28 Birds That Start With Y

birds that start with Y

We began this conversation with a question by my daughter: “Name one bird that starts with the letter Y?” This led us on a path that took us in many directions and resulted in a great discussion with information I’d like to share.

It’s always nice when we end up talking about something we didn’t expect to talk about when we began and come away having learned something. Today is no different.

Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nutalli)

yellow-billed magpie

Yellow-billed Magpies are a vulnerable magpie species belonging to the corvid family. The population of these birds faces a severe threat from the Nile Virus and rodent poisoning. They have a restricted habitat range in the valleys, mountains, and foothills of Washington, United States.

Yellow-billed Magpies closely resemble their close relatives, Black-billed Magpies, and have a glossy black head, eyes, face, breast, back, rump, and legs. On their underbody, you will find a bold white patch extending to the sides of their feathers.

However, these birds have a yellow bill and two yellow eye streaks, which sets them apart from the latter. Like most corvids, the adult sexes are very similar in appearance.


Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The Yellow-rumped Warblers are an American warbler species that have a widespread distribution throughout North and Central America. These warblers tend to breed in coniferous and deciduous forests but dwell in more open areas in search of food during winters.

Yellow-rumped Warblers have four recognized subspecies with slightly varying appearances: Myrtle Warbler, Audubon Warbler, Goldman’s Warbler, and Black-fronted Warbler.

Despite some minor differences, all birds have the characteristic yellow rump, while the rest of their body is mainly greyish brown in color with prominent black streaking.

The males often have black cheeks, which is easily distinguishable from the pale grey cheeks of their female counterparts. During the breeding season, the males also grow a yellow crown.


Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis)

Yellow-billed Stork

More popular within their range as “Wood Ibis,” the Yellow-billed Storks are an African wader species known for their distinctly colored bill.

These birds have a medium-sized body with reddish skin covering their face, overall white plumage, dull brown legs, and a black tail. The adults do not display dimorphism in their plumage; however, the males are both larger and heavier than their female counterparts.

During the breeding season, the legs of these storks turn bright pink, while their bills become a richer tone of yellow. These differences are seen in both sexes.


Yellowhead (Mohoua ochrocephala)


The Yellowheads are tiny passerines found on the South Island of New Zealand. Due to the introduction of sloats and rats (their predators) on the island, their population has declined severely. It has led them to be considered an Endangered Species by the IUCN.

Yellowheads have a remarkable song, which is why they were earlier named the “Bush Canary.” Within their range, they’re more popular as “Mohua.”

True to their name, these birds have a yellow head as well as body, with dark eyes, a short, grey bill, and greyish touch on their wings. Little is known about the sexual dimorphism displayed by adults.


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Syphyrapicus varius)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are a migratory, North American woodpecker species that inhabit deciduous and coniferous forests while breeding and move to open woodlands and forest edges during winters.

Both sexes of the adult Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are similar in appearance; only the females only have a little bit of red, if any at all, on their head. The males also have a red chin and throat, which is white in their female counterparts.

All adults have a mostly white body, with a significant yellow patch on their belly and several bold black stripes running along their head and upper body.


Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)


Also referred to as “Yellow Bunting,” the Yellowhammers are a Eurasian bunting species that are introduced in Australia and New Zealand. These birds are partially migratory and commonly inhabit open areas with occasional trees and shrubs.

Yellowhammers have three recognized subspecies, with the nominate subspecies having a yellow head and upper parts, with a rufous rump and brown streaks all over their back. Both sexes appear identical; only the females have a duller plumage.


Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa)

Yellow Wattlebird

Also known as “Tasmanian Wattlebird,” the Yellow Wattlebirds are a honeyeater species endemic to Australia. These birds are the largest among all honeyeaters and are heavily wattled just below their chin.

They have a white face, a black crown, a grey upper body, and a yellow belly. During the spring and summer months, their plumage grows much brighter than in winters. Both sexes have identical plumage, but the females are significantly smaller than their male counterparts.


Yellow-faced Parrot (Alipiopsitta xanthops)

Yellow-faced Parrot

Formerly known as the “Yellow-faced Amazon,” the Yellow-faced Parrots are a neotropical parrot species found in Brazil. Their species is declared to be Near-threatened by the IUCN.

Yellow-faced Parrots have a stocky body with a relatively short tail. The adults are sexually monomorphic and have mainly green and yellow plumage. Their face is primarily yellow, with the sides and back being mottled with orange and bluish-edged green wings.

The bill of Yellow-faced Parrots is also yellowish, with yellow irises and a pinkish cere.


Yellow Chat (Epthianura crocea)

Yellow Chat

Belonging to the Australian Chat genus, the Yellow Chats are small passerines that have four recognized subspecies.

The adults are sexually dimorphic in plumage, with the males having a golden face and underbody and a black breast band. They also have an olive-yellow crown and nape, with a brownish back and black tail.

The female Yellow Chats are similar but have duller plumage and lack the breast band seen in their male counterparts.


Yellow-eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes)

Yellow-eyed Penguin

Also referred to as “Tarakaka” and “Hoiho,” the Yellow-eyed Penguins are Endangered penguin species that are native to New Zealand. Interestingly enough, they’re also considered the most ancient penguins living today.

The IUCN has declared these penguins to be the rarest in the world, with introduced predators and habitat degradation being the main threat to their population.

As you can gather by their name, Yellow-eyed Penguins have yellow feathers surrounding their eyes, extending to the back of their head. Their crown and face are slaty in color, with golden flecks.

Their eyes are also yellow, with bluish-black uppersides and white underbody. Both adult sexes have identical plumage, but the males are always the heavier ones.


Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

The Yellow-crowned Night Herons are one of two night-herons found in the Americas, with the other one being the Black-crowned Night Herons. These night herons have a quite stocky body colored in bluish-grey.

Their head is black, with two white stripes running along the face. They also have black, scaled feathers on their lower body. These herons have long, yellow legs that turn pinkish in the breeding season. They have a thick, black bill and red eyes.

Both sexes of the adult Yellow-crowned Night Herons are alike in plumage, but the females are smaller in size.


Yellow-legged Thrush (Turdus flavipes)

Yellow-legged Thrush

The Yellow-legged Thrushes are a true thrush species found in South America and the Caribbean. The adults are sexually dimorphic, but both sexes have yellow eye-rings and legs.

The male Yellow-legged Thrushes have a blackhead, back, and wings, with dark greyish underparts. Their bill is bright yellow as well. On the other hand, their female counterparts are mottled brown, with warm upper parts and whitish underparts.


Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

Yellow-headed Blackbird

The Yellow-headed Blackbirds are the monotypic member of their genus. These blackbirds have a widespread population in North America.

The adults have a grey, pointed bill and display sexual dimorphism among the sexes. The males have an orange face and a black body, while their female counterparts are mainly brown with yellow spreading over their throat and breast.


Yellow-throated Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguous)

Yellow-throated Toucan

Also referred to as the “Yellow-breasted Toucan,” the Yellow-throated Toucans are large members of the toucan family found in Central and South America.

These toucans have three recognized subspecies and have a mainly black body, except for their lemon-yellow face and throat. Their bill is black, with a bold yellow patch on their upper mandible and a red touch to the base.

The dark eyes of these birds have a greenish touch, with both adult sexes having a similar body. However, the females have a slightly shorter bill than their male counterparts.


Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii)

Yellow-faced Myna

Abundantly found in the tropical lowland forests, the Yellow-faced Mynas are among the largest members of the starling family. These birds are endemic to the island of New Guinea and are highly social.

Yellow-faced Mynas have a mainly glossy black body, with yellowish-orange skin spreading around their eyes and on their bill. Their lower belly is yellow, along with a white rump and tail feathers.

Both sexes of the adult Yellow-faced Mynas are similar in appearance, displaying very little sexual dimorphism.


Yellow-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes flavifrons)

Yellow-fronted Woodpecker

The Yellow-fronted Woodpeckers are a South American woodpecker species that have an abundant population in Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Like most woodpeckers, they primarily inhabit the tropical degraded and lowland forests.

Yellow-fronted Woodpeckers are among the most colorful of all woodpeckers and have a red crown, yellow forecrown, and chin. Their throat is olive-grey in color, with a red belly and a white rump. Their back, wings, and tail are all black.

Both sexes appear similar; only the females have a black crown, unlike the males’ red crown.


Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima)

Yellow-headed Caracara

Belonging to the family of the falcons, the Yellow-headed Caracaras are birds of prey found in South and Central America. These raptors are sluggish fliers, which is why they often scavenge on dead corpses of other birds and small mammals.

Yellow-headed Caracaras have broad wings and a long tail, looking similar to a small Buteo raptor. They have a cream-colored head and underbody, with their wings and tail colored in a contrasting dark brown shade.

These birds of prey have bright yellow skin around their eyes, with the adults displaying sexual dimorphism in size. The females are heavier than their male counterparts.


Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana)

Yellow Thornbill

Initially referred to as the “Little Thornbill,” the Yellow Thornbills are an Australian thornbill species that inhabit temperate and semi-arid regions. Although the IUCN has declared them to be a Least Concern Species, their population seems to be declining steadily.

Yellow Thornbills closely resemble the Brown Thornbills in size and plumage but are brighter in appearance. Their head and upper parts have a brownish touch, while the underparts are pale yellow. The adults of both sexes are identical in appearance.


Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis)


The Yellow-eared Parrots are a South American parrot species found in the mountains of Andes, Colombia. The large-scale clearing of montane forests within their habitat range has led to a steep decline in their population, making them a Vulnerable species.

These primarily fruit-eating parrots have a large body and a long tail, colored mainly in green. Their head and upper body are bright leaf-green, while the underparts are paler, somewhat lime green in appearance.

On the face of these parrots, you can see patches of yellow, particularly around their eyes and ears, which lends them their name.

Yellow-eared Parrots possess a dark, hooked bill, with the adults displaying sexual monomorphism.


Yucatan Jay (Cyanocorax yucatanicus)

Yucatan Jay

As their name suggests, the Yucatan Jays are a corvid species that inhabit the tropical dry forests and plantations of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Yucatan Jays are mainly black, with their wings and outer tail being cerulean blue in color. Their eyes and bill are also black, except for their bright yellow feet. Both sexes of the adults display sexual monomorphism, appearing identical.


Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis)

Yellow Rail

The Yellow Rails are a tiny marsh bird species belonging to North America. These birdies primarily inhabit shallow marshes and wet meadows and are migratory, found on the southeastern coast of the United States during winters.

Yellow Rails have a mottled brown upper body, with a yellowish patch on their throat and breast. Both sexes sport the same plumage with a grey bill. However, the color of males’ bills turns bright yellow during the breeding season.


Yellow Tit (Machlophus holsti)

yellow tit

Also referred to as “Formosa Yellow Tit” and “Taiwan Yellow Tit,” the Yellow Tits are an East Asian tit species that find their nativity in Taiwan, China. These little birdies are often used in the wild bird trade, which is why their population has attained a Near-threatened status.

Yellow Tits breed in the temperate montane forests and have a dark, bluish-grey head, chest, back, wings, and tail. However, their face and underparts are yellow all the way to their rump.


Yellow Tyrannulet (Capsiempis flaveola)

Yellow Tyrannulet

The Yellow Tyrannulets are a South American tyrant flycatcher species that are the monotypic member of their genus. These little birdies inhabit pastures, thickets, and streamside edges.

Yellow Tyrannulets closely resemble the vireos and tits in appearance and have a slender built. Their head and upper body are olive-green, while the undersides are pale yellow. All adult Yellow Tyrannulets are identical in appearance regardless of their sexes.


Yucatan Woodpecker (Melanerpes pygmaeus)

Yucatan Woodpecker

Also referred to as “Red-vented Woodpeckers,” the Yucatan Woodpeckers are found in North and Central America. They inhabit dry forests, shrublands, and degraded forests.

Yucatan Woodpeckers have a mainly grey head and body, with their back and wings being heavily barred with white and black. The males have a bold red crown atop their head, which is very tiny in their female counterparts.

Both sexes have a pale greyish chest, a yellow belly, and a red rump. These birds have three recognized subspecies, all of which exist within Central America.


Yungas Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium bolivianum)

Yungas Pygmy-Owl

The Yungas Pygmy Owls are a tiny true owl species found in the cloud and montane forests of South America. These owls were initially placed as a subspecies to the Andean Pygmy Owls but are now treated as an individual species.

Adult Yungas Pygmy Owls are sexually dimorphic in size, with the females being heavier than their male counterparts. They occur in three color morphs: grey, rufous, and brown. The gray morphs are quite rare, but the other two can be found in abundance.

All three morphs have a heavily spotted crown, back, and wings, while their underparts are significantly unmarked.


Yellow-legged Gull (Larus Michahellis)

Yellow-legged Gull

Named after their characteristic yellow legs, the Yellow-legged Gulls are a large gull species with a widespread population in North Africa, Middle East, and Europe. They have two recognized subspecies.

Yellow-legged Gulls display sexual dimorphism in size, with the females being remarkably smaller than their male counterparts. They closely resemble the Herring Gulls, except for their yellow legs.

These gulls have a white head and body, with grey wings and tails. They have dark eyes, with a yellow bill and feet. On their lower mandible, you can spot several tiny red dots.


Yellow-throated Leafbird (Chloropsis palawanensis)

Yellow-throated Leafbird

The Yellow-throated Leafbirds are a leafbird species that are found in East Asia. They have an abundant population in Palawan, which is why their specific name is derived from it.

Like all the leafbird species, the Yellow-throated Leafbirds also have a leaf-colored plumage, making it difficult to recognize them in dense forests.

As their name suggests, these birds have a yellow throat, while the rest of their body is primarily green, their upper parts darker than their underparts. Little is known about the sexual dimorphism displayed by adults.


Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

Yellow-billed Spoonbill

The Yellow-billed Spoonbills are an Australian wading bird species that are known for their highly gregarious nature. These birds have an overall white plumage with a large, spoon-shaped bill.

Their legs, feet, and irises are pale yellow, while the bare face is slightly darker than the rest of their body. Both sexes of the adult display the same plumage, being sexually monomorphic.


Conclusion: Birds That Start With Y

Whoooo! That was a lot of information about the birds that start with the letter “Y” that we covered in this article. We hope you found the information interesting and it helped you better understand where you can find these birds!

If you did find it to be a useful source of information, please do feel free to share it with a friend. And if so, may I ask a big favor? Please head to your nearest wildlife sanctuary and take a look at their resident birds. Make sure to pet any ducks or geese you find, and ensure they are given lots of chips, biscuits, and breadcrumbs!

Now go enjoy life knowing everything you learned about the birds beginning with Y has changed your life forever (maybe 😉).

Birds By Alphabet (A-Z List)

Birds that Start with A
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Birds that Start with X
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