Popular Yellow Birds in Hawaii For Birdwatchers (2022)

There are over 350 known species of birds in Hawaii, with 59 of them being endemic (found nowhere else on Earth), many of them, yellow birds in Hawaii are often caught in attention for being the brightest and most attractive.

With its outstanding tropical climate, magnificent beaches, diversified landscapes, and isolated area, Hawaii is a dream habitat for many Hawaiian birds from all over the globe.

Even though most of them aren’t native to Hawaii, bird watchers may observe species from around the globe in just this place.

In this article, let’s discover 8 yellow birds in Hawaii. However, these bird types are the tip of the iceberg regarding the astonishing variety of avian species.

Yellow-Fronted Canary

Yellow-Fronted Canary
Yellow-Fronted Canary
  • Scientific Name: Serinus mozambicus
  • Length: between 11 and 13 cm
  • Weight: between 8,5 and 17 g
  • Wingspan: About 7cm

Yellow-Fronted Canary’s sound:

Yellow-Fronted Canary’s sound

In the past, the yellow-fronted canary was classified as belonging to the genus Serinus. However, a recent phylogenetic study has shown that Serinus is likely to be the true group of this species.

Habitat: Located first in Africa south of the Sahara Desert, the yellow-fronted canary (Serinus Mozambicus) prefers fields and open forests to live in. Then, they arrived in Hawaii for the first time in the 1960s.

Nowadays, the best places to watch these yellow birds in Hawaii are the islands of Oahu and the Big Island, with remarkably docile populations in the area of the Honolulu Zoo.

Key feature: There are some distinctions between gender, even though its length is always between 11 and 13 centimeters. The male’s head, underparts, and rump are yellow, and its crown and nape are grey with a black malar stripe.

The female is very similar but from a less prominent head pattern and drabber underparts. However, young males and females can only be found differences in hair and eye coloration.

Lifestyle: Among seedeaters, the yellow-fronted canary is one of the most common and social. They gather in small groups, forage in the grass and dirt, and construct a cup-shaped nest in a tree, laying 3-4 eggs.

Diet: They mostly eat seeds and insects. Husked sorghum and millet seeds can be easily prepared for consumption and are commonly harvested from agricultural fields.

Fun fact: Most birds only live for a few years, but scientists have found evidence of at least one wild bird that survived for at least 8.5 years. Many birds kept as pets live well past the age of 10!

Hawaii Amakihi

Hawaii Amakihi
Hawaii Amakihi
  • Scientific Name: Chlorodrepanis virens
  • Length: between 8 to 12cm
  • Weight: around 13gr
  • Wingspan: around 17 to 17cm

Hawaii Amakihi’s sound:

Hawaii Amakihi’s sound

Hawaii Amakihi is a common and minor honeycreeper found in Hawaii (of course, inspired by its name), Maui, Molokai forests, and very seldom on Lanai.

Habitat: The Hawai’i ‘Amakihis are able to successfully forage in a wide range of habitats, including those that have been modified or degraded.

It is most popular in high-altitude native forests, although it may also be found at lower elevations and in non-native woodlands.

Key feature: This species’ beak is broader and more curled than the Japanese white eye. And, unlike the ladies, which have a subdued yellowish green, the males have a bright sunshine hue.

Lifestyle: They are fast-moving eater that leaps between leaves and branches across the forest’s understory and canopy in search of insects, fruit, and nectar. During that time, they often provoke the sound “chee” at a high pitch and constant pace until they are finished.

Diet: They drink tree sap and nectar from local flowers using their long, tubular tongues, and they forage for food using decurved bills that allow them to reach deep into crevices in tree bark.

These versatile eaters consume the nectar that is produced by exotic flowers and trees as well as the pulp and juice of the fruit.

Fun fact: In order to protect the habitat from predators for ​​Hawaii Amakihi, ABC has worked with local partners to erect fences, manage invasive species, and restore depleted forest areas.

Saffron Finch

Saffron Finch
  • Scientific Name: Sicalis faveola
  • Length: between 14 to 17cm
  • Weight: About 20gr
  • Wingspan: between 16 and 20 cm

Saffron Finch’s sound:

Saffron Finch’s sound

The Saffron finch is scientifically known as the Sicalis flaveola. These beautiful yellow birds in Hawaii are native to the Amazon Basin lowlands.

However, they prefer the sunnier and warmer leeward coast, so they often fly to Hawaii and nest there.

Habitat: This species’s natural habitat consists of semiarid brushlands. Likewise, you may locate them in urban settings like parks.

Key feature: Male Saffron Finches are easily distinguished by their brilliant yellow plumage, while females are a touch drabber.

Lifestyle: It often hangs out in residential areas and has even been seen to nest in attics. They frequently construct their nests in rotten tree trunks or houses’ eaves.

During the breeding season, males grow aggressive and tend to mate with two different females.

Diet: Saffron Finches eat grass seeds and insect larvae.

Fun fact: Since Saffron Finches aren’t known for being good at building nests, providing them with a nesting box is the best bet for luring one to your garden.

Warbling White-Eye

Warbling White-Eye
Warbling White-Eye
  • Scientific Name: Zosterops japonicus
  • Length: Between 4 and 4.5 inches
  • Weight: Between 0.35 and 0.45 ounces
  • Wingspan: About 2.76 inches

Warbling White-Eye’s sound:

Warbling White-Eye’s sound

Warbling White-Eye is an olive-colored bird with a white eye ring. They are mostly seen in wooded and shrubby regions, park and garden settings, and agricultural and urban settings.

Habitat: Though it is native to Asia, In the early 20th century, it was brought to Oahu Island as a pet and pest control.

However, today it can be found on all islands. Particularly the Hawaiian Islands, where it has become a common sight in humid and dry environments, from the coast to the highlands.

Key feature: As the name implies, its distinguishing white ring around the eye and the black wings with green edges is easily recognizable in this species.

Lifestyle: They tend to travel in large groups with those of other species because of their friendly nature. Together, they sing and call in a series of high-pitched twitters and “chwees.”

Diet: The Warbling White Eye gets its nutrition from nectar, insects, and blooming plants. The greatest threat to this bird comes from small creatures like rats.

Fun fact: This bird is a regular sight in many yards and orchards. So, they are probably just out of your window!

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark
Western Meadowlark
  • Scientific Name: Sturnella neglecta
  • Length: Between 6.3 and 10.2 inches
  • Weight: Between 3.1 and 4.1 ounces
  • Wingspan: About 16.1 inches

Western Meadowlark’s sound:

Western Meadowlark’s sound

The Western Meadowlark resembles a robin in size but is chunkier and has a shorter tail. It also has a flat head, a long, thin bill, and a spherical, stooped posture that almost wholly hides its neck.

Habitat: Western Meadowlarks prefer open areas such as natural grasslands and agricultural fields for breeding and feeding during the spring and summer.

Instead of searching in fields with tall grass, focus on areas with shorter grasses. They may be found on the weedy sides of roadways, marshy areas, and mountain meadows at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet.

Key feature: The Western Meadowlark is easily recognizable by its patterned upper and brilliant yellow breast with a black “V” mark. It likes to fly low and is most often spotted in high alpine meadows.

Lifestyle: This bird has a lovely, easily-recognized song. Thus, it is often first heard rather than seen.

Diet: Western Meadowlark prefers to stay out of dense forests and subsists on a diet of seeds and insects.

Fun fact: Since the Western Meadowlark is rarely observed at domestic feeders, the best way to attract one is to place the feeder in open habitat.


  • Scientific Name: Zosterops japonicus
  • Length: between 15 to 19cm
  • Weight: around 37 to 38gr
  • Wingspan: About 2.76 inches

Palila’s sound:

Palila’s sound

The Palila is one of the few remaining instances of a bird species that is adapted specifically for eating seeds. They are classified as endangered birds that live only on Hawaii island. More specifically, only on the mountainous terrain of Mauna Kea’s summit.

Key feature: The Palila bird is often identified by its large, black beak, with a white underbelly and gray back. They have bright yellow faces and breasts but medium gray plumage dorsally.

Furthermore, these yellow birds in Hawaii have brown eyes, dark feet with golden soles, and a thick dark beak with bulging sides.

There is a general trend toward bolder hues and more defined black lores in males, whereas, females are slightly smaller than males, and their corresponding area blends in less with their dirty-yellow heads.

Lifestyle: The bird’s song is inconspicuous, containing whistling, warbling, and trilling notes.

They loudly communicated to notice the food during the morning and evening, and it is given most frequently during the day as rain approaches.

Fun fact: The Palila is one of the largest and heaviest living Hawaiian honeycreepers.

Laysan Finch

Laysan Finch
Laysan Finch
  • Scientific Name: Telespiza cantans
  • Length: between 18 to 22cm
  • Weight: around 37 to 38gr
  • Wingspan: About 31cm

Laysan Finch’s sound:

Laysan Finch’s sound

The Laysan Finch – often called a Laysan Canary because of its distinctive coloring and patterning, is a species of Hawaiian honeycreeper.

Habitat: As Laysan Finches are not picky about their habitat, they may be found in a wide variety of settings, including grassy or bushes regions, sand dunes, and even the edges of lagoons.

Nowadays, they inhabit the islands of the Northwestern Hawaiian Archipelago, with Laysan being their home island (which inspired their name).

Key feature: These cheerful little yellow birds in Hawaii are mostly yellow and gray on the back, with grayish-yellow pointed wings and lively, medium-length tails.

This bird has a white underside that transitions to a bright yellow breast, and its face is similarly colored.

It also has a brilliant yellow beak, a gray “collar” around the throat, and a thick, curved gray bill.

Diet: Laysan Finches eat a wide variety of foods, including seeds, insects, fruits, and even the eggs of other sea birds.

One intriguing adaptation they have acquired for survival is the ability to eat carrion, which allows them to get by on dead seabirds and other animals when they can’t obtain their regular food source.

Anianiau: A Lovely Yellow Bird in Hawaii

Anianiau – smallest yellow bird in Hawaii
  • Scientific name: Magumma Parva
  • Length: around 10cm
  • Weight: around 10gr
  • Wingspan: Unknown

Anianiau’s sound:

Anianiau’s sound

The ‘anianiau is a Hawaiian honeycreeper unique to the island of Kauai’s forested highlands. In comparison to other Hemignathini, this species appears to be a distant relative.

The biggest dangers to this species are the loss of habitat and the introduction of invasive species.

Habitat: ‘Anianiau inhabits mesic and wet woods at altitudes of 600 m or above. Above 1,100 meters, you’ll find the largest densities (3,600 ft). Acacia koa, Metrosideros polymorpha, Cheirodendron trigynum, and Lapalapa are some of the most common tree species found in their natural habitat.

Key feature: The anianiau has a somewhat curved bill, the female has more uniform plumage, and its yellow-green hue is much more subdued than that of the male.

Lifestyle: ‘Anianiau has a relatively short breeding season, from about February to June.

Nests are made by the female of the species out of twigs and lichens and are placed in the crook of the tree. Usually, a clutch consists of three eggs.

In 3 weeks, the little yellow chicks are ready to leave the nest after being fed a mostly protein diet of caterpillars.

This bird has a two-note cry (tew-weet) and a three-note song (wee-see, wee-see, wee-see).

Diet: The ‘anianiau’s diet consists primarily of nectar from the flowers of various plants. Arthropods found in trees, bushes, and vines are also a tasty treat.

Fun fact:

  • At around 10 centimeters in length, the ‘anianiau is the smallest of the Hawaiian honeycreepers despite its vividly colored yellow plumage.
  • Despite being found in the 1830s, the anianiau was not seen again for another half-century. Only in the 1960s did scientists begin doing extensive research on this species.

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