Black birds with black beaks are one of the most recognizable birds in the world. Found in different parts of the world, these birds are social creatures and can be seen flying together in large flocks. They are known for their beautiful melodies and songs.
What bird is black with a beak? Brewer’s blackbird, common raven, red-winged blackbird, great tailed grackle and the American crow.
In the US there are over 16 types of black birds and in this article we’ll look at birds in this family that have dark bills. Let’s get started.
List of Black Birds with Black Beaks
1. Brewer’s blackbird
Displaying sexual dimorphism, the Brewer’s blackbird or the Euphagus cyanocephalus is a medium-sized black bird. It is one of the most common blackbirds in North America. The male Brewer’s blackbird is easily recognized by its pale eyes, black colored body and black bill. The female Brewer’s blackbird is mostly brown with black eyes.
Brewer’s blackbirds are usually found in open areas near water. They eat insects, seeds, and fruit. These blackbirds can be seen in flocks during the winter months. They often travel in large flocks to find food. For vocalization, both sexes are known to produce a metallic sound that can last up to 7 – 8 seconds.
2. Common raven
The common raven is the largest of the North American corvids, measuring up to 26 inches in length and boasting a wingspan of nearly 4 feet. The bird is all black, with a deep blue sheen on its feathers, and has a large, curved black beak.
Ravens are omnivorous, feeding on everything from insects and small mammals to fruit and carrion. Is the common raven smart? They are highly intelligent birds, and have been known to use tools and solve complex problems. Ravens are social animals, typically living in pairs or small family groups, but they can also be found in large flocks during the winter.
Can you keep a common raven as a pet? No. And if your state does allow it, you will need a special permit.
Are common ravens smarter than cats? Yes. These birds are known to use tools to make their work easier which makes them clever than most birds in the avian world.
3. Red-winged blackbird
Where are red-winged blackbirds most common? These large black birds with black beaks are found all year-round in most parts of the US. It favors open habitats such as wetlands and prairies.
The male is black with red patches on their wings while the female is brownish, making them sexually dimorphic birds. There are about 450,000 breeding pairs in the United States.
These birds are very territorial when defending their nests and can be quite aggressive. The males will sing a song to attract mates and defend their territory. They also have a distinctive call that is mostly high slurred whistles and “chit-teer” sounds.
Red-winged blackbirds eat seeds, insects, and fruit. They are usually seen in small flocks during the winter months.
4. Great-tailed grackle
With a long tail and measuring up to 13 inches, the great-tailed grackle is a North American bird that is easy to identify. These birds are common in open habitats near water, and can be found in both rural and urban areas.
Great-tailed grackles are omnivorous and great foragers. They are also known to steal food from other birds or humans. Are great-tailed grackles native to Texas? They prefer Southern Texas but will move up North during colder months.
Will grackles eat baby birds? Yes, great-tailed grackles are known to prey on other birds’ nests to eat their eggs and young-ones. They can be seen frequenting house sparrows’ nests and can eat adult sparrows.
Great-tailed grackles are social birds that often form large flocks during the winter months.
Related Read: Learn about different yellow winged black birds
5. Rusty blackbird
Another group of black birds with black beaks are the rusty blackbirds. Spotting pale eyes and a black colored beak, is a sexually dimorphic bird that favors dense vegetation in Southern Eastern United States and Canada.
Male rusty blackbirds are black with stunning whitish-yellow eyes while the females have a light brown head and a darker body. Both sexes boasts of strong black beaks.
Are rusty blackbirds rare? It is a secretive bird and seldom seen. Also there numbers have been decreasing due to habitat loss. It forages in dense vegetation, eating insects, spiders, and fruit. The nest is a large cup of grasses, sedges, and other plant material lined with finer materials, such as hair or feathers. The eggs are pale blue or greenish-white, with brown spots.
The rusty blackbird’s calls include harsh “chek” sounds.
6. Black grouse
Large and forked-tailed, the Black grouse is a game bird that is found in the forests of Europe and Asia. They are well-adapted to life in the forest, and they can be difficult to see because they stay hidden among the trees.
Black grouse male have a black beak and a black body with a white on their wings and undertail coverts. Note the deep blue hues on the neck and back. Males also spot a red bare skin on their face.
Females spot different plumage. Measuring up to 18 inches and weighing up to 2.5 lb, female black grouse birds are a warm brown with heavy barring.
They are omnivores, and they eat both plants and animals. They prefer to eat insects, but they will also eat berries, nuts, and other plants. Black grouse live in monogamous pairs, and the male takes care of the chicks while the female incubates the eggs.
Can you eat black grouse? Being a gamebird the meat of the black grouse is safe to eat. Most people prefer the red grouse.
7. American crow
Is there any crow in America? From roadsides to towns to parking lots to lawns, there are plenty of places you can spot American crows. This large black bird with black beak is closely related to the raven. It is black in color with a stout bill and a characteristic cawing call.
Where do American crows live?They can be found in open areas near forests, fields, or wetlands. They are omnivorous and feed on a variety of items, including insects, small mammals, carrion, and seeds. American crows are highly social birds and typically roost in large groups at night. They are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities, as well as their habit of caching food items for later consumption.
How big is an American crow? On average this black bird species can measure up to 21 inches in length, weigh up to 22 oz, and has a wingspan of up to 39 inches. Nesting starts in April and incubation lasts up to 18 days.
8. Parotia bird
Ever seen a bird perform ballet? Parotia birds are not only beautiful birds but are known for their elaborate performance when looking for a mate. This species of black birds is divided into 6 subspecies that include the Western parotia, Carola’s parotia, Bronze parotia, Eastern parotia, lawes’s parotia, and Wahnes’s parotia.
This striking bird is found in the rainforests of New Guinea. They have black bills, and are mostly black with some white markings on their heads. They are very active birds, constantly moving about in the trees and often giving loud vocalizations.
And unlike other birds, they are polygynous, meaning they have a few patners. Males are known to perform elaborate “ballet-like” moves during courtship. Parotias feed on insects and other small animals.
9. Yellow-headed blackbird
Unmistakable and sexually dimorphic, the yellow-headed blackbird is a medium-sized blackbird that is quite stunning and enjoyable to watch. They get their name from their mostly black body, and the bright yellow head which is diagnostic for the species.
They are the same size as the common blackbird, measuring up to 10 inches and a wingspan of 17 inches. They have a black beak, which is very thin and sharp. They are usually found in open country near water, where they eat insects and other small animals.
Where do yellow-headed blackbird live? You can easily find them in South Western states. Females make their nests and hang them on dry vegetation overlooking the water.
10. Brown-headed cowbird
The brown-headed cowbird is a medium-sized blackbird that is found in North America. The adult male has a striking brown head and a black back and underside. Females are gray. The brown-headed cowbird is a brood parasite, which means that it lays its eggs in the nests of other birds.
These eggs are often larger than the host bird’s own eggs, and the young cowbirds often outcompete the host’s young for food. Brown-headed cowbirds are also known for their aggressive behavior towards other birds.
11. Black jacobin
The black jacobin is a small black bird with black beak that is resident in some parts of Brazil and Argentina. It is closely related to hummingbirds. This small black bird is typically around 5 inches long, and has mostly black plumage, with a white undertail.
It is a common and widespread species, occurring in a wide range of habitats including open woodland, forest edges, gardens, and farmland.
Like hummingbirds it uses its long bill to feed on nectar but will also take small insects from spider webs. They are territorial birds and are known for their high-pitched “szee” sounds.
12. Common grackle
Common grackles are large black birds in North America. It is a member of the icteridae family, and is closely related to the Florida grackle. The common grackle is easily recognizable by its black plumage, long tail, and bright yellow eyes.
It ranges from southern Canada to central Mexico, and occurs in open habitats such as farmland, parks, and woodland edges.
The common grackle is a highly social bird, typically forming large flocks that can number in the thousands. These flocks are very vocal, with both males and females giving harsh croaks. The common grackle feeds on a variety of items, including insects, fruit, seeds, and rodents. It is a strong competitor for food with other birds, particularly other members of the crow family.
13. Black antbird
Small and long-tailed, the black antbird is another small black bird with black beak. A member of the Thamnophilidae family, it is related to the ovenbird. The black antbird is sexually dimorphic, with the males being slightly larger and with an all-black body.
Females are brown-gray above and orange underparts. The bill is long and slender, and the legs are dark gray. The black antbird feeds mainly on insects, which it extracts from tree crevices or from under bark. It often forages in pairs or small groups, and sometimes joins mixed-species feeding flocks.
14. Black antshrike
Black antshrikes are small black billed birds from the antbird family. They are found in open woodlands and savannas of South America from southern Colombia to Tierra del Fuego, including Trinidad and the Lesser Antilles.
This smallish bird is 6 inches long and weighs 0.8 oz. Males have mainly black plumage while females have a rufous back and streaked underparts.
The black antshrike is a shy and retiring species which usually hides in dense foliage. It feeds on insects which it catches by hovering in front of them before swooping down to snatch them up.
15. Black tern
The black tern or the Chlidonias niger (scientific names) is a small tern, with a length of 10 inches, a wingspan of 24 inches and a weight of 2.5 oz. It is mainly black except for the gray wings, which are visible in flight. Note its pointed black beak.
The black tern breeds in North America, Europe and Asia. In North America it is found from Alaska to Mexico, and east to the Atlantic coast. It winters in South America, and Western Asia.
The black tern nests in colonies on the ground near water. It lays three or four eggs. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 21 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge after 28 days.
Hi, my name is Steve. My friend and I started the spanishbirdguides.com to share our passion with other like-minded people. So, if bird watching is your thing, you’ll love this blog. I’ll share what I’ve learnt about both local birds and those found in other parts of the world. Also, I’d love to hear your experiences.