There are many different types of black birds, each with its own unique characteristics. Here we’ll look at over 20 black colored birds that you can easily find in your backyard and others found outside the US.
From small black birds such as the bobolink to large raptors such as the black eagle, the is plenty to learn from this unique list. So get out your pen and birding journal and let’s get started.
List of Types of Black Birds
1. Red-winged blackbird
The red-winged blackbird is a medium-sized black bird with a red shoulder. They are one of the most common types of black birds birds in North America, and can be found in almost any habitat.
Red-winged blackbirds are sexually dimorphic. Males are all black with a red-yellow shoulder while females are a heavily streaked brown.
In the US breeding season starts in late April through late July. Both parents build their nests on willow bushes or cattails. Incubation takes up to 2 weeks. Red-winged blackbirds are opportunistic feeders, and will eat anything from insects to seeds to fruits. They are especially fond of berries, and will often congregate in large numbers at fruiting trees and shrubs.
2. European starlings
Dark, triangular wings, and short tail, European starlings are a species of bird that is found all over Europe and parts of Asia. These birds are medium in size and have a dark body with and a yellow bill.
During breeding season their plumage somewhat changes to shiny green-purple. They are often seen in large flocks and can be very noisy. European starlings feed on insects, seeds, and fruit, and can be helpful in controlling pests. They can also be very aggressive.
3. Rusty blackbird
Glossy black, thin black bill, and measuring up to 9 inches, the rusty blackbird is a migratory bird that can be found in the eastern and central United States. Rusty blackbirds are usually found in wetland habitats, such as marshes, bogs, and swamps.
They can be identified by their black plumage, which has a rusty hue. Females are different. They are brownish with pale eyes. The bird is considered to be declining in population, and is now a species of concern. You can check other black birds with black beaks here
4. Tricolored blackbird
Tricolored blackbirds are unique birds that can be found throughout the United States. This bird is easily recognizable by its black wings with a prominent red and white shoulder patch, black body, and head; its bill is also black.
Female birds are dark brown and heavily streaked. The tricolored blackbird typically prefers to live in open fields and marshes, where it can find plenty of food to eat.
5. Brown-headed cowbird
The brown-headed cowbird is a common sight across much of North America. Male brown-headed cowbirds spot a brown head, are about the size of a robin, and are easily recognized by their habit of following cows and other large animals around, looking for food scraps.
How can you tell a female cowbird? Being sexually dimorphic, the sexes spot different plumage. Female cowbirds are gray-brown with a stout beak. These birds are parasitic brooders, letting other birds incubate their eggs and take care of their young. Cowbirds are not considered to be songbirds, but they can produce chattering and whistling calls.
Related Read: Here are different spanish birds
6. American crow
American crows are a type of a large black bird that is endemic to North America. It is a common sight in urban and rural areas, and can be seen in many different habitats.
How big is the American crow? These large black birds measure from 15 to 21 inches long, have a wingspan of up to 39 inches, and weigh up to 21 oz.
Is the American crow smart? Crows are known for their intelligence and their ability to learn new tasks. They are also known for their scavenging habits, and they will often steal food from other animals or humans. Crows are considered to be pests by some people, but they are also considered to be fascinating creatures.
7. Yellow-billed magpie
Yellow-billed magpies are a common bird in western North America. They are a member of the crow family, and are easily recognized by its black body and yellow bill.
How big is the yellow-billed magpie? It measures about 16 – 24 inches in length, weigh up to 6 oz, and adult males have a 24-inch wingspan.
What do California magpies eat? Like other large black birds, magpies are scavengers and are often seen feeding on roadkill or garbage. It is also an opportunistic predator, and will take advantage of any opportunity to catch a meal.
8. Great-tailed grackle
The great-tailed grackle is a beautiful bird that is found in the American Southwest. Males are about the size of a crow, and have a shiny black plumage with a long tail and bright yellow eyes.
Females are mostly brown with a paler throat. They are often seen perched on power lines or fences, where they can be easily spotted. Great-tailed grackles are known for their intelligence and playful behavior, and they can be very entertaining to watch.
9. Black-billed magpie
With gorgeous wings and glossy black feathers, the black-billed magpie is a medium-sized black and white bird that is found in western North America. It is the only magpie in North America that has a completely black bill.
These birds are common in open areas near forests, and they often form large flocks. Black billed magpies are omnivorous, and they eat a variety of foods, including insects, rodents, fruits, and seeds. They are known to be social birds, intelligent, and playful. They can often be seen raiding garbage cans or playing games with other birds.
Are black-billed magpies native to Canada? Yes, this is the only breed of magpies that is found in Canada. You can find herds in Western Manitoba to the Northern territories.
10. Boat-tailed grackle
Boat tailed grackles are a beautiful species of black birds that can be found in parts of Eastern United States. Male birds are known for their long, boat-shaped tails and their dark, iridescent feathers.
Females are mostly brown with dark-pointed wings. Both sexes have sharp black bills. They typically reside in coastal areas and near bodies of water, where they feed on insects, fish, and other small animals. Boat tailed grackles are considered to be a threatened species due to habitat loss and hunting, so it is important to protect them whenever possible.
Are boat tailed grackles native to Florida? Yes, you can find them in saltwater marshes. Are grackles good to have around? Yes, these birds feed on insects and will help you control the insect population in your garden.
11. Brewer’s Blackbirds
Brewer’s blackbirds are common in the United States. What is their size? These birds measure up to 10 inches in length, weigh about 2 oz, and have a wingspan of 5 inches.
Males and females spot different colors. Adult males are a combination of black with metallic green, with a bright yellow eye while females are smaller with a dull brown look.
They can be found in open areas near water, such as marshes, wetlands, and riparian habitats. These birds are also known to inhabit agricultural land, airports, and urban areas. Brewer’s blackbirds are omnivores and eat a variety of food items, including insects, seeds, fruit, and small animals.
Are brewer’s blackbirds in Ohio? They favor meadows, grasslands, and marshes where they build grass nests and lay up to 7 eggs.
12. Crested myna
Found in Southeast Asia, the crested myna is a member of the starling family and is also known as the Chinese starling. They are easy to recognize, by their all black body, prominent black crest on their forehead and striking yellow eyes.
The Crested Myna is a common sight in open areas such as parks, gardens, and farmland. It will eat seeds and other varieties of bird foods.
How do you take care of the crested myna?
- Get the right size cage for your bird. These birds measure about 10 inches in length and have a wingspan of 18 inches. We recommend a 4-foot wide and 2-foot high cage.
- Like their cousins, they like to bathe in warm water. Get a heated bird bath for your pet.
- Get a nest box for your crested myna to sleep in.
- Get the right foods for your myna. Avoid birds foods that are high in iron.
with a black and white head, the bobolink is a small black bird that is found in the Eastern states and part of South america.
Bobolinks measure up to 8 inches with a 10-inch wingspan. The sexes are different. Males are black with white patches on their wings and the females are light brown and streaked. Are bobolinks migratory birds? They are known to travel up to 12000 miles, making them one of the most traveled songbirds.
Like other songbirds they build cup-shaped nests where they lay up to 6 eggs. It is now listed as a threatened species. They migrate to South America each winter.
14. Yellow-winged cacique
The yellow-winged cacique or the Cassiculus melanicterus is a small black bird that is from the family Icteridae which includes cowbirds and grackles. It is a resident breeder from eastern Mexico to central Brazil, and Trinidad.
This common black bird is found in a wide range of wooded habitats, but is most often associated with open woodland or savannah. The adult has mainly black plumage, apart from a yellow wing patch and a bright white bill. Notice the gorgeous black crest.
The song of the yellow-winged cacique is an impressive medley of whistles, clicks, rattles and gurgles lasting up to two minutes.
15. Yellow-headed blackbird
The yellow-headed blackbird is a medium-sized black bird that has a bright yellow head and neck. They are common in the eastern and central United States, and can be found in wetlands, marshes, and other moist areas.
Are there yellow-headed blackbirds in ontario? You can spot them in Southern Ontario. Yellow-headed blackbirds eat insects, seeds, and fruit, and they build their nests in dense vegetation.
16. Cuban bullfinch
Outside the US, there are different types of small black birds. The Cuban bullfinch is one such bird and is found only in Cuba. Their preferred habitat is tropical moist lowland forests.
This small black bird is related to the crested finch and is one of the most common birds on the island. The Cuban bullfinch has a black head, body and wings with a white patches. This bird feeds on a variety of items including insects, seeds, and fruit.
17. Common swift
Famed for its flying ability, the common swift is one of most common birds in Europe. Swifts are about the size of a sparrow, measuring about 6 inches, with a wingspan of about 16 inches.
They are black or dark brown with white patches on the chin. Swifts have long, slender wings and a forked tail. They can fly up to 100 mph and spend most of their lives in the air. Swifts eat insects and spiders.
They build nests out of twigs, which they attach to cliffs or eaves of buildings. Swifts lay 2-4 eggs, which hatch in 18-21 days. The young swifts learn to fly within a few days after hatching and leave the nest shortly thereafter.
18. Black turnstone
The black turnstone, Arenaria melanocephala, is a small shorebird that can be found on beaches and coastal mudflats around the world. These birds are easily identified by their black upperparts which contrast with their white belly.
Black turnstones typically feed by turning over rocks and other objects on the beach to find food. They can also be seen probing in the sand for crustaceans and other invertebrates.
19. Black swan bird
Ever seen a swan? If you love bird watching, and have never seen one, you need to include this bird in your must-see bird’s list. The black swan is a large water bird that is found in wetlands and other aquatic habitats in Australia and New Zealand.
The black swan is a dark gray or black color with a long neck and a red bill and eyes. Black swans are the largest members of the duck family. They can weigh up to 18 pounds and have a wingspan of nearly 6 feet.
Like most water birds they feed on aquatic plants. They are monogamous with females laying up to 8 greenish eggs.
20. American redstart
The American redstart is a small, sparrow-sized black bird that is easily recognizable by coal-black plumage and distinctive orange color on its wings and tail. This bird is found throughout most of North America, and can be seen in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, gardens, and parks.
American redstarts are very active birds, and are known for their quick movements and aerial acrobatics. They are also one of the most vocal birds in North America, with a repertoire of songs that include whistles, trills, and warbles. You can easily spot them in massive flocks.
21. Common raven
The common raven is a large black bird that is found throughout North America. It is one of the largest members of the crow family and has a wingspan of up to 48 inches.
Common ravens are all black, from the bill to the long tail. Like the common swift, they are known for their acrobatic moves. They are territorial breeders with juveniles starting courtship early.
Once they find a favorable mate, they build a nest in their territory and females lay up to 7 greenish-blue eggs that take about three weeks to hatch. Adults have to protect their eggs and young from predators such as eagles and hawks.
How long do common ravens live? Up to 15 years in the wild. Ravens are known for their intelligence and their ability to learn complex tasks. They are also one of the few animals that can mimic human speech.
Hawaii is home to some blackbird species. The akohekohe, or crested honeycreeper, is a small black bird that is endemic to the Hawaiian islands. This passerine can be found in many different habitats, from lowland forests to high-elevation shrublands, and it is one of the most common birds in Hawaii.
The akohekohe is a songbird and it sings a variety of songs to communicate with other members of its species. They include “tjook-tjook” and “hur-gluk” sounds.
23. Grey-winged blackbird
With a gorgeous yellow eye-ring and orange bill, the grey-winged blackbird is found in parts of South Asia. It is a member of the Turdidae family and is related to the wood thrush and Eastern bluebird.
The grey-winged blackbird is sexually dimorphic, with males being black with grey wings and an orange bill, and females being light brown with a yellow bill. They are usually found in open areas near water where they forage for insects.
24. White-collared blackbird
White-collared blackbirds are one of the most common and widespread blackbirds in India. The adult has a mostly black body, with a white collar around the neck, and a yellow bill and eye-ring.
It is found in open habitats such as fields, meadows, and parks. The white-collared blackbird feeds on insects, seeds, and fruit. It builds a cup-shaped nest out of mud, grass, and other materials, and lays 3-5 eggs.
25. Black partridge
Shy and reclusive, the black partridge or black wood partridge is an Asian bird in the pheasant family. It is a rotund bird, with short, rounded wings and a short tail. It ranges in length from 11 to 13 inches and in weight from 13 to 17 oz.
The male has a striking black body and bill. Females are mostly chestnut with white throats. Both sexes have chestnut colored bellies and flanks. Their habitat is mixed woods and brushy areas near water.
26. Abyssinian scimitarbill
The Abyssinian scimitarbill is a medium-sized black bird found in Africa. It has a long curved orange bill and gorgeous long tail.
Abyssinian scimitarbill are usually seen singly or in pairs, foraging for insects in trees or shrubs. They are monogamous, forming long-term pair bonds. The nest is a deep cup of twigs lined with grass or other soft materials, built high in a tree. The typical clutch size is two eggs.
Abyssinian scimitarbill are common birds and their population is thought to be stable.
27. Abyssinian-ground hornbill
The Abyssinian ground hornbill is a large black bird that is a resident breeder in some part of Africa. It is a member of the hornbill family, and is the only species that is found in Ethiopia.
This bird is black with a long curved beak and a red wattle around the neck. What does the a ground hornbill eat? Their meals include lots of insects, small animals, and fruit. Can abyssinian ground hornbill fly? As its name refers, this is a ground dwelling birds. Even when provoked it prefers running to flying. It has a wingspan of up to 6 feet. The Abyssinian ground hornbill nests in trees, and lays two to four eggs.
28. African river martin
With gorgeous red eyes, the African river martin is a type of black bird that is found in Africa. It is a type of swallow and is related to the cave swallow. The African river martin is a small bird, with a length of about 5.5 inches.
It’s mostly dark with an orange beak and red eyes. They make jingling noises and are often seen in small groups. They feed on winged ants and small beetles.
29. African oystercatcher
The African oystercatcher is a medium-sized bird that is found along the coastlines of Africa. They are easily recognizable by their black and a long, red beak that is used for scavenging for food. They also have bright red eyes.
These birds are monogamous, and they form strong pair bonds that can last for many years. They build their nests on the ground near the water’s edge, and they typically lay two to three eggs.
30. Band-tailed oropendola
Band-tailed oropendolas are large conspicuous black birds in the Amazon. This species is closely related to the yellow-throated oropendola and has a similar body shape
The band-tailed oropendola is mostly black with a yellow beak and yellow patch on it long tail. It is a highly social bird that often forms communal roosts of up to 100 birds. These birds are diurnal and typically forage in pairs or small groups, gleaning insects from the foliage of trees and shrubs.
31. Bank cormorant
Bank cormorants are black water birds that can be found near water bodies such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs. They are usually dark in color with a beautiful bronze gloss on their feathers. The males measure up to 29 inches and are slightly larger than the females and have a thicker neck.
Bank cormorants feed mainly on fish, but will also eat other aquatic creatures such as amphibians, crustaceans and insects. They catch their prey by diving into the water and then gripping it in their strong bill.
32. Black currawong
Also known as the black jay, the black currawong is an Australian bird species that is part of the artamidae family that also includes the black butcherbird. They are a large, black bird with a long tail and a loud, cawing call.
Black currawongs have yellow eyes and are found in woodlands and forests across eastern Australia. Black currawongs are omnivorous and feed on a variety of items and are known to be aggressive towards other birds and can be quite disruptive at bird feeders.
33. Australian raven
How big is the Australian raven? It measures up to 21 inches with a wingspan of up to 39 inches. The Australian raven is a large, black bird that is found in Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea.
It is the largest corvid in Australia and one of the largest in the world. The Australian raven is a scavenger and predator, and has a wide range of vocalizations. It is considered to be intelligent, and has been observed using tools to obtain food.
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.