown wings with muted yellow tips and washes, and a bright yellow patch under each wing.

They love any kind of wooded space with deciduous trees that give them access to insects and berry plants.

8. The Baltimore Oriole (Female Bird)

  • Scientific name: Icterus Galbula
  • Diet: Mixed fructivore and insectivore diet
  • Habitat: Non-evergreen forests, yards, and parks
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Size: 6 inches
  • Weight: Around 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: 9 inches

Check for long, slender legs, sharp dagger bills, dull yellow head and body feathers, brown wings, and black eye and throat mask to identify the female of the Baltimore Oriole species. Watch for them in elm, maple, and cottonwood woods from April to May.

You might spot them near your home if you plant lots of flowers and berries that attract small bugs like ants, flies, and beetles, and put out some tempting sugar water for these attractive birds.

9. Palm Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga palmarum
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Woodland edges, scrubby fields, and along roadsides
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Size: average 5 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: 7 inches 

Look for muted yellow and brown speckled bodies and a distinct chestnut-brown cap on top of this bird’s head.

Palm Warblers are likely to be spotted by birdwatchers or by accident in Maine as early as February as some birds make their way north for breeding times in April. They are drawn to overgrown trees and spaces that have insect-luring plants such as bayberry and hawthorn.

10. The Scarlet Tanager (Female Bird)

  • Scientific name: Piranga olivacea
  • Diet: Usually insectivore with some fructivore habits
  • Habitat: Mixed pine and deciduous trees in yards and forests
  • Lifespan: 5 or 6 years
  • Size: 6 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: 10 inches average 

You’ll never mistake the dull olive-yellow body and muted brown wings of the female Scarlet Tanager bird for her bold mate with a shocking orange-red body with dark wings. Look for her thick, blunt pink beak that’s used for cracking fruit, and seeds, and snapping up insects from their perch at the top of the tree canopy.

Scarlet Tanagers are very fond of gardens and yards that are ripe with an array of blackberries, huckleberries, raspberries, or strawberry fruits.

11. Prairie Warbler

  • Scientific name: Setophaga discolor
  • Diet: Largely invertivore and some insectivore  
  • Habitat: Thick scrub, deciduous trees, and old, overgrown pastures
  • Lifespan: 4 or 5 years
  • Size: Around 4 or 5 inches
  • Weight: 3 ounces
  • Wingspan: Close to 7 inches

This perky little songbird gives off a droning “zzzzzzzz” song that might alert you to its presence before you see its vivid yellow chest, black wing and belly streaks, olive-yellow cap, and dark rings under its eyes.

They are seen in Maine primarily during spring and autumn breeding and migration periods from April to May and again from September to October, although you’re also likely to spot them during nesting time in summer.

In Maine, they mostly stick to treed spaces, the edges of rural yards, and fields with tall grass where they prowl for a variety of bugs, spiders, and insects.

12. Orchard Oriole (Female Bird)

  • Scientific name: Icterus Spurious
  • Diet: Herbivore and fructivore, sometimes insectivore
  • Habitat: Fields, parks, orchards, and open forest spaces
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: 8 inches

This female looks similar to the female Baltimore Oriole female, so the easiest way to tell them apart is by body shape. While Baltimore Oriole females have longer, more slender bodies, Orchard Oriole females look like chubby feather puffballs. They are a similar shade of pale, subdued yellow with a hint of olive tones. Orchard Orioles also wear subtle gray and black on their wings.

These birds haunt orchards and other open, tree-lined spaces where they sip nectar, sugar water, local berries and fruits, and sometimes an insect or two.

13. Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

  • Scientific name: Bombycilla cedrorum
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Orchards, suburbs, and yards
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Size: 5 to 6 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: 8 to 10 inches

Cedar Waxwings are one of the most astonishing birds that you catch sight of in Maine.

While their body is a soft, pale brown with pale yellow washes on the belly, their black-masked head is topped with a feathery brown crest. These birds can puff up their feathers to look as round as a butterball turkey. Their wings are brownish gray with cherry-red wing bars and a tail that flares to reveal bright sunny yellow tips.

These social birds are visible in Maine during the entire year but are most likely spotted in June-September when they migrate south after breeding in Canada.

They spend time feasting on bugs and fruit in woods, gardens, creeks, and berry shrubs. If you put out fruit in feeders and add bushes and trees such as juniper, dogwood, hawthorn, serviceberry, and winterberry, you just might catch this bird in your binocular sights.

14. Nashville Warbler

  • Scientific name: Leiothlypis ruficapilla
  • Diet: Mostly insectivore
  • Habitat: Second-growth oak, spruce, or juniper scrubland
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Size: 4 to 5 inches
  • Weight: 2 to 5 ounces
  • Wingspan: 8 to 9 inches 

These lovely songbirds are buttery yellow on the throat, chest, and underbelly, finishing off with olive greenish-brown wings, and topped by a gray head with white circles around round black eyes. You are most likely to spot this bird in the state during the breeding season, while some birds might linger around until Christmas.

While they mostly eat an insect-based diet, Nashville Warblers are likely to hightail it to your yard if you put out suet.

15. Canada Warbler

  • Scientific name: Cardellina canadensis
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Mixed evergreen and deciduous woods
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Size: 7 to 8 inches
  • Weight: 3 to 5 ounces
  • Wingspan: 6 to 8 inches

Spot this lovely gray-backed and yellow-breasted warbler in Maine during the breeding season and before fall migration time rolls around. They are distinguished from other gray and yellow birds in the state by a decorative black “necklace” around their necks (males). Females also wear a black chain, but it has a more muted pattern.  

Look for these songbirds in evergreen, poplar, or aspen forests that also have blooming rhododendrons, where you might be lucky enough to see this declining bird hunting for spiders and other insects.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’re familiar with some of the 15 popular yellow birds in Maine that live there or visit seasonally, you’ll find yourself better equipped to identify an unknown bird on your own. 

The location and time of year that you spy a new bird can give important clues about an anonymous bird’s identity. The more detail that you observe about the bird, including colorations and patterns can help you match the feathered visitor to a species on this list. 

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