Can Hummingbirds Be Yellow? – A Sight To Behold!

Hummingbirds are renowned for their dazzling colors, ranging from the vibrant reds of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the vivid greens of Anna’s Hummingbird. Yet, a common inquiry is whether there are species of hummingbirds that exhibit yellow.

While yellow is not a standard color for hummingbirds, certain species display different shades of yellow in their plumage. However, there are no entirely yellow hummingbird species.

Many people associate hummingbirds with bright and vibrant colors such as green, red, and blue; several species exhibit yellow plumage. These yellow hues can vary in intensity and may be found on different parts of the bird’s body, such as the back, belly, or throat.

Are Hummingbirds Capable of Being Yellow in Color?

They are known for their vibrant colors, and although entirely bright yellow may not be the most common, multiple species display shades of yellow in their plumage. The Goldfinch Hummingbird is the most widely recognized species, with its brilliant yellow feathers found on its head and neck.

Other species, such as the Green-crowned Brilliant and the Booted Racket-tail, also sport yellow feathers. The coloration of these birds depends on the pigments and structural colors in their feathers, which can change depending on the angle of light and appear iridescent or metallic.

Green-backed Firecrown” (Sephanoides sephanoides) is a hummingbird species found in South America with a distinct bright yellow color on its back. The male’s head and throat are also adorned with iridescent green feathers.

Another species, the “Green-and-Yellow Tanager” (Chlorochrysa phoenicotis), is a hummingbird-like bird found in the Andean forests of South America, displaying a combination of green and yellow plumage.

Yellow is paired with other colors, such as green or black, which creates a stunning visual.

Hummingbirds’ colors vary greatly depending on the species, age, sex, and geographic location. They have evolved colors to attract mates, signal dominance, and blend into their natural habitats.

So, while yellow is not the most common color among hummingbirds, there are indeed species that exhibit this vibrant hue.

What are the Reasons for Hummingbirds to Be Yellow?

With 366 species of hummingbirds, there is a fantastic selection of color combos and features to admire. However, the presence of yellow feathers in certain species begs the question: What causes this hue? Here are three potential explanations.


The plumage of hummingbirds frequently displays a yellow coloration caused by carotenoid pigments obtained from their dietary intake of nectar and pollen. These pigments are metabolized and deposited in the feathers, imparting a vivid yellow hue.


This coloration can show good health and genetic superiority to those they seek to attract. The yellow hues in the plumage of hummingbirds can serve as a form of communication between individuals.

For instance, male Goldfinch Hummingbirds rely on their striking yellow feathers to entice potential mates during the breeding season.


The Broad-tailed Hummingbird is an example of a species that has evolved yellow plumage as camouflage. This, coupled with the female’s green and yellow feathers, allows it to blend seamlessly with its environment, making it less detectable to predators.

This adaptation illustrates the versatility of coloration in hummingbirds, demonstrating that, while they may be renowned for their bright hues, some species have adapted to blend in with their surroundings.

Attracting Mate

Many hummingbirds employ their vivid and colorful plumage to draw in mates, a behavior shared by many other species of birds. The distinctive yellow hues of hummingbirds may indicate their vigor and genetic superiority, thus serving as a sign to prospective partners.

Different Species of Yellow Hued Hummingbirds

These birds are remarkable families renowned for their diminutive stature and aerial aptitude. Although not all hummingbirds are inherently yellow, a few flaunt yellow plumage. Some of the more common species of yellow-hued hummingbirds include.

Bahama Woodstar

It is a hummingbird species native to the Caribbean Islands and parts of Florida. It is a small hummingbird, measuring only 3.1-3.7 inches long and weighing roughly 3 grams.

As its name implies, the Bahama Woodstar is bright yellow with a forked tail and an iridescent green head. It feeds on nectar from flowers, as well as on insects and other small arthropods. At night, it perches in trees to rest.

Length:   8-9.5 cm

Weight:   2-3 gm

Diet:        Nectar, Insects

White-tailed Goldenthroat

The tiny White-tailed Goldenthroat (Polytmus guainumbi) is a hummingbird native to South America. This species, like all hummingbirds, is characterized by its small size, long wings, and ability to hover in mid-air while taking nectar from flowers.

Males are characterized by bright yellow and green plumage with a white tail, whereas females are dull green and grey. This species is found in a wide range of open habitats and is most commonly seen in South America’s tropical and subtropical regions.

Length:   9.7-11.8 cm

Weight:   4.4-5 gm

Diet:        Nectar, Insects

Long-tailed Sylph

This species is found in various habitats, including montane forests, woodlands, and gardens, from Colombia to Peru and Venezuela to Bolivia.

The Long-tailed Sylph is a relatively large hummingbird with an overall body length of around 19 cm. It is easily distinguishable from other species due to its unique yellowish-green plumage and long, deeply forked tail.

Total Length:    16-19 cm

Tail Length:      12 cm

Weight:              5-6 gm

Diet:                   Nectar, Insects

Yellow Hued Hummingbird

Does Boiling Sugar Water Change the Color of Hummingbirds?

Boiling sugar water for hummingbirds does not change the color of the tiny birds. However, preparing this sweet nectar effectively involves dissolving sugar in boiling water. Once cooled, it should resemble the natural flower nectar that hummingbirds are attracted to, offering them a delightful and colorful treat in your garden.


Not all hummingbird species have yellow feathers; several varieties boast this color in their plumage. These minuscule yet majestic creatures come in various colors and patterns, with their unique characteristics making them an interesting subject to observe and study.

Hummingbirds are renowned for their remarkable flying abilities and contribution to pollination, making them an essential component of many ecosystems.



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