13 Black Birds with Yellow Eyes (Grackles & More)

Black birds with yellow eyes are beautiful birds that can be found in parts of North America. They favor different habitats ranging from open fields to dense woods. How many yellow eyed birds do you know?

If you are looking to add more birds to your bird watching journal, the list below will be an awesome resource for you. We discuss bird families with yellow eyes starting with the great tailed grackle to the lesser known black harrier. You’ll learn about their plumage, unique habits and more.

List of Black Birds with Yellow Eyes

1. Great tailed grackles

yellow eyed blackbird
Great-tailed grackles – Quiscalus mexicanus


Great tailed grackles are a common sight in Texas and can often be seen congregating in large flocks. How big is a great tailed grackle? They are almost the same size as the red-winged blackbirds. Adults range from 15 – 18 inches with wings spreading out at about 22 inches. Adult males are heavier than female great tailed grackles.


Like most blackbirds with yellow eyes they are sexually dimorphic. The great tailed grackle male is iridescent black on its body, has dark feet and a noticeably long tail.

Note the bright yellow-colored eyes. The female rusty body is not easy to spot. However be on the look for its flat head and long tail for easy identification. Also female great tailed grackles have brown eyes.

Habitat & facts:

These birds are known for their loud impressive calls. They range from tinkling notes to loud crackling territorial songs to low-pitched alarm calls.

Great tailed grackles are omnivores and will eat just about anything, from insects to fruits and seeds. They are also known for being very aggressive when it comes to defending their territory.

What month do grackles lay eggs? Great tailed grackles start breeding in April with females weaving bulky nests then after laying 1 – 5 eggs. They incubate for around two weeks with fledgling taking place after three weeks.

2. American oystercatcher

black bird with yellow bill
American oystercatcher – Haematopus palliatus


In the list of black birds with orange beaks, we looked at the American oystercatcher; mainly its beak. In this article we’ll look at its eyes. What is the average size of the oystercatcher? Like other species in their family, American oystercatchers vary from 15 – 17.5 inches in length and can weigh up to 25 oz.


This large striking shorebird is hard to miss. When bird watching, be on the lookout for a bird with brownish-black bird, the head is darker, white underparts, striking orange-red beak, a yellow eye-ring and of course stunning red eyes.

Young adults are duller with a black-tipped bill.

Habitat & facts:

These birds are well adapted to life near the water, with long, stout bills that are specially adapted for prying open oysters and other shellfish. American oystercatchers are also known for their loud, distinctive calls. High “peep”, “weeer” and “hueep” sounds.

American oystercatchers typically breed in colonies on sandy beaches or rocky coastal cliffs. The males perform elaborate courtship displays to attract mates, and the females lay 4-6 eggs in a simple scrape on the ground. Both parents help incubate the eggs and care for the young chicks.

American oystercatchers are opportunistic feeders, and they will eat a variety of items found near the water’s edge, including crabs, clams, mussels, worms, and insects.

3. Brewer’s blackbird

yellow eyed birds
Brewer’s Blackbird – Euphagus cyanocephalus


How big is a brewer’s blackbird? Brewer’s blackbirds are sexually dimorphic. Males are larger than females. They are about 8 – 9.5 inches long with a wingspan of up to 14.6 inches. Females measure 7.9 – 8.8 inches with a wingspan of 14.6 inches.


How do I identify my brewer’s blackbird? The male Brewer’s blackbird is mainly black with a greenish gloss to the head and a metallic purple sheen to the wings. Their eyes are bright yellow.

The female is mainly brown with some duller streaks and a pale supercilium. Eyes are brown.

Habitat & facts:

Brewer’s blackbird is a passerine bird in the family Icteridae. It is the only member of the genus Euphagus. This bird is found in open habitats across much of North America, breeding in open areas near water.

Brewer’s blackbirds feed on insects such as spiders, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. They will also eat snails, waste grain and berries. Its scientific name is Euphagus cyanocephalus. You can read more about their breeding habits.

4. Common grackle

blackbird with yellow eyes
Common grackle – Quiscalus quiscula


Ranging from Southern California to Texas to Arizona, the common grackle is a common sight in most backyards. How big is the common grackle? The adult measures up to 13 inches from head to tail and wings up to 18 inches. Males are noticeably larger than female common grackles.


Males spot long tails, dark bodies with a bronzy look and bluish heads. Note the chunky bill and pale eyes. Females are all-brown with pale eyes. Like similar species, they are easy to tell apart.

Habitat & facts:

The common grackle or the Quiscalus quiscula is a large passerine bird in the family Icteridae. What sounds does the common grackle produce? It’s known for high-pitched whistles and guttural squeaks.

When do common grackles breed? During the breeding season, this species builds cup-shaped nests where females lay up to seven eggs. Incubation lasts for 2 weeks and young grackles leave the nest after three weeks. You can learn more about blue headed black birds.

5. Pale-eyed blackbird

pale-eyed birds
Pale-eyed blackbird – Agelasticus xanthophthalmus


Ever heard of the pale-eyed blackbird? Unlike other blackbirds on this list, pale-eyed blackbirds are resident breeders in South America. Male are about 8 inches while females are about 7 inches.


Closely related to other blackbirds, pale-eyed blackbird are all-black with black bills and pale eyes.

Habitat & facts:

The pale-eyed blackbird favors marshy areas. They are insectivores, feeding on a variety of insects, including beetles, caterpillars, and grasshoppers.

Pale-eyed blackbirds build simple nests of grasses or other materials close to the ground. The female lays 3-5 eggs, which are incubated for 12-13 days. The young fledge after another 12-14 days.

Pale-eyed blackbirds are common throughout their range and not considered threatened or endangered. However, they are declining in numbers due to loss of habitat and degradation of the environment.

6. Pale-eyed thrush

pale-eyed thrush
Pale-eyed thrush – Turdus leucops


Ranging from Brazil to Venezuela, the pale-eyed thrush is a yellow-eyed black bird that prefers to stay hidden in the thick undergrowth. The average adult is about 8 inches long.


Like the pale-eyed blackbird above, the pale-eyed thrush has a black body with yellow feet, eyes, and pale eyes.

Habitat & facts:

Pale-eyed thrushes feed on insects and seeds. It typically forages on the ground or low in trees and bushes. This species builds a cup-shaped nest of grasses and other materials in a sheltered location near the ground.

Also read: Black birds with yellow bellies

7. Spectacled owl

large bird yellow eyes
Spectacled owl – Pulsatrix perspicillata


Looking for a bird of prey with yellow eyes? Black banded owls are typically 16 – 20.6 inches in length. Both sexes are similar in size.


Unlike most owls in the United States, the spectacled owl is one of the easiest to identify; its body is black-dark gray and white. This owl is named for the spectacle-like feature around its eyes. Notice its short pale bill.

Habitat & facts

The spectacled owl is a resident species, meaning that it does not migrate. It is mostly active at night, when it preys on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. It builds its nest in trees or other high places, using sticks and leaves to create a cup-shaped structure.

The female lays 2-4 eggs, which the male incubates for about 31 days. Both parents care for the young owls after they hatch.

8. Boat tailed grackle

boat tailed grackle
Boat tailed grackle – Quiscalus major


How big are boat tailed grackles? Males weigh up to 8.8 oz and measure 15 – 17 inches long. Females are smaller, about 4.1 oz and 13 inches long.


How to identify a boat tailed grackle? With a ridiculously long tail, the boat tail grackle is unmistakable. Check for an all-black bird with bright purple or green sheen to its feathers for males and brown for females.

It’s worth noting, boat tailed grackles have different colored eyes depending on the region. In the Atlantic coast they are mostly yellow while in the Western gulf coast they have dark eyes.

Habitat & facts:

Boat-tailed grackles are omnivorous, eating a variety of things. They are usually found near bodies of water, where they can forage for food and find shelter. They are gregarious, often seen in large flocks.

9. Black and yellow broadbill

Blackbirds yellow eyes
Black and yellow broadbill –

Source: francistoh92


How big is the black and yellow broadbill? The typical adult broadbill measures 5.3 – 5.9 inches. This medium sized blackbird weighs about 1.2 oz.


With a shorter tail and colorful body, the black and yellow broadbill is hard to miss. The upperparts are black save for the yellow markings on the wings and white band around its neck.

Its bill is blue, eyes are yellow and the underparts are white.

Habitat & facts:

Black and yellow broadbills are usually seen in pairs or small groups. These birds eat insects and fruit, and can be found in forests and gardens. They are known for their loud call, which sounds like high-pitched “coos” and “jeer”. They are shy birds, and will often hide when people approach.

Black and yellow broadbills are not common birds, but they are easy to identify due to their bright colors. They are beautiful birds to watch, and make a great addition to any birding list.

10. Osprey

osprey bird
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus


Known to crisscross the United States during various seasons, the Osprey is a large black and white bird with yellow eyes. How big are ospreys? Big and easily recognizable, an adult osprey can weigh up to 4 lbs. It measures 19 – 26 inches and boasts a 71-inch wingspan.


Ospreys are easily identified by their white heads and chest, and their brown-black backs.

Habitat & facts:

Ospreys typically eat fish, but they will also consume other small animals like rodents or rabbits. They nest in trees, and they typically have two eggs per clutch.

Ospreys are considered to be a threatened species in some parts of the world, due to factors like habitat loss or pollution. However, they are doing well in North America, where they are considered to be a species of least concern. Ospreys are interesting creatures and make for fascinating study animals.

11. Black currawong

 Black currawong
Black currawong – Strepera fuliginosa


Any birds with yellow eyes in Australia? Black currawongs are closely related to butcherbirds and measure about 20 inches with a wingspan of 31 inches.


Black currawongs are all black with yellow eyes. Its bill is black and thick. Eyes are bright yellow.

Habitat & facts:

Black currawongs are a member of the artamidae family, which also includes butcherbirds and magpies. They inhabit central highlands, where it feeds on carrion and berries. It is known to be quite vocal, emitting a variety of loud calls that can be heard from some distance away.

Breeding starts from August through to December. Females lay purplish-brown eggs.

12. Black eagle

 Black eagle
Black eagle – Ictinaetus malaiensis


With a 4-foot wingspan and about 30 inches in length, the black eagle is a large raptor in Asia.


It is a dark brown or black bird with a yellow bill and feet. Both sexes have the same colors but immature black eagles are duller.

Habitat & facts:

The black eagle feeds mainly on snakes, but also eats other small mammals, birds, and reptiles. It nests in trees, often near waterfalls or other rocky areas.

13. Black harrier

 Black harrier
Black harrier – Circus maurus


Found in South Africa, the black harrier is another raptor that features yellow eyes. It measures between 17 – 20 inches in length with a wingspan of 45 inches.


This raptor is mostly black with gray bands on their tail and wings. Immature black harrier is black with whitish underparts.

Habitat & facts:

The black harrier typically preys on small mammals, such as rodents, and birds. It hunts by flying low over the ground and scanning for its prey. This hawk also uses its sharp talons to catch prey. The black harrier builds its nest in tall trees or on cliffs. The female lays 2 to 3 eggs, which are incubated for about 35 days. The chicks fledge from the nest after about 50 days.

14. Black hawk-eagle

yellow eyed birds
Black hawk-eagle – Spizaetus tyrannus


Weighing up to 3 lbs, the black hawk-eagle is a South American raptor that is about 23 – 28 inches in length. Females and males are the same size.


It has dark brown-black feathers with boldly barred underparts. Juveniles are more brownish with a whitish head.

Habitat & facts:

The black hawk-eagle is both predator and scavenger, feeding on small animals, carrion, and fish. This bird is also known to steal food from other birds.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *