Yellow Warblers: The Sunniest Spring Birds

Look and listen for vibrant migrating yellow warblers in springtime. Learn how to identify these adorable birds, what warblers eat and what their nests look like.

Bnbugc March21 TrishasniderCourtesy Trisha Snider
Male yellow warbler

What Do Yellow Warblers Look Like?

Warblers are small songbirds. Male yellow warblers are bright lemon yellow with chestnut/orange streaks. Females are less vibrant, a soft yellow color. Check out more spring warblers you should know.

What Do Yellow Warblers Eat?

Warblers feed mostly on insects, insects, such as caterpillars, beetles and leafhoppers, so they generally aren’t attracted to feeders. Instead, entice them to your garden by adding a water feature like a birdbath or, even better, a natural looking pond with flowing water. Learn how to identify palm warblers.

Yellow Warbler Song

Listen for the cheerful sweet, tweets of yellow warblers. The song sounds like sweet-sweet-sweet, I am so sweet! A yellow warbler may repeat its lovely song up to 10 times per minute.

Bird songs are courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Yellow Warbler Habitat

While many warblers spend their time at the tops of trees, yellow warblers prefer dense shrubs. Increase your chances of attracting a yellow warbler by providing backyard shelter, like small trees and bushes. These birds prefer open woods, streamsides, orchards and willow thickets. Learn how to create the ultimate backyard wildlife habitat.

yellow warbler nestCourtesy Joey Reichoff
A female yellow warbler feeds baby birds in the nest.

Yellow Warbler Nest

Yellow warblers tend to like willow trees. They often nest in them, too. These nests are cup-shaped and made of grasses, bark and plant matter. This female yellow warbler (above) carefully hid her nest where she could care for her young. Learn how to identify yellow warbler eggs.

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Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor's degree in agricultural and environmental communications from the University of Illinois. Lori enjoys growing vegetables and flowers for pollinators in her backyard gardens. She also is an avid bird-watcher.