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Size is notoriously difficult to judge.  There aren't any yellow birds that small in the U.S., and the only yellow birds that are small are warblers and goldfinches.  Pine Warbler fits the habitat.  I'm curious how you only saw the back when the bird was 30 feet up.

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Welcome to WhatBird @jj123456789! When you refer to the size are you talking about just the bird's body or the whole bird from tip of the beak to tip of the tail? It's a little confusing that you say it was too big to be a warbler because warblers are larger than an average adult's thumb. I do agree that size is very hard to judge in the field and even more so if the bird is far away or you only see part of it. If it was too large to be a warbler, could it have been a female tanager maybe? Did you see the general shape of the bird, including shape and length of the tail and bill?

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I did not get a good look at the entire bird and would speculate that the tail was obscured by a branch. The body of the bird was the approx size of an adults thumb. I was struck by the color; which is what caught my attention. I agree on the comments re size being hard to judge - as I’ve gone back and looked I was able to generate an estimate based on the size of the branches and backdrop of where it was perched as best I could.  Frankly it looked and moved like a large humming bird…

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15 minutes ago, jj123456789 said:

The body of the bird was the approx size of an adults thumb

Respectfully, only hummingbirds and maybe gnatcatchers are that small.  None in North America have any yellow.

Here are links to the birds others have suggested, in roughly increasing order of size.  I've included only those birds that would be expected in central IN in the summer.  ("Back home again ...")

Would you see if any of them are close?  Thanks!

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Goldfinch

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow_Warbler

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Warbler/overview 

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Summer_Tanager (female, not the red male)

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Scarlet_Tanager (again, the female)

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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7 minutes ago, Viurre said:

When you say "an adult's thumb," I am an adult female and my thumb is 2 inches long. I think you need to be more specific about the size. Men's thumbs can be much bigger. 

Now we're all pulling out our tape measures - another adult female here (although I'm very tall and have big hands) and my thumb is 3" long.

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I had two thoughts -

1- Hummingbird Moths are yellow and black and mimic hummingbirds. They can be found in Indiana. https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/hummingbird_moth.shtml#:~:text=Hummingbird moths are rather plump,are called clearwing hummingbird moths.

2 - An escaped domestic pet bird like a Lady Gouldian finch https://thefinchfarm.com/lady-gouldian-finch-yellow-back/ or even a small canary?

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