Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

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By an edhat reader

I just started noticing a pair of yellow birds in my backyard. One is a bright yellow with a black face that extends to its chest, the other is a paler yellow but doesn't have the black face. Is this a mating pair of orioles? I don't know if we have those here. They moved too fast for me to snap a picture but curious if any readers know.

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Ahchooo Jul 26, 2021 03:05 PM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

Very likely they are hooded orioles. One of their characteristics is that they don’t often stay put long enough to get a good look at them. The bird book says they “seldom light.” We do have them in SB, though maybe not year round.

tagdes Jul 26, 2021 03:57 PM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

Yes, they are very common here from March thru July and breed here. A male visits our Oriole feeder daily. They prefer palms for nesting and we had a pair breed along with one fledgling last year here. With the whole family they went through a bottle full in a few days.

PamSB Jul 26, 2021 04:26 PM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

Does the male look like the picture next to my name? If so, it is the Hooded Oriole. We have a lot of them at our feeders from April to September every year (adult males, juvenile males and females). There are sometimes 6-8 at a time at our feeders (we have 8 feeders out for them).

hz Jul 26, 2021 06:50 PM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

yes...hooded orioles..they like to come to the hummingbird feeder. They are always on guard though..very flighty and gone in an instant if they see me move. Possibly because they are so brightly colored and thus easy prey for predators? Beautiful birds though. I enjoy them..there is a pair outside on my balcony as I write this post. Oh! I have three ;0}

Minibeast Jul 27, 2021 12:36 AM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

Hooded orioles prefer certain species of palm trees, tall Yuccas and Strelitzia nicolai (aka "Giant white bird of paradise"------Think tall banana-like plants) as suitable nesting places. One way to spot Hooded orioles is to listen for their call. It is quite distinctive. A raspy sort of chuck-chuck-chuck, like a human making a loud tsk, tsk, tsk tongue-clicking noise.-------And I don't subscribe to the "they don't light"/sit still for long concept. I saw a male Hooded oriole a couple days ago and he sat for ages in a tall Eucalyptus while I looked until I got my fill of looking at him. He certainly saw me, too.

a-1627400354 Jul 27, 2021 08:39 AM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

Very skittish. We have a hedge of purple trumpet flowers near our deck that they love, but I've given up trying to see them when I hear that oriole sound, like nuts being knocked together -- because they sense me just moving toward the window and they scram. If they frequent your yard, by the end of the season you will see the whole family, fledglings and adults, flying around - the families stick together. The bright yellow males are just knock-out gorgeous.

Lucky 777 Jul 27, 2021 08:45 AM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

I have 5 hummingbird feeders where I can watch them from my home office and it is wonderful to watch them come and go. I cherish their presence during their months here, the flashy males and the young who gain color as they mature. I encourage everyone to put fountains in their yards, and let moss grow on them so these lovelies can safely perch and drink. In drought conditions they need our help.

ZeroHawk Jul 27, 2021 08:54 AM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

if the male has a smidge of red on it, then they could be western tanagers, my fav bird. beautiful. they do hit up SB from time to time while migrating. i've seen 1 pair on 200 block of ortega street in the giant trees there, and two more around SBCC tropical gardens near the stadium. they are smaller than orioles, but larger than a finch.

tagdes Jul 27, 2021 01:11 PM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

Zero, western tanagers don't ever have black throats, breed in the San Rafael Mts. and are uncommon here in the Summer. Last sightings near SBCC were last fall at Pershing Park and the only ones here recently are LLC. The only other bird that looks like our hooded is the Altamira Oriole which can only be seen in TX along the Rio Grande or Mexico.

PamSB Jul 27, 2021 01:58 PM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

Tagdes: I agree about the coloration of the Western Tanager (and they look nothing at all like a Hooded Oriole), but we have Western Tanager in our garden every year, more this year than ever before. During May I had 2-3 sightings a day on multiple days (full-grown male adult and juvenile male). If I could post pictures here I would, especially of them bathing in both my fountain and birdbath. (Sorry, don't understand the "only ones here recently are LLC" reference.)

PamSB Jul 27, 2021 01:58 PM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

Tagdes: I agree about the coloration of the Western Tanager (and they look nothing at all like a Hooded Oriole), but we have Western Tanager in our garden every year, more this year than ever before. During May I had 2-3 sightings a day on multiple days (full-grown male adult and juvenile male). If I could post pictures here I would, especially of them bathing in both my fountain and birdbath. (Sorry, don't understand the "only ones here recently are LLC" reference.)

MountainMan4865 Jul 27, 2021 09:01 PM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

I just had three pass through our yard this afternoon! Looked like a pair with a juvenile male.

tagdes Jul 27, 2021 09:03 PM
Yellow Birds in Santa Barbara?

Hi Pam, yes but as I said ....during migration May, they are common , not here in summer, look at where birds are at and when...then you can figure out what's where. Lake Los Carneros...they are the only ones listed here this season.

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