Are you curious about what kinds of Black Birds are out there? Black Birds come in many shapes, sizes, and species. This article will explore 19 types of Black Birds to look out for when enjoying the great outdoors. This comprehensive list includes both common and rare varieties of these gorgeous creatures. Get ready to discover some of the most beautiful avian species, from the majestic American Crow to the stunning Cedar Waxwing.
What are Black Birds?
Black Birds come in different sizes and shapes, but they all share the same color – Black. These dark-colored feathered creatures are unique, from crows to ravens, grackles, and starlings. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or not, something is fascinating about black birds that sets them apart from other types of birds.
Black Birds are a family of birds scientifically known as the Icteridae. Found primarily in North America, they are also known as New World Blackbirds and are members of the passerine bird species. While Black Birds may be most commonly found in North America, they can also be found in Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
The Black Bird family includes over 390 different species of birds ranging from meadowlarks to cowbirds. All blackbirds have black or dark-colored feathers; however, some species may have yellow or red patches on their wings or heads. They usually sing loudly and build nests in trees or shrubs near open areas such as fields and forests not far from water sources like rivers and lakes.
19 Types of Black Birds
Here we look at some of the most recognizable Black Birds and explore their unique characteristics.
Scientific Name: Agelaiusphoeniceus
Length: 6 -9 in (17-23 cm)
Weight: 1-2.7oz (32-77 g)
Wingspan: 12-15.8 in (31-40 cm)
Red-winged Black Birds are one of North America’s most recognizable bird species. This omnivorous Passerine is a member of the Icteridae family and is found throughout much of the continent. Its distinctive red flashes on its wings and loud and melodic song have made it a beloved part of our natural landscape.
These birds typically inhabit wetlands or grasslands near water sources such as lakes, marshes, ponds, and rivers. Red-winged blackbirds feed on insects, seeds, and grains; they may also scavenge for scraps around human habitations like farms or parks. They breed monogamously with one mate each season; during courtship, males display their bright red epaulets to impress potential mates.
Scientific Name: Quiscalusquiscula
Length: 11-13.5 in (28-34 cm)
Weight: 2.6-5.0 oz (74-142 g)
Wingspan: 14.2-18 in (36-46 cm)
The Common grackle is one of North America’s most widely recognized birds. This large, black bird can be found throughout much of the continent, even as far north as Canada. It is striking, with iridescent purple and green feathers on its back and head.
The Common grackle feeds on insects, grains, fruits, and seeds. It often makes its presence known through loud calls and songs that combine harsh notes and trills. These birds form dense flocks during their migration season for protection from predators and to find food more easily. They have also been observed near humans; they may come to parks or gardens to feed on discarded food or birdseed.
Great Tailed Grackle
Scientific Name: Quiscalusmexicanus
Length: 15.0-18 in (38-46 cm)
Weight: 3.7-6.6oz (105-190 g)
Wingspan: 18.9-22.8 in (48-58 cm)
The Great Tailed Grackle is a Black Bird across North and Central America. Native to the region, they are a common sight in open fields, parks, and backyards throughout the area. With loud calls and striking plumage, these birds have become an iconic part of many people’s lives.
The Great Tailed Grackle is easily recognized by its long tail feathers, which often fan out when it’s in flight or perched on a tree limb. Bright yellow eyes and yellowish-green wings set off its glossy black body. It also has an impressive wingspan of up to 25 inches that helps it soar through the sky easily.
These birds have a variety of vocalizations – from trills to squawks – that can often be heard from great distances away.
Scientific Name: Quiscalus major
Length: 10-14.6 in (26-37 cm)
Weight: 3.3-8.5oz (93-239 g)
Wingspan: 15.2-19.7 in (39-50 cm)
The Boat-Tailed Grackle is a captivating North American bird species with a striking appearance and voice. This blackbird has a glossy, iridescent quality to its feathers, giving it an eye-catching sheen. The most characteristic feature of this bird is its long pointed tail, which gives it the name boat-tailed grackle.
The Boat-Tailed Grackle can be found in warm areas such as coastal salt marshes, mangrove swamps, wetlands, and other watery environments along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida. They are also known to inhabit habitats in Louisiana and Mexico as well. This species is considered gregarious; they travel together in large flocks while making loud calls and sounds.
Scientific Name: Molothrusater
Length: 76.3-8.7 in (19-22 cm)
Weight: 1.2-1.8 oz (42-50 g)
Wingspan: 14 in (36 cm)
The brown-headed cowbird is a bird species native to the North American continent. The bird’s large range stretches from Central America to southern Canada and is throughout much of the United States. It has black feathers with distinctive brown heads, giving them their name. Brown-headed cowbirds are renowned for their ability to lay eggs in other ‘birds’ nests; they often use nests of other species rather than build their own.
These birds mainly feed on insects and seeds, which they pick from the ground or glean from plants. They have also been known to eat small vertebrates such as frogs, lizards, mice, and some fruit. Brown-headed cowbirds can be found in various habitats, including grasslands, woodlands, and urban areas; however, they prefer open fields for foraging.
Scientific Name: Molothrusaeneus
Length: 7.8 in (20 cm)
Weight: 2.3-2.5oz (64.9-73.9 g)
Wingspan: 13 in (33 cm)
The Shiny Cowbird is a bird species that has captivated the minds of bird watchers and enthusiasts alike. Its pristine feathers, which have a unique metallic sheen, set it apart from other birds in the area. The Shiny Cowbird can be found in tropical grasslands and savannas across South America, feeding on fruit and various types of insects.
The Shiny Cowbird typically nests near rivers, streams, or trees with dense foliage. It also enjoys congregating in areas with plenty of vegetation, such as gardens or parks. These birds are usually monogamous partners; they remain together throughout their lifetime and pair up with another partner only when one dies.
These remarkable creatures are often spotted flocking together with other species of cowbirds, doves, and crows.
Scientific Name: Euphaguscarolinus
Length: 8.2-9.7 in (21-25 cm)
Weight: 1.8-2.6oz (47-80 g)
Wingspan: 14.4 in (37 cm)
The rusty Black Bird (Euphaguscarolinus) is a North American passerine bird migrating to the United States for the fall and winter months. It is a member of the Icteridae family, common in wetlands, but has been seen in more terrestrial environments such as grasslands, agricultural areas, and riparian habitats.
This species has experienced an alarming decline since the early 1960s due to habitat loss, climate change, and other causes yet to be identified. The rusty blackbird is one of three nearctic-neotropical migratory bird species experiencing severe population decline; its numbers have reduced by 90% or more over the past 50 years.
Brewer’s Black Bird
Scientific Name: Euphaguscyanocephalus
Length: 7.9 -9.7 in (20-25 cm)
Weight: 1.8 -3oz (50-86 g)
Wingspan: 14.5 in (37 cm)
The Brewer’s Black Bird is a songbird found in the western United States and parts of Canada. It is an adaptable bird with a wide range, occupying open fields, shrublands, woodlands, and even urban areas. This blackbird can be identified by its glossy black feathers, bright yellow eyes, and thick bill that helps it survive in different habitats.
They are generally quite social creatures. They form large flocks that look for food sources like insects, grains, and fruits from trees or shrubs. These birds also have interesting mating habits; males will often stake out territories to attract potential mates with their loud calls and displays of fluffing their feathers.
Brewer’s Black Birds benefit the environment since they eat pest insects, such as agricultural pests that can damage crops.
Yellow-Headed Black Bird
Scientific Name: Xanthocephalus
Length: 8.3-10 in (21-26 cm)
Weight: 1.6-3.4oz (44-100 g)
Wingspan: 16.5-17.4 in (42-44 cm)
The Yellow-Headed Black Bird is a species of blackbird native to North America. It has a striking yellow head, neck, black body, and tail. This bird can be found in open grasslands and wetlands, where it feeds on insects, snails, worms, and other small creatures. It also enjoys eating grains such as corn and rice, making them an important part of the agricultural landscape.
The Yellow-Headed Black Bird is known for its melodic vocalizations. Its song consists of a series of warbling notes that start low and then rise in pitch before ending abruptly. During mating season, the male sings loudly to attract females to his territory and ward off rivals. The female builds her nest near water sources such as lakes or marshes, usually lined with grasses or mosses for insulation against cold weather conditions.
Scientific Name: Dolichonyxoryzivorus
Length: 5.8-8.3 in (15-21 cm)
Weight: 1.0-2oz (29-56 g)
Wingspan: 10.7 in (27 cm)
Bobolinks are small, black and white birds typically found in fields, meadows, and grasslands. These little songbirds have a unique, melodic trill that can be heard from miles away. While they may be small, bobolinks are a vital part of the North American ecosystem.
These birds migrate long distances between their breeding grounds in southern Canada and the northern United States to their wintering grounds down south. They rely heavily on grassland habitats for food and nesting sites during this journey. Bobolinks feed mainly on insects during the summer months when they breed and on seeds during the winter when they migrate south.
As insectivores, these birds play an important role in controlling insect populations and benefiting crops and pastures. Additionally, bobolinks provide much-appreciated entertainment with their beautiful songs!
Scientific Name: Sturnus vulgaris
Length: 7.9-9 in (20-23 cm)
Weight: 2.1-3.3oz (60-96 g)
Wingspan: 12.2-15.7 in (31-40 cm)
The European Starling, a species of the Passerine family, is an impressive bird native to Europe and Asia. The birds are easily identified by their black feathers, flecked with green and purple iridescence. Their yellowish beaks, long legs, and pointed tails make them a delight to observe in flight.
These birds were introduced to the United States in 1890 when an eccentric group of New Yorkers released 100 starlings into Central Park. Since then, their numbers have grown exponentially, becoming one of North America’s most abundant bird species.
Along with pigeons, they can often be seen congregating on city streets or nesting on buildings. They are also known for their adaptability; they thrive in both urban and rural environments and on farms where they feed on insects and berries.
Scientific Name: Corvusbrachyrhynchos
Length: 16-20 in
Wingspan: 33-38 in
The American Crow, Corvusbrachyrhynchos, is a common bird of the crow family found throughout North America. Native to the continent since prehistoric times, these birds are intelligent and resourceful. They can be seen in fields, forests, wetlands, and urban areas. Their characteristic’ caw calls can be heard for miles in any environment.
American Crows are medium-sized birds with glossy black feathers measuring 17″ – 21″ long from head to tail tip. They have short legs and wings of varying lengths attached to a large round body. These birds have strong bills for crushing food items such as nuts or insects, and their feet are adapted for grasping objects tightly. American Crows build nests in trees or on power lines where they lay 3-7 eggs at a time, which take 18 days to hatch.
Scientific Name: Corvusossifragus
Length: 10.3–11.5 in
Weight: 9.8–11.3 oz
Wingspan: 14–16 in
Fish Crows are small members of the crow family and can be found all along the Eastern and Gulf Coasts of the United States. They are predominately black with a greenish or purplish sheen but also have short and stout bills that help distinguish them from other crows. The Fish Crow is one of only two species of crows in North America to inhabit coastal areas near water.
These birds often travel in large flocks and feed mainly on small fish, crayfish, mollusks, insects, carrion, eggs, grains, fruits, and nuts. In addition to their diet preferences, they will also take advantage of human-provided food sources such as garbage dumps or landfills. Fish crows are often seen foraging during low tides when shorelines are exposed and filled with these food sources.
Scientific Name: Corvuscorax
Length: 22.1-27.2 in (56-69 cm)
Weight: 24.3-57.3 oz (689-1625 g)
Wingspan: 45.7-46.5 in (116-118 cm)
Common Ravens, a species of the Corvus family, are one of the most widespread birds in North America. These intelligent and resourceful birds are found all over the continent, from Canada and Alaska down to northern Mexico. Common Ravens have a characteristic black coloration with wings spanning up to two and a half feet. They also have unique calls that can be heard from miles away.
These birds have mastered living in multiple habitats, including forests, grasslands, deserts, tundra, and cities. In urban areas, they scavenge through garbage cans, while in rural areas, they feed on small mammals like rodents or insects and carrions left by other animals such as wolves or coyotes. Common Ravens have also snatched up pet food left outdoors by humans!
Scientific Name: Corvuscryptoleucus
Length: 18.1-20.8 in (46-53 cm)
Weight: 15.6-23.4oz (442-667 g)
Wingspan: 40.9-43.2 in (104-110 cm)
The Chihuahuan raven, Corvuscryptoleucus, is a large raven found in the desert regions of North America. This bird is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, inhabiting arid grasslands, deserts, and shrublands. It has also been known to venture into more suburban areas, such as parks and gardens. The Chihuahuan raven is typically larger than its relatives, with a wingspan measuring up to 54 inches. This crow species boasts striking black feathers with white patches on its wings and tail tips.
Chihuahuan ravens are brilliant birds that often form bonds with each other in pairs or family groups. They live by scavenging for food ranging from grains to small animals or carrion.
Scientific Name: Pica hudsonia
Length: 17.7-23.5 in (45-60 cm)
Weight: 5.1-7.3oz (145-210 g)
Wingspan: 22.1-24 in (56-61 cm)
Black-billed Magpies are large, distinctive birds native to western North America. Commonly found in open areas with sunshine and plenty of insects, these birds are true members of the corvid family and can be identified by their glossy black feathers, striking white wings, and blue-green tails. The black bill for which the species is named gives them a unique appearance that stands out among other birds in their range.
These magpies are highly intelligent animals, capable of learning complex behaviors such as tool use and problem-solving. They have also been observed engaging in cooperative behavior, such as nesting together or alerting one another when danger is near. Their pleasant voices often draw the attention of birdwatchers as they sing various songs with multiple notes.
Scientific Name: Pica nuttalli
Length: 16.9-21.3 in (43-54 cm)
Weight: 5.3-6oz (150-170 g)
Wingspan: 24 in (61 cm)
The Yellow-Billed Magpie is a striking and distinctive bird that is native to the coastal regions of California. With its black body, white head and tail, and yellow beak, this bird has an unmistakable look that makes it easy to spot in the wild. It belongs to the Corvus genus of birds, which also includes crows and ravens.
Not only is the Yellow-Billed Magpie beautiful to look at, but it’s also very intelligent. It’s known for its problem-solving abilities and often uses tools such as sticks or rocks to help get food from hard-to-reach places. These magpies also have excellent memories, remembering people who feed them regularly and their favorite nesting sites for years.
Scientific name: Crotophagasulcirostris
Length: 13.4 in
Weight: 3 oz
Wingspan: 16 in
The Groove-billed Ani (Crotophagasulcirostris) is a bird found in the forests and open areas of Central and South America. This small Black Bird measures approximately 8 inches in length and has an elongated tail that can measure up to twice its body size. The feathers of the Groove-billed Ani are dark blue with a glossy green sheen. It also has an outstanding bill that tapers down to a groove at the tip, giving it its distinctive name.
The Groove-billed Ani is an omnivorous feeder and will consume various insects, fruits, seeds, lizards, and even carrion when available. It will often forage in small flocks or pairs on the ground or low vegetation, where it can spot food quickly.
The Smooth-billed Ani is a tropical bird found in Central and South America. It is a member of the cuckoo family and typically measures between 17–18 cm long with an average weight of 36g. The birds have glossy black feathers, dark eyes, and a long tail over half its length.
They are known for their unique call, which resembles the sound of a loud drum beat made by tapping two stones together. The Smooth-billed Ani lives in flocks and forages for food on the ground or low vegetation. Its diet consists mainly of insects such as caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, spiders, and some fruits and grains. They are also known to drink nectar from flowers, making them important pollinators in their environment.
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What is the Largest Black Bird?
The largest blackbird in the world is one of nature’s most magnificent species. Referred to as the “condor of the east,” it is a majestic creature found in much of North America and parts of Eurasia. It is known scientifically as Corvuscorax but is commonly referred to as the common raven or a raven.
At up to 65 cm long, this giant bird stands out amongst other birds for its size and detailed coloring. Its wingspan can reach up to 1.4 meters wide, allowing it to soar above treetops easily and giving it great maneuverability in flight. Ravens are typically seen singly or in pairs but sometimes form larger flocks when abundant food is available.
What do BlackBirds Symbolize?
In many traditions worldwide, Black Birds symbolize spiritual awakening, freedom, and good fortune. Their dark plumage is considered an indicator of wisdom, while their melodic songs are said to bring hope to those who listen. In addition to this symbolism, some cultures view blackbirds as protectors that ward away danger and evil spirits. It’s also believed that they offer comfort and solace through song and flight in times of great distress or sadness.
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