Some of the most contrasting birds in the world are blue and yellow. Numerous species of small and large birds can only be seen in blue and yellow plumage.
An even larger number of species shows blue and yellow dominant plumage alongside other colors such as black, white, red, blue, or green.
Most species with this color combination show a yellow underbelly. This is typically seen in males even if many female birds may also show a different nuance of yellow underbellies.
Most blue and yellow birds have a blue dorsal color on the back and wings, possibly on the head. In rare cases, birds may be yellow dorsally and blue ventrally.
Many of these colors are also subject to change. They can be seen throughout the year or only in the breeding period which varies from one species to another.
Summer and spring nuance changes can be spotted in a large number of species. Birds can change their appearance to ensure higher breeding success and to attract breeding partners.
A wide number of colorful blue and yellow birds live in tropical, subtropical climates, and woodlands around the world.
They can also be found across temperate climates of North America and Europe. Blue and yellow birds are often seen in large numbers when migrating to overwinter.
Unlike other species, these types of birds might be a rare sight in urban areas as they prefer woodlands, wetlands, and coastlines.
Here are some of the most colorful blue and yellow birds of the world found across multiple continents where at least the male or the female has a contrasting appearance.
1. Tropical Parula
There’s a clear difference between male and female coloring among Tropical Parula (Setophaga pitiayumi) birds. Females have a gray and yellow appearance while male birds are blue and yellow.
The blue color is dominant across the head, back, and wings. It also covers the upper beak.
Its underbelly, chest, and lower beak are yellow.
Growing to a size of over 4 inches, the male Tropical Parula also shows various colored patches that decorate its wings and body.
A yellow-green patch is seen across its wings, together with small white marks.
Most times, Tropical Parulas don’t migrate. They live in an extensive habitat that spreads from Northern Argentina to Northern Mexico and even the Southern US border.
Distribution – Central America, South America (except The Amazon Basin)
2. Prothonotary Warbler
Similar black and yellow combinations are seen on the male Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea). Males of the species contrast the yellow and gray color combinations of the females.
Named after the robes of clergy, male birds have mostly yellow bodies. Their heads, chests, back, and underbellies are yellow while their wings are blue.
Colorful dark blue and white spots further decorate its wings.
Much of the lives of these birds are spent migration from North America to Central America.
Dense woodlands as well as areas along rivers and streams are preferred by these birds.
While they live in areas with plenty of vegetation, they rarely fly up the canopy, preferring lower-level branches.
Distribution – Eastern United States, Belize, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia
3. Eurasian Blue Tit
A blue and yellow appearance is specific to The Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus).
This small bird has a blue and white head with dark blue sections and blue and yellow wings with black and white sections.
Its underbelly is mostly yellow.
An arboreal species, The Eurasian Blue Tit is found in tree holes it nests in. This bird is also adaptable to small tree houses but it doesn’t like to be too close to humans as it can become aggressive.
Birds of the species are often seen flying for spiders and insects on trees or even on the ground.
Birds of this species are native to Europe, parts of The Middle East, and even Africa. Deciduous woodlands represent its most common habitat.
Distribution – Europe, Middle East, Northwestern Africa
4. Northern Parula
Blue and yellow plumage is seen on the male Northern Parula (Setophaga americana). This is a species with a blue head and blue wings with yellow underbellies.
The wings of the male aren’t completely blue, as they show black and white sections as well.
Females share the same yellow underbelly plumage but are mostly gray on the head and the wings.
A common sight in forests, Northern Parulas are seen across the Eastern parts of North America.
This species may migrate from some of its cooler areas, eventually reaching Central America. Some of its populations migrate to California to overwinter.
The populations across the Western parts of North America are more likely to migrate to California. Birds in these areas are even known to have slightly different vocalizations.
Distribution – Eastern United States, Western United States, Mexico, West Indies
5. Painted Bunting
A blue head is characteristic of The Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) which also shows a yellow-green back and a red underbelly.
The blue head of the species is contrasted by red areas around its eyes.
Yellow-green sections across its back are further seen on its wings which also show additional green and blue colors.
A species often seen feeding on the ground, Painted Buntings used to be highly sought by bird collectors as non-parrot-colored birds.
Today, they have a safeguarded status which means they cannot be collected and raised in captivity anymore.
Distribution – Southeastern United States, Mexico, Cuba
6. Blue-and-yellow Macaw
One of the most popular and common types of yellow and blue birds is The Blue-and-Yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna).
A mostly yellow chest and underbelly are contrasted by large blue wings and blue sections across the crown.
Birds of the species are also green and white on the head.
Known for their talking skills, these types of parrots are seen both in the wilderness and in captivity.
Under the right conditions, they can live long lives of up to 70 years.
The contrasting yellow appearance and their ability to talk mean these parrots are seen in zoos all across the world.
While they need large enclosures, this is normal for a parrot that may reach a size of up to 34 inches.
Distribution – Amazon Basin, Brazil, Colombia
7. Orange-breasted Bunting
Yellow and blue colors dominate the appearance of the male Orange-breasted Bunting (Passerina leclancherii).
Its upper chest has an orange color while its underbelly is mostly yellow. A bright blue color is specific to its wings while its crown shows a bright green color.
Females of the species also have yellow underbellies but their wings are mostly green while their heads are also green and yellow.
Found in open areas and along woodlands, Orange-breasted Buntings are also known for their electric blue nuance.
Males of the species have an almost iridescent blue nuance specific to their wings and heads. A similar electric blue color is seen on their tails.
Distribution – Southern California, Southern Texas, Mexico
8. Blue-and-yellow Tanager
Male birds of the species show an alternation of blue and yellow colors.
A blue head with a black mask is seen on the male Blue-and-yellow Tanager (Rauenia bonariensis). Its wings are also dark blue, as is its tail.
The underbelly of the species has a dark yellow appearance with orange nuances towards the chest.
Found in woodlands and old woodlands in tropical and subtropical climates, this species also shows a green patch on its upper back which continues on its blue wings.
Much of their range spread throughout South America along The Andes.
June to August marks the period of the Austral winter or the winter of The Southern Hemisphere.
This is also the time some Blue-and-yellow Tanagers are most likely to migrate.
Distribution – Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia
9. Purple-throated Euphonia
A combination of blue and purple with yellow plumage makes The Purple-throated Euphonia (Euphonia chlorotica) one of the contrasting bird species of the world.
Much of their heads and backs are purple while their tails are blue. Yellow plumage is specific to the crown and the underbelly.
The female of the species is mostly yellow with a white underbelly.
Found along tropical forests, Purple-throated Euphonias are arboreal. Much of their range is specific to the warm humid forest of South America.
Birds of this species are also found around areas with few trees and scarce vegetation.
Distribution – Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia
10. Gilt-edged Tanager
Glit-edged Tanagers (Tangara cyanoventris) are among the few birds in the world that are yellow dorsally and blue ventrally.
The head of the species is yellow while its wings are yellow with black and green streaks.
A turquoise blue color is specific to its underbelly.
Found in tropical forests in low and high elevations, these types of birds have a black face with a black patch below the beak.
Gilt-edged Tangers don’t live in large flocks. They prefer to live in pairs or areas with just a few birds of their species.
Most times, Gilt-edged Tanagers are seen in areas with different bird species which they may share the same trees with.
Distribution – Eastern and Southeastern Brazil
11. Fawn-breasted Tanager
A combination of dark blue, light blue, and yellow colors is seen on The Fawn-breasted Tanager (Pipraeidea melanonota).
A light blue crown is contrasted by dark blue masks around the red eyes. Its wings are also dark blue.
The tail has a similar navy blue nuance while the underbelly is yellow.
Fawn-breasted Tanagers live in low and high-elevation woodlands of South America.
Much of its presence is limited to small groups but Fawn-breasted Tanagers often mix with other species.
Some populations may even migrate. Their migration routes are short and typically involve getting to a lower elevation to warmer weather.
Distribution – Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela
12. Turquoise Tanager
A turquoise blue color is specific to most male Turquoise Tanagers (Tangara mexicana), backed by a yellow ventral color.
Some male subspecies such as those in Trinidad are also known to have a dark blue color.
The 4 subspecies of Turquoise Tanagers have a blue and black head, a similar chest, and wings. Its lower underbelly is yellow.
Its beak is black, similar to its legs.
The juveniles and the females of the species don’t have blue plumage as they’re black and gray and white on the underbelly.
In Brazil, Turquoise Tanagers can also come in a blue and white color combination with black wings and black speckles.
Distribution – Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru
13. Green-tailed Sunbird
Multicolored plumage is specific to The Green-tailed Sunbirds (Aethopyga nipalensis). These birds are dominated by blue and yellow colors.
The head of the species has iridescent blue coloring while its lower belly is yellow.
Its chest is orange and yellow while its upper back is rusty red. The wings of the species have a light brown color while their tips and tails are blue and black.
Both males and females have long black beaks.
The female of the species has a bright olive color without yellow and blue plumage.
Some females show brighter underbellies with a yellow-olive nuance.
Green-tailed Sunbirds have high-pitched sharp vocalizations.
Distribution – Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam
14. Rufous-bellied Niltava
A dark blue nuance is seen on the head, back, and wings of The Rufuous-bellied Niltava (Niltava sundara).
This is a species that changes its upper appearance from blue to purple depending on its breeding season.
Its underbelly is mostly vivid yellow.
The blue nuance of the species is often combined with light blue and dark blue. Its tail is light blue while its wings may be light blue and dark blue.
Female Rufuous-bellied Niltavas are mostly gray, without any blue plumage. They still show yellow plumage on the face and the wings.
Found in mixed forests, this species is mainly insectivorous. It eats small insects, bugs, and spiders and it may occasionally eat fruits and seeds.
Much of their range is dictated by weather and migration is possible among its populations.
Populations close to the ocean, such as those in Thailand and Vietnam are less likely to migrate compared to those further inland.
Distribution – Bangladesh, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan
15. Olive-backed Sunbird
Olive-backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis) are found across Asia and Oceania.
Blue and yellow contrasting colors are seen across the body of these birds. Iridescent blue necks are seen on males which also show light blue underbellies.
The head and the wings are green or olive-green.
Females have a similar olive and yellow appearance but lack the blue neck seen in males.
These birds are avid nectar eaters. Hovering is one of their flying techniques which allows them to eat plant nectar.
Elongated and curved beaks are seen on these birds, this allows them to drink plant nectar by easily piercing plants and flowers.
Juvenile Olive-backed Sunbirds aren’t as good at hovering and may complete their diet with insects.
Distribution – China, Australia, New Guinea, Philippines
16. Brown-throated Sunbird
Named after its brown or red-brown patch on the neck, The Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) is a species with considerable blue and yellow sections across the body.
Males show a light brown crown and brown lateral patches contrasting their red eyes and long black beaks.
Light blue colors are further seen on the back of the male and on the base of its wings which are mostly olive brown, and black.
Only the male Brown-throated Sunbirds are multicolored as females have a dull gray and yellow appearance.
Both males and females can sing, having distinct sharp high-pitched vocalizations.
Distribution – Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia
17. Blue-crowned Laughingthrush
Blue-crowned Laughingthrush (Pterorhinus courtoisi) males are named after their blue crowns. Their heads have black masks and yellow necks.
The underbelly of the species has a light lime-yellow color. Its wings have a similar nuance with gray-white tips.
Mostly found across China, Blue-crowned Laughingthrush birds aren’t always easy to spot as they live across woodlands in remote areas.
They are still believed to be endangered as their populations are at an all-time low.
Distribution – China
18. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird
A blue head and blue wings are seen on the male Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Chalcoparia singalensis). This species shows an orange chest and yellow underbellies.
Males have a metallic blue nuance believed to help them stand out in attracting females in the breeding season.
By comparison, the female is dull-colored but still shows the orange neck section. Olive color is specific to the head and wings of the female which shares a yellow underbelly color with males.
Birds of this species have whistle-like vocalizations and are found in Southeast Asia.
Distribution – China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malesia, Indonesia
19. Green Rosella
A mostly yellow color dominates Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus) parrots. These birds have a yellow-green belly, yellow-green wings, and a yellow-green head.
Their face has red and blue markings while the beak is white.
Male and female Green Rosella largely look the same. The visible difference between the sexes includes the shades of red and yellow in the plumage.
Makes can also exhibit black patches across the wings.
Green Rosella parrots live in small groups of 2-20 parrots.
Distribution – Tasmania
20. Pale-headed Rosella
Yellow and blue colors dominate the appearance of the male Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus).
Named after its mostly white head, this species has a yellow crown and yellow back. It shows blue underbelly plumage as well as blue and black wings.
Its lower underbelly is marked by a red section while its long tail has blue and black colors.
The legs are also black.
While white sections are also seen on the chest, Pale-headed Rosellas also show pale blue colors on the lower back.
Distribution – Western and Northwestern Australi
21. Violaceous Euphonia
Dark blue and yellow colors contrast the dorsal and ventral appearance of The Violaceous Euphonia (Euphonia violacea).
This is a species with a dark blue crown, back, and wings. It features a yellow head with black sides and a bright yellow underbelly.
Females show a combination of yellow and green colors. The yellow ventral color of these birds is closer to mustard-yellow than to the vivid yellow seen on male underbellies.
Juvenile Violaceous Euphonias show a green-yellow color with black and brown wings.
Woodlands and shrubby areas in The Amazon Basin are home to the species.
Distribution – Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname
22. African Blue Tit
Blue and yellow dominate the plumage of The African Blue Tit (Cyanistes teneriffae).
Birds of this species have a uniform yellow underbelly whole wings, back, and the head is blue, black, and white.
The head of The African Blue Tit shows a blue crown with black and white sides whiles its wings have a uniform blue color.
Juveniles are smaller than adults but can be further distinguished by their yellow and gray hairs with gray crowns.
Found across North Africa, The African Blue Tit is species with resident status in its range.
Woodlands represent its main habitat. African Blue Tit birds feed on various insects and caterpillars they find on trees or shrubs close to the ground.
Distribution – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Tenerife
23. Taiwan Vivid Niltava
The woodlands of Taiwan are the home of the Taiwan Vivid Niltava (Niltava vivida).
Only found in its native island habitat, this bird shows extensive blue and yellow plumage areas.
Its head, wings, and back are blue while its underbelly is yellow.
Taiwan Vivid Niltavas have a bright blue crown and navy blue head sides with a black mask and a short black beak.
Its wings are blue at the base with a gradient black towards the tips while its tail is mostly blue and partly black.
Both these upper blue and black colors and the yellow underbelly are only specific to the male Taiwan Vivid Niltava.
Females show pale gray and yellow colors. They have a gray back, head, and wings and a yellow-olive belly and tail.
These colors are seen on Taiwan Vivid Niltavas most of the year. Males are seen with slightly altered colors in the breeding season as their yellow chests take on a red-brown color.
Distribution – Taiwan, Okinawa Island