20 Yellow Birds With Black Wings

Yellow birds with black wings

Black and yellow is one of the most iconic color combinations known to man — and this is most apparent when you set your eyes on a yellow bird with black wings. 

The stark contrast of these light and dark colors is what makes these yellow birds with black wings so appealing to both amateur and experienced birdwatchers alike. 

If you have spotted a yellow bird with black wings and are curious as to what kind of bird it is, then you have come to the right place. This article lists 20 different yellow, black-wing birds to help you identify that beauty!

20 Yellow Birds With Black Wings

1. American Goldfinch

Yellow American Goldfinch
Scientific NameSpinus tristis
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length4.3–5.1 in (11–13 cm)
Weight0.4–0.7 oz (11–20 g)
Wingspan7.5–8.7 in (19–22 cm)
Lifespan3–6 years

The American Goldfinch is a small, brightly colored bird known for its distinctive bright yellow plumage and black wings, especially male birds. They undergo molting twice a year: once in the winter and once in the spring.

Male and female birds have similar markings, although the male has a more vivid, lemon-yellow color during the breeding season. This color is produced from the carotenoid pigments found in their diet.

Speaking of diets, American Goldfinches are among the strictest vegetarian birds, with a diet consisting almost exclusively of seeds such as sunflowers, thistle, and aster. 

Their unique digestive system allows them to extract nutrients from these seeds so that they may survive in places where other birds struggle to forage for food. 

As such, American Goldfinches are mainly found in weedy fields and overgrown areas, especially where there is an abundant food source. However, they can also be spotted in suburbs and backyards. 

2. Audubon’s Oriole

Audubons Oriole
Scientific NameIcterus graduacauda
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length7.5–9.4 in (19–24 cm)
Weight1.1–1.9 oz (31–53 g)
Wingspan12.6 in (32 cm)
Lifespan3–5 years

The Audubon’s Oriole, formerly known as the Black-Headed Oriole, is a stunning bird species known for its beautiful black and yellow plumage as well as its sweet, melodic songs. This colorful plumage gives them a place in the list of yellow and black birds.

Male Audubon’s Orioles have vivid yellow plumage punctured with black patches on their wings, tail, throat, and head. Females and juveniles, on the other hand, are more muted olive green in color with yellow markings.

They are known for their acrobatic abilities and can often be seen foraging upside down. Their main food sources are insects, spiders, and fruit, which they often find in tree canopies, areas of dense vegetation, or the ground. 

As a species native to southern Texas and northern Mexico, Audubon’s Orioles are typically found in open woodlands, riparian areas, and thorn-scrub habitats with mesquite and acacia trees. 

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss, Audubon’s Orioles are considered a species of conservation concern. These birds are also a favored host of brood parasites like the Bronzed Cowbird. 

3. Black-And-Yellow Tanager

Black and Yellow Tanager
Image credit: ecologist_josh / Instagram
Scientific NameChrysothlypis chrysomelas
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length4.7 in (12 cm)
Weight0.44 oz (12.5 g)
Wingspan7.5–8.7 in (19–22)
Lifespan2–3 years 

The male Black-and-Yellow Tanager sports a jet-black head, wings, and tail, and cheery, golden-yellow underparts. The female, on the other hand, has a duller, olive-green head and back and a yellowish belly. 

The colorful plumage of male Black-and-Yellow Tanagers is thought to play a significant role in courtship, attracting females during the breeding season.

These tanagers are a bird species endemic to South American countries: Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama. As non-migratory birds, they are permanent residents of these areas, even during the winter. 

Black-and-Yellow Tanagers are typically found in the upper canopy of wet forests in mountain ranges where they forage for food, usually in large, mixed-species flocks. 

Breeding also typically occurs in these forests, particularly during rainy seasons. 

These birds sustain themselves on an omnivorous diet of fruit, nectar, spiders, and insects. Interestingly, Black-and-Yellow Tanagers consume small fruits by swallowing them whole. 

4. Black-cowled Oriole

Black cowled Oriole
Scientific NameIcterus prosthemelas
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length7.3–8.3 in (18.5–21 cm)
Weight0.97–1.15 oz (27.5–32.5 g)
Wingspan9.8–12.2 in (25–31 cm)

The Black-cowled Oriole is a sleek, vibrant bird recognizable by its black hood that extends to its chest, contrasting sharply with its bright yellow belly and wings. 

The males and females of these bird species have similar coloration, although the males are slightly larger. Both sexes, however, sport thick, conical beaks used for foraging and feeding.

I have encountered Black-cowled Orioles in several birdspotting sessions that I had in the past. It is normal for me to see them procure arthropods, fruits, and nectar through searching plant foliage.

However, one of the moments that I always look forward to when observing these birds is when they showcase their acrobatic ability by hanging upside down while foraging.

Black-cowled Orioles are found in a variety of habitats, most notably in humid and semi-humid forests or open woodlands.

These birds are permanent residents of southern Mexico throughout western Panama and have even expanded their range of residence to the Pacific slope of Costa Rica.

They are known to be a common resident in some areas, but their population has been declining recently due to habitat loss. Additionally, these birds are sometimes kept as pets, contributing to their decline.

5. Black-naped Oriole

Black naped Oriole
Scientific NameOriolus chinensis
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length9.8–11.8 in (25–30 cm)
Weight2.11–3.5 oz (60–100 g)
Wingspan14.17–16.5 in (36–42 cm)
LifespanUp to 6 years

The Black-naped Oriole is a species of bird native to Asia. They are medium-sized birds with a butter-yellow body, black wings, and a distinctive black patch on the nape of their neck, which gives these birds their name. 

The females of these bird species are not as vividly-colored as their male counterparts, with a more muted yellow-green body and less distinct black markings. Both sexes also sport red irises and pinkish bills.

Black-naped Orioles are generally found in forested areas, but they can also be found in gardens, parks, and plantations in urban areas. 

They are omnivorous birds, feeding on various insects, fruits, and nectar. Sometimes, they are seen joining other bird species when foraging on fruit trees.

Black-naped Orioles are known for their beautiful and melodious song, which is a series of clear and sweet whistles. This is a familiar sound in Asian countries such as China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and India.

There are twenty recognized subspecies of Black–naped Orioles, most of them originally described as a separate species. 

6. Black-Throated Green Warbler

Black Throated Green Warbler with black wings
Scientific NameSetophaga virens
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length4.3–4.7 in (11–12 cm)
Weight0.3–0.4 oz (8.5–11.3 g)
Wingspan6.7–7.9 in (17–20 cm)
LifespanUp to 5 years 

The Black-throated Green Warbler is a small songbird that belongs to the family Parulidae, which is commonly known as the New World Warblers. 

They are found in North America and are one of the most recognizable warblers due to their prominent, black-and-yellow plumage and distinctive vocalizations.

Adult males have a yellow-green upper body with a black throat and face, while females have a duller olive-green upper body and a pale face and throat. Both sexes have a white belly and black and white wings. 

Black-throated Green Warblers are insectivorous birds that feed on various insects, including caterpillars, beetles, and spiders. They forage for food from leaves and branches or by hovering to catch insects mid-air.

As mentioned earlier, these birds can be found in the United States and Canada, migrating to Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America for the winter. 

More specifically, they primarily inhabit coniferous, mixed, or deciduous forests. During migration, they are also known to join mixed-species flocks to travel to woody habitats. 

7. Bullock’s Oriole

Bullocks Oriole
Scientific NameIcterus bullockii
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length6.7–7.5 in (17–19 cm)
Weight1–1.5 oz (29–43 g)
Wingspan12.2 in (31 cm)
LifespanUp to 6 years 

Named after American naturalist William Bullock, the Bullock’s Oriole is a medium-sized bird with brilliantly-colored plumage regardless of sex. 

The males have bright orange plumage on their underparts, face, and rump, with a black back, wings, and tail. This makes them belong to the group of birds with orange chests.

Conversely, the females are more yellow, with brown-black backs, wings, and tails.

These orioles are found in the western part of North America. However, their breeding range extends to the southern United States and even as far as Canada and Mexico, especially during winter. 

Like other members of their family, Bullock’s Orioles prefer habitat edges, specifically open woodlands, scrub forests, and riparian corridors.

These areas also serve as food sources for these birds, which consist mostly of insects, berries, and nectar. Although they will not eat from seed feeders, they seek sweet, jelly-like food. 

At one point, Bullock’s Orioles were thought to be the same species as the Baltimore Oriole due to their similar appearance. However, it has since been proven that the two bird species are separate from one another. 

8. Eurasian Golden Oriole

Eurasian Golden Oriole
Scientific NameOriolus oriolus
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length9.4–9.8 in (24–25 cm)
Weight2.2–2.3 oz (65–67 g)
Wingspan17.3–18.5 in (44–47 cm)
LifespanUp to 10 years 

Also referred to as the Common Golden Oriole or simply the Golden Oriole, this bird species is popular for its dandelion-yellow plumage and melodic, flute-like song. 

Aside from their prominent yellow body, males also sport black wings, tails, and faint eye stripes. Females, on the other hand, have a more subdued yellow-green color with some black markings.

Despite these bold colors, Eurasian Golden Orioles are shy and difficult to see, preferring habitats with plenty of foliage, like deciduous and mixed forests, parklands, and orchards. 

These habitats are great sources of food as well, especially with their diet of insects, larvae, and, occasionally, fruits and berries. 

They are most commonly found in Europe and are regular migrants in Great Britain. They also occur throughout Asia, from the Middle East to China and Japan, and in parts of North Africa.

In these parts, male Eurasian Golden Orioles are known for their beautiful and melodious songs, which are often heard in spring and summer. Females are quieter but may sing softer versions of the songs.

9. Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeak with black wings
Scientific NameHesperiphona vespertina
Conservation StatusVulnerable
Length6.3–7.1 in (16–18 cm)
Weight1.9–2.6 oz (53–74 g)
Wingspan11.8–14.2 in (30–36 cm)
LifespanUp to 16 years 

The Evening Grosbeak is a magnificent bird species mainly found in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Like other yellow birds with black wings on this list, males have yellow heads and bodies with black foreheads and wings.

However, their wings have bold white markings, earning them a spot in our list of birds with white wing stripes. Their tail is also black with white patches on the tips.

Females are similar in appearance but have a duller yellow coloration and fewer bold markings. 

Evening Grosbeaks are migratory birds whose movements are tied to the availability of food. In the winter, they move to lower elevations and migrate southward for food. 

These birds are regular visitors to the backyard of my friend’s house in Toronto. By regularly filling her bird feeders with sunflower seeds, peanuts, and other foods, they have become a familiar sight for her.

Further, despite their small size, I also find it interesting how they can easily crush and eat the seeds, nuts, and fruits being offered to them because of their large, thick bills.

Despite its majesty, Evening Grosbeak populations have experienced a decline over the past decades. As such, they have been declared vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

10. Hooded Oriole

Hooded Oriole
Scientific NameIcterus cucullatus
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length7.1–7.9 in (18–20 cm)
Weight0.8 oz (24 g)
Wingspan9.1–11 in (23–28 cm)
Lifespan3–5 years 

The Hooded Oriole belongs to the family Icteridae, which includes other colorful birds such as blackbirds, meadowlarks, and grackles. These birds are also known as ‘palm-leaf orioles’ due to their particular nesting habits.

Hooded Orioles typically breed in open woodlands, often with scattered trees and especially in palm trees. These birds will “sew” hanging nests on the underside of the fronds, thus earning them their nicknames.

Appearance-wise, males are medium-sized birds brightly colored with a yellow-orange head, black bib, and yellow underparts. This makes them identifiable under the group of black and orange birds.

Meanwhile, females exhibit greenish-yellow heads and olive-yellow underparts. Both sexes have a long, pointed bill, which they use for feeding and foraging.

Hooded Orioles seek out spiders, ants, grasshoppers, and the like on the undersides of tree leaves. They also feed on fruits and nectar.

They are found primarily in the southwestern United States and Mexico, ranging from southern California to central Mexico. In the winter, populations in the United States typically migrate to Mexico and Central America.

11. Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler with black wings
Scientific NameSetophaga magnolia
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length4.3–5.1 in (11–13 cm)
Weight0.2–0.5 oz (6–15 g)
Wingspan6.3–7.9 in (16–20 cm)
LifespanUp to 7 years

The Magnolia Warbler, also known as the “black-and-yellow warbler” due to its iconic plumage, is a yellow bird with black wings.

The head and neck are also black, while the back is a stunning greenish-yellow with black streaks. Overall, they can also be categorized as small yellow birds.

They also have a unique tail pattern consisting of a white base and black tips, which makes them easily distinguishable when spotted in the wild.

These birds can be found in a wide range of habitats, from boreal forests, conifer trees, forest edges, and woodlots. In the winter, they can be spotted from sea level to 5,000 feet, often in plantations and orchards.

From these habitats, Magnolia Warblers maintain a diet of insects and spiders, sometimes hovering to pick insects off the leaves. They are also known to feed on fruits and berries during breeding seasons.

Magnolia Warblers are commonly found across northern Canada, but they can also be seen in the northeastern United States. They are migratory birds that travel from southern Mexico to Central America in the winter. 

12. Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinch with black wings
Scientific NameSpinus psaltria
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length3.5–4.3 in (9–11 cm)
Weight0.3–0.4 oz (8–11.5 g)
Wingspan5.9–7.9 in (15–20 cm)
LifespanUp to 5 years

Despite its name, the Lesser Goldfinch is anything but lesser than other yellow birds with black wings. Although they are widely considered the world’s smallest true finch, their plumage is larger than life.

Males of this bird species have an almost neon-yellow underbody and a shiny black head, back, and wings. They also have white patches on their wings and a short, conical beak.

Their beaks aid in maintaining their diets, which consist primarily of sunflower seeds and plants such as flowers, thistles, and grasses. They are also known to feed on insects and spiders during breeding seasons. 

These birds are also very social in nature. They have been observed to forage in small groups, moving through low weeds and plants to extract seeds and buds. 

As such, Lesser Goldfinches prefer to live in patchy, open habitats such as thickets, woodlands, farmlands, and forest clearings.

These birds are often found across the southwestern United States, most commonly in California and Texas. During winter, they can migrate to Venezuela and Peru.

Fun Fact: Unlike other birds that lay the usual white eggs, Lesser Goldfinches belong to the group of birds that lay blue-colored eggs.

13. Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole
Scientific NameIcterus spurius
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length5.9–7.1 in (15–18 cm)
Weight0.6–1 oz (16–28 cm)
Wingspan9.8 in (25 cm)
LifespanUp to 9 years

Most yellow birds with black wings are males since it is more common for male birds to have brighter, more colorful plumage than females. For Orchard Orioles, however, females have the black-and-yellow color scheme. 

Female Orchard Orioles sport a darker, yellow-greenish hue on their head, back, and underparts. Their wings and tail are dark brown to black with two white wing bars. 

As their name suggests, Orchard Orioles are known to inhabit orchards, as well as other deciduous trees and shrubs in open woodland areas. They are also frequently seen in suburban areas, parks, and gardens. 

These areas also serve as food sources for these omnivorous birds, whose diet consists of insects, fruits, and nectar. During breeding seasons, they also consume large amounts of caterpillars to provide protein for their young.

They are widely distributed across North America, ranging from southern Canada to northern Mexico. As migratory birds, they spend summers in the eastern United States and winters in Central and South America.

14. Scarlet Tanager

Yellow Scarlet Tanager
Scientific NamePiranga olivacea
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length6.3–6.7 in (16–17 cm)
Weight0.8–1.3 oz (23–38 g)
Wingspan9.8–11.4 in (25–29 cm)
LifespanUp to 10 years

Similar to the Orchard Oriole, the female Scarlet Tanager has a yellow-and-black appearance instead of the male. Female Scarlet Tanagers have greenish-yellow plumage with darker wings and tail feathers.

Male Scarlet Tanagers, on the other hand, are bright red during springs and summers but molts to a similar yellow plumage after these seasons.

This yellow-green coloration is an adaptation that allows them to blend in better with their surroundings, making them less conspicuous to predators. This is also why they prefer forest habitats of oak, pine, and beech.

They are primarily insectivores, feeding on a wide variety of insects, including beetles, ants, and caterpillars. They forage by walking along branches or catching flying insects mid-air. 

During the winter months, when food is quite scarce, Scarlet Tanagers will also eat fruit and tender buds. 

In this season, Scarlet Tanagers will also travel to northwestern South America. Most of the time, however, they can be found in the southern and eastern United States.

15. Scott’s Oriole

Scotts Oriole
Scientific NameIcterus parisorum
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length9.1 in (23 cm)
Weight1.1–1.4 oz (32–41 g)
Wingspan12.6 in (32 cm)
LifespanUp to 6 years

The Scott’s Oriole is a medium-sized yellow bird with black wings and a black head. Aside from their yellow and black color scheme, they may also have white stripes on their wing.

As usual, females of this bird species sport more subdued colors, with olive-green upper parts, pale yellow underparts, and gray wings and tails.

These birds prefer to inhabit arid and semi-arid regions, such as deserts, scrublands, and rocky canyons, where they can find their preferred food sources of insects, nectar, and fruit. 

They are also known to be skilled at catching insects on the wing. In fact, Scott’s Orioles — along with Black-backed Orioles and Black-headed Grosbeaks — are prevalent predators of monarch butterflies in Mexico.

However, these birds are most common in southern California, particularly Sacramento. They are also primarily seen in the southwestern United States to central Mexico. 

Fun Fact: In parts of the world where Scott’s Orioles are common, these bird species are among the easiest to identify due to their persistent singing habits. They are one of the first birds to start singing each day, typically before sunrise. 

16. Townsend’s Warbler

Townsends Warbler
Scientific NameSetophaga townsendi
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length4.7–5 in (12–12.7 cm)
Weight0.3–0.4 oz (7.3–10.4 g)
Wingspan7.5–8.3 in (19–21)
LifespanUp to 9 years

The Townsend’s Warbler is a small, yellow songbird with a yellow face and lower breasts. However, these birds are marked with black stripes across their cheeks, back, flank, and wing, with two white wing bars on the latter.

They are named after John Kirk Townsend, a naturalist who collected the first specimens of this species during the 1830s and is considered a forerunner in ornithology and mammalogy. 

These tiny birds can be difficult to spot, especially since they prefer to inhabit coniferous forests and mixed woodlands with large trees. Furthermore, they mostly forage in high branches. 

They are primarily insectivores, feeding on insects, spiders, and other arthropods. They are also known to eat fruit, especially during the winter months when insects are scarce.

Townsend’s Warblers have also been observed to eat an extensive amount of sugary excretions or “honeydew” of scale insects during winter seasons.

During the breeding season, Townsend Warblers can be spotted in northwestern North America. However, they migrate to the Pacific Coast, Mexico, and Central America in winter. 

17. Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark
Scientific NameSturnella neglecta
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length6.3–10.2 in (16–26 cm)
Weight3.1–4.1 oz (89–115 g)
Wingspan16.1 in (41 cm)
Lifespan5–8 years

The Western Meadowlark is a medium-sized bird species best known for their beautiful and distinctive songs, which can be heard from a distance of up to 500 yards. They are one of the few birds that have their own unique song.

Western Meadowlarks have a plump body, a short tail, and a long, pointed bill. They have a yellowish-black back, wings, and tail, and a bright yellow throat and breast, with a black V-shaped bib across their chest. 

When they are not singing, Western Meadowlarks are ground foragers, using their long bills to probe the soil for food. They mainly feast on grain in the winter and seeds in the fall, but they may also eat insects in the summer.

As such, they often prefer wide, open spaces like native grasslands or fields to supplement their foraging habits. These birds are found throughout western and central North America as far as northern Mexico.

18. Western Tanager

Western Tanager with black wings
Scientific NamePiranga ludoviciana
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length6.3–7.5 in (16–19 cm)
Weight0.8–1.3 oz (24–36 g)
Wingspan11.5 in (29 cm)
LifespanUp to 15 years

The Western Tanager is best known for its bright, appealing colors and distinctive appearance, making it a favorite among bird enthusiasts and casual observers alike.

Male Western Tanagers are easily recognizable by their bright yellow bodies, contrasting black wings, and fiery red heads. Females and immature birds are more muted, with yellow-green bodies and grayish wings.

This is because Western Tanagers are primarily insect-eating birds, feeding on a variety of insects such as beetles, caterpillars, and flies. They also eat berries and fruits, especially during the fall and winter.

In these seasons, Western Tanagers will also migrate to Central America and the northern parts of South America. However, in breeding seasons, they can be found in the western United States and western Canada. 

Within these areas, they prefer to inhabit coniferous forests and forest edges, regardless of conifer species. They can also be found in open woodlands, parks, and gardens.

Fun Fact: The red tint found in male Western Tanagers comes from a rare pigment called rhodoxanthin, which they obtain from insects in their diet. 

19. Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow headed Blackbird with black wings
Scientific NameXanthocephalus xanthocephalus
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length8.3–10.2 in (21–26 cm)
Weight1.6–3.5 oz (44–100 g)
Wingspan16.5–17.3 in (42–44 cm)
LifespanUp to 11 years

Technically, the Yellow-headed Blackbird is mostly black, but its impressive yellow head cannot be ignored. As their name suggests, they are recognizable for their remarkable black and yellow plumage. 

Adult male Yellow-headed Blackbirds have a striking appearance, with their bright yellow head, neck, and chest and black body. They also have white patches on their wings, which are visible in flight.

These birds inhabit wetlands, marshes, and meadows, where they can find the vegetation and open spaces they need to breed and feed.

Within these habitats, the omnivorous Yellow-headed Blackbird feasts on insects in the summer and seeds in the winter. Aquatic insects like beetles, dragonflies, and flies are some of their favorites. 

They are also known to form “rolling flocks” with other bird species, where Yellow-headed Blackbirds and other species gather into a particular formation to forage in farm fields. 

They are mostly migratory, spending the winter in the southern United States and Mexico and returning to the northern Great Plains and the western United States in the spring.

20. Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

Yellow rumped Flycatcher
Scientific NameFicedula zanthopygia
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Length5.1–5.3 in (13–13.5 cm)
Weight0.3–0.5 oz (9–15.5 g)
Wingspan12.6 in (32 cm)
LifespanUp to 6 years

Also known as the “Korean flycatcher” or the “tricolor flycatcher,” the Yellow-rumped Flycatcher is a small passerine bird primarily found in Asia. 

Specifically, Yellow-rumped Flycatchers are commonly found in eastern Asia, including Korea, China, Japan, and Mongolia. They are known to migrate during winter in Malaysia. 

These yellow, black-winged birds are arguably the most unique in this list in terms of appearance. Males have a black hood and a bright yellow throat and rump, as the name suggests.

Their plumage is so distinctive that no other bird species look like them, except perhaps the narcissus flycatcher. Even then, the differences between these two species are clear as night and day. 

Yellow-rumped Flycatchers feed mainly on insects, which they catch in flight or by hopping along the ground. They are known for their acrobatic ability and can often be seen darting through the trees in pursuit of their prey.

Thus, they prefer to inhabit forested areas, especially those with dense undergrowth, and can also be found in mangroves, coastal scrubs, and hill forests. 

Tell us in the comments which bird with black wings you are looking forward to witnessing in real life the most! Feel free to also ask any questions you may have about any of these colorful birds!

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