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18 Amazing Birds With Yellow Tails (Photos+Fun Facts)

Yellow is an attention-grabbing color associated with the sun and symbolizes confidence, joy, optimism, and growth. That’s why seeing a bird with a yellow tail can instantly brighten your day. 

The bright yellow color of feathers is among the most striking displays in nature and is frequently used as a sexual signal. 

Scientists from the Auburn University in Alabama discovered that the yellow tail color is created both by the reflection of light and the absorption of light by carotenoids (yellow, orange, and red organic pigments). Carotenoids give color to plant parts such as ripe tomatoes and autumn leaves.

The list of birds with yellow tails includes the cedar waxwing, several oropendola species like the Montezuma and green one, yellow-tailed oriole, yellow-tailed black cockatoo, and many others. 

Let’s explore the 18 most interesting birds that have the yellow color of their tails so you can identify them next time you meet them in the wild.

Make sure to read until the end, 2 birds will blow your mind with their looks and tail feathers!

Birds With Yellow Tails

Cedar Waxwing

cedar waxwing

Scientific name: Bombycilla cedrorum
Lifespan: up to 8 years
Wingspan: 9-12 in
Tail Color: Yellow and gray
Found In: North America

Cedar waxwing is a medium-sized, sleek bird that has a large head, short neck, and a short beak. It is one of the prettiest and most popular birds with yellow tails. 

Cedar waxwings are pale brown on the head, soft gray on the wings, pale yellow on the belly, and gray with bright yellow tips on the tails. 

They got their name from the waxy red tips on their secondary wing feathers and can be found in many habitats, from deciduous and evergreen woodlands to orchards, suburban parks, and backyards. 

The cedar waxwing is one of the few North American birds that can survive eating only fruit for several months. If the bird eats enough of the honeysuckle fruit while it is growing, the tip of the tail will turn from yellow to orange. 

Cedar waxwings breed from southeastern Alaska east to Newfoundland and south to California, northern Alabama, and North Carolina. 

Read More: List of nocturnal birds found in Alabama

Green Oropendola

green oropendola

Scientific name: Psarocolius viridis
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a
Tail Color: Black and bright yellow
Found In: South America

The green oropendola is a large and stocky bird found in wooded habitats in the Amazon basin and Guianas of South America. It has a mostly bright olive-yellow plumage; the belly, rump, and some underparts are chestnut colored. The eyes are blue and the beak is orange-red.

Green oropendola has a largely yellow tail, except for the central rectrices that are black.

These birds are omnivores and feed on insects, fruit, and nectar. 

Green oropendolas are social birds that are polygamous. During the mating season, to seduce females, males will grab a branch with their feet, bow forward with open wings, hang upside down, and then swings back up to the top of the branch. 

Montezuma Oropendola

montesuma oropendola

Scientific name: Psarocolius Montezuma
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: around 19 in
Tail Color: Bright yellow
Found In: North and Central America

The Montezuma oropendola is a beautiful tropical bird, famous for its bright yellow tail feathers, unique loud call, and elaborate dance display.

Males and females mostly have deep chestnut-colored plumage and black heads. The long bill is black at the base while the tip is red. Males are usually twice the size of females.

The name “oropendola” comes from the bird’s bright-yellow tail that swings like a golden pendulum during the mating call, while the name of this specific species commemorates the Aztec emperor Montezuma II.

Montezuma oropendola is a resident breeder in the Caribbean coastal lowlands from southeastern Mexico to central Panama, except for El Salvador and southern Guatemala. 

It is an omnivore, feeding primarily on arthropods and small vertebrates, and some fruits, seeds, and even nectar.

American Yellow Warbler

american yellow warbler

Scientific name: Setophaga petechia
Lifespan: up to 10 years
Wingspan: 6.3-8.7 in
Tail Color: Bright, egg–yolk yellow
Found In: North America

One of the most widely distributed birds across North America, American yellow warblers are small songbirds with medium-long bright yellow tails and rounded heads. 

Their bright and sweet song can be often heard near streamside willows and woodland edges across the United States.

Yellow warblers are diurnal birds and omnivores, feeding on insects such as leafhoppers, beetles, wasps, midges, and caterpillars, in addition to some berries and fruit during the winter.

To attract females, male yellow warblers will produce over 3,000 whistling songs per day. On the other hand, when defending their territories, males will make loud, “hissing” calls.

Yellow warblers breed across central and northern North America and spend winters in Central America and northern South America. These songbirds are common in Northern California.

Indian Golden Oriole 

indian golden oriole

Scientific name: Oriolus kundoo
Lifespan: around 10 years
Wingspan: 17-18.5 in
Tail Color: Striking yellow
Found In: Asia

Indian golden orioles are one of those birds with yellow tails that are famous for their vibrant color and unique characteristics.

They are found in various habitats like the open deciduous forests, semi-evergreen forests, woodlands, forest edges, parks, gardens, and plantations of the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia.

Indian golden oriole looks very similar to the Eurasian golden oriole but has a more yellow tail and a paler shade of red in the iris and beak. Males have a golden-yellow plumage and black wings, while the females are almost greenish.

These birds are omnivores and primarily feed on insects, fruits, and seeds.

Yellow-tailed Oriole

yellow tailed oriole

Scientific name: Icterus mesomelas
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a
Tail Color: Entirely yellow below
Found In: Central and South America

The tail, seen from below, is entirely yellow – from above, it is black with yellow margins. This is the reason why the yellow-tailed oriole got its name, it is the only oriole species with prominent yellow color on its tail.

This medium-sized bird breeds from southern Mexico to western Peru and northwestern Venezuela. It prefers humid tropical lowlands, tangles, and thickets along rivers and near water, as well as overgrown fields.

Yellow-tailed orioles are omnivores that mostly feed on insects, as well as nectar and certain fruits such as gumbo-limbo.

Yellow-winged Cacique

yellow winged cacique

Scientific name: Cassiculus melanicterus
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a 
Tail Color: Black and yellow
Found In: Mexico and Guatemala

The yellow-winged cacique, also known as the Mexican cacique, is a spectacular and remarkable-looking black and yellow bird found in humid forests, montane forests, and second growth.

It mostly has black plumage, a bright yellow rump, and a large yellow patch on the inner wing. The tail is striking yellow, except for the central rectrices (the larger feathers of the tail) that are black.

Yellow-winged cacique is a large member of the blackbird family that is usually found in flocks.

These birds are polygynous (males mate with multiple females) and the females are responsible for building the nest, incubation, and caring for the young – the males take no part in raising chicks.

Yellow-winged Cacique is an omnivorous animal, feeding on insects and fruit, and some nectar and seeds. 

Long-tailed Minivet

long tailed minivet
by Imran Shah from Islamabad, PakistanCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited)

Scientific name: Pericrocotus ethologus
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a
Tail Color: Yellow in females and red in males
Found In: Southern and southeastern Asia

Long-tailed minivets are medium-sized and sexually dimorphic birds (males and females look different and are easy to recognize). 

Males have red and black plumage, while females are mostly gray and yellow. Another distinctive characteristic is the tail color; females have yellow outer tail feathers while the tail is red in males.

These birds are usually found in pairs or small flocks in mid to high-altitude forests. They are carnivores that feed on insects, insect larvae, spiders, ants, bees, grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, locusts, dragonflies, and beetles.

American Redstart

female american redstard with yellow tail

Scientific name: Setophaga ruticilla
Lifespan: up to 10 years
Wingspan: 6.3-9.1 in
Tail Color: Yellow-black in females and orange-black in males
Found In: North America

American redstart is a lively warbler that has a relatively wide, flat bill and a fairly long tail. This medium-sized bird can be often seen hopping among tree branches in search of insects. 

Female American redstarts and immature males have yellow or yellow-orange patches on their tails, wings, and sides, while the males are coal-black with vivid orange patches. 

They will quickly open their tails, exposing yellow parts, which will scare the insects, allowing the American redstart to catch them in the air.

These birds inhabit open wooded habitats, especially those dominated by deciduous trees. During winter, they can be found in southern Florida and southern California.

American redstarts breed from southeastern Alaska east to Newfoundland, and south to northern Oregon, Colorado, Oklahoma, northern Louisiana, and South Carolina. 

Golden Palm Weaver

golden palm weaver

Scientific name: Ploceus bojeri
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a
Tail Color: Bright yellow
Found In: Eastern Africa

The golden palm weaver is a small bird native to Eastern Africa, in countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania.

When it comes to appearance, breeding males have a mostly orange head, pale light-brown streaks on their wings, and bright yellow plumage, including the tail. The female has a slightly duller yellow color. The beak is thick, short, and black.

The golden palm weaver can be found in coastal savanna and scrub, often in areas with lots of palms, as well as inland along rivers through the dry country.

Northern Flicker

northern flicker

Scientific name: Colaptes auratus
Lifespan: up to 9 years
Wingspan: 16.5-20 in
Tail Color: Bright yellow
Found In: North and Central America

One of the few woodpecker species that migrate, the northern flicker is a medium-sized bird native to most of North America, parts of Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands.

Adults are easy to recognize by the brown plumage with black bars on the back and wings. During the flight, this bird will flash its yellow color under the wings and tail.

One subspecies of the northern flicker, the southern yellow-shafted flicker, has a very bright yellow underside of the tail feathers.

The Northern flicker is a state bird of Alabama, known by its other name, the Yellowhammer.

Although they eat fruits, berries, seeds, and nuts, Northern flickers’ primary food is insects, with ants making almost 50% of their diet. Scientists once discovered over 5,000 ants in one Flicker’s stomach.

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

yellow tailed black cockatoo

Scientific name: Zanda funerea
Lifespan: over 40 years
Wingspan: n/a
Tail Color: Yellow
Found In: Australia

The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is a large cockatoo native to southeast Australia. It is a beautiful bird with a yellow tail – the plumage is brownish-black and the bird also has prominent yellow cheek patches and a yellow tail band. 

Although hard to see from distance, body feathers are edged with yellow, giving the yellow-tailed cockatoo a scalloped appearance.

It is often found in small or large flocks around eucalypt woodland and pine plantations. Yellow-tailed black cockatoo is an omnivore that prefers to feed on wood-boring larvae and seeds of native and introduced trees and ground plants.

These diurnal birds are very noisy and often heard before being seen. 

Green Jay

short blue eyebrows of a green jay

Scientific name: Cyanocorax yncas
Lifespan: 10-11 years
Wingspan: 13.5-15 in
Tail color: Lemon yellow
Found In: Central America

Green jays are medium-sized jays with green backs, yellow underparts, blue and black heads, and very short and blue eyebrows. They are colorful and noisy tropical birds that can be found in the Americas.

Green jays are very intelligent birds that have been seen using sticks as tools to get insects from tree bark. They got their Latin name “yncas” from the word “Inca” because the first descriptions of this species were based on birds from Peru.

A group of jays is called a “band”, “cast”, “party”, or “scold”.

Green jays are also one of several songbirds found in Texas.

Golden Conure

golden conure

Scientific name: Guaruba guarouba
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Wingspan: 8.3 in
Tail Color: Bright yellow
Found In: Brazil

The golden conure, also known as the golden parakeet, is one of the prettiest on our list of birds with yellow tails. It has a stunning brilliant yellow plumage; the only exception is the tips of the flight feathers, which are dark green.

Read More: List of black birds that have a yellow color of their heads

This medium-sized bird is native to the Amazon Basin in northern Brazil. Golden conures are easy to tame, quite affectionate, intelligent, and fun to watch – no wonder people consider them to be excellent pets.

In the wild, golden conures are considered endangered, with a population of around 3,000 birds remaining. They are herbivores, preferring to feed on seeds, nuts, buds, flowers, and fruits, including crops such as corn and mangoes.

Great Blue Turaco

great blue turaco
by Tom TarrantCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited)

Scientific name: Corythaeola cristata
Lifespan: 30 years
Wingspan: n/a
Tail Color: Yellow undertail that is blue above
Found In: Africa

The largest species of turaco, the great blue turaco is endemic to Africa. It has a bright blue body, rounded wings, strong legs, and a long tail that is pale yellow underneath. Males and females look similar. 

The great blue turacos are gregarious birds, living in smaller groups of six to seven individuals. They are not great fliers, only passing short distances or soaring to lower levels of the forest.

During mating season males become more vocal and territorial, and both males and females will sit on two blue eggs to incubate them.

Great blue turacos are omnivores that mostly feed on fruit leaves, flowers, buds, shoots, and occasionally insects.

Read More: Examples of birds with beautiful green heads

Domestic Canary

domestic yellow canary

Scientific name: Serinus canaria domestica
Lifespan: 9-10 years
Wingspan: 7.1-8.9 in
Tail Color: Bright yellow
Found In: Canary, Azores, and Madeira islands

The domestic canary, also known as the canary, is a domesticated wild canary, brought to Europe by Spanish sailors in the 17th century. This small songbird originates from the Macaronesian Islands. 

While wild canaries have a yellowish-green plumage, domestic canaries have been selectively bred for a wide variety of colors, such as yellow, orange, brown, black, white, and red. 

One of the prettiest is the yellow canary, a highly intelligent bird with a bright yellow tail, upperparts, and underside. Due to its cheerful temperament, beautiful songs, and being easy to take care of, many people keep yellow canaries as their pets.

Lesser Bird-of-paradise

Lesser Bird-of-paradise
Lesser Bird-of-paradise | Source: Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scientific name: Paradisaea minor
Lifespan: 5-8 years
Wingspan: n/a
Tail Color: Striking yellow
Found In: New Guinea

One of the most beautiful birds with yellow tails in the world, the Lesser bird-of-paradise is native to New Guinea and a few surrounding islands.

This medium-sized bird has maroon-brown plumage, a yellow crown, and a brownish-yellow upper back. Males have striking tail feathers that are deep yellow at their base and fade outwards into white. Females are maroon, with a dark-brown head and whitish underparts.

It resembles the larger Greater Bird-of-paradise, but the male of that species has a dark chest, whereas the female is entirely brown and has no whitish underparts.

These birds are territorial and will get into skirmishes with other males when the breeding season comes. These fights are often necessary to maintain a hierarchy.

The Lesser Bird-of-paradise is an omnivore that mostly eats fruits and some arthropods. 

Read More: List of stunning green and yellow birds

Greater Bird-of-paradise

colorful Greater Bird-of-paradise on a branch
Greater Bird-of-paradise | Source: chee.hong, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scientific name: Paradisaea apoda
Lifespan: 5-7 years in wild
Wingspan: n/a
Tail Color: Yellow
Found In: New Guinea

The Greater bird-of-paradise, found in southwest New Guinea and the Aru Islands in Indonesia, is a large bird of lowland and foothill forest and edge. 

Males have black breasts and white and yellow tail plumes which they raise above their back during display. This species is sexually dimorphic and the females are larger than the males.

 The bird can be found on Trinidad and Tobago’s $100 bill. Males are polygynous and do not contribute to offspring raising in any way. 

Greater birds-of-paradise are omnivores that feed on fruit, seeds, and small insects. 

Read More: 20+ examples of birds that have spit tails

Final Thoughts

This concludes our list of birds with yellow tails. 

There are plenty of bird species with yellow tails including cedar waxwings, Northern flickers, yellow-tailed caciques, American yellow warblers, American redstarts, and others. Some of them have a very distinct yellow color of their tails, while others have a less striking one.

One thing is for sure, their yellow tails certainly enhance and add to their overall appearance.

Hopefully, the next time you get the chance to see any of these birds in the wild, you will recognize them with ease!

And if you enjoyed our article, here’s another popular read on birds: 20+ beautiful black birds with white wings.

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