In this blog post, we’re diving into the fascinating realm of Black Birds with Black Beaks. They stand out with their dark feathers and matching dark beaks. These birds are found in different parts of the world, and they often fly together in big groups. What’s more, they’re known for their beautiful songs.
Ever wondered which birds have black feathers and black beaks? Some of them include Brewer’s blackbird, the common raven, red-winged blackbird, the great-tailed grackle, and the American crow.
This article will focus on the ones with dark beaks. So, let’s start our journey to explore and learn about these remarkable black birds with their distinctive appearance.
List of Black Birds with Black Beaks
- Scientific name: Strepera fuliginosa
- Lifespan: Typically 10-15 years
- Size: Large songbird; around 18-21 inches (46-53 cm) in length
- Origin: Found in Australia and Tasmania
The Black Currawong is a large passerine bird native to southeastern Australia, found in Tasmania and the southeastern mainland’s forested, mountainous regions. It boasts distinctive black plumage, a robust build, and a slightly hooked beak. Omnivorous, it consumes insects, fruits, small animals, and carrion. These bold birds scavenge campsites and human settlements. Inhabiting cool temperate forests and montane habitats, they’re skilled mimics, mimicking various bird calls and human sounds. The Tasmanian subspecies (Strepera fuliginosa fuliginosa) resides in Tasmania, while the mainland subspecies (Strepera fuliginosa colei) lives in southeastern mainland Australia.
- Scientific name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
- Lifespan: Typically 7-8 years
- Size: Medium-sized crow; around 16-21 inches (41-53 cm) in length, wingspan of 2.6-3.3 feet (79-100 cm)
- Origin: Native to North America
The American Crow, closely related to the raven, is a large and common black bird with a stout black beak. These intelligent birds are found in various habitats throughout America, including roadsides, towns, parking lots, and lawns.
American Crows are omnivorous, consuming a wide range of items such as insects, small mammals, carrion, and seeds. They display remarkable intelligence and are known for their problem-solving abilities. Additionally, they exhibit the behavior of caching food items for future consumption.
With an average length of 21 inches, a weight of up to 22 ounces, and a wingspan of up to 39 inches, American Crows are relatively large birds. Nesting typically occurs in April, and incubation lasts for about 18 days. These social birds roost in large groups at night and are known for their characteristic cawing call.
- Scientific name: Quiscalus mexicanus
- Lifespan: Typically 4-5 years
- Size: Large blackbird; about 16-18 inches (41-46 cm) in length
- Origin: Native to North and Central America
The Great-tailed Grackle is a distinctive North American bird, easily recognizable by its long tail and measuring up to 13 inches in length. These birds are commonly found in open habitats near water, and they are equally at home in both rural and urban areas.
As omnivorous foragers, Great-tailed Grackles have a diverse diet and are known to be opportunistic feeders. They are notorious for stealing food from other birds or even humans. While they prefer Southern Texas, they can migrate northward during colder months.
However, despite their adaptability, Great-tailed Grackles have a somewhat contentious reputation, particularly regarding their interactions with other bird species. They are known to prey on other birds’ nests, consuming eggs and even young chicks. Frequenting house sparrows’ nests is not uncommon, and they can even take on adult sparrows.
These social birds often form large flocks, especially during the winter months, creating captivating spectacles in the sky.
- Scientific name: Euphagus cyanocephalus
- Lifespan: 10 years
- Size: 3.74–4.04 in
- Native to: Central and western North America
The Brewer’s Blackbird is a medium-sized blackbird exhibiting sexual dimorphism. Among the most common blackbirds in North America, the male Brewer’s Blackbird is easily distinguished by its black body, black bill, and striking pale eyes. In contrast, the female Brewer’s Blackbird appears mostly brown with black eyes.
These blackbirds typically inhabit open areas near water sources, where they feed on insects, seeds, and fruits. During the winter months, they form large flocks to forage for food. Emitting a unique metallic sound that can last up to 7-8 seconds, both male and female Brewer’s Blackbirds are vocal and expressive in their communication.
- Scientific name: Corvus corax
- Lifespan: Typically 10-15 years
- Size: Large crow; about 21-26 inches (53-66 cm) in length, wingspan of 3.7-4.7 feet (110-143 cm)
- Origin: Found in various parts of the Northern Hemisphere, often in open habitats.
The Common Raven, a member of the corvid family, holds the distinction of being the largest North American corvid, measuring up to 26 inches in length with an impressive wingspan of nearly 4 feet. This all-black bird exhibits a deep blue sheen on its feathers and possesses a distinctive, large, curved black beak.
As omnivorous creatures, Common Ravens consume a varied diet ranging from insects and small mammals to fruits and carrion. They are renowned for their high intelligence, displaying problem-solving skills, and tool usage. Social in nature, these birds usually live in pairs or small family groups, but they can also form large flocks during the winter months.
Although highly intelligent and captivating, it’s important to note that Common Ravens cannot be kept as pets without a special permit, and even then, keeping them as pets is generally discouraged.
- Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
- Lifespan: 2-3 years
- Size: 9 inches
- Native to: most of North America and much of Central America.
The Red-winged Blackbird, recognized by its striking red patches on the wings of males, is a large blackbird species commonly found throughout the year in various parts of the United States. These blackbirds favor open habitats such as wetlands and prairies, and their population is estimated to include around 450,000 breeding pairs in the country.
Sexually dimorphic, male Red-winged Blackbirds showcase their vibrant red wing patches, while females exhibit a brownish appearance. These birds are known for their territorial nature when defending their nests, often displaying aggression to protect their territory.
To attract mates and assert dominance, males sing melodious songs, accompanied by a distinctive call consisting of high-slurred whistles and “chit-teer” sounds.
Red-winged Blackbirds have a diverse diet comprising seeds, insects, and fruit, and during winter, they are commonly observed in small flocks while foraging for food.
- Scientific name: Euphagus carolinus
- Lifespan: Around 6-8 years
- Size: Medium-sized blackbird; approximately 8-9 inches (20-23 cm) in length
- Origin: Native to North America
The Rusty Blackbird is another remarkable member of the Blackbird family, displaying sexual dimorphism. This bird predominantly inhabits dense vegetation in the Southern Eastern United States and Canada.
Male Rusty Blackbirds are characterized by their black bodies and striking whitish-yellow eyes, while females exhibit a light brown head and a darker body. Both sexes have strong black beaks.
Sadly, the Rusty Blackbird has become a rare sight due to habitat loss, and its secretive nature makes it difficult to spot. These birds forage in dense vegetation, where they consume insects, spiders, and fruit. Their nests are large cups made of grasses, sedges, and other plant materials, lined with finer materials like hair or feathers. The eggs are pale blue or greenish-white, adorned with brown spots.
The Rusty Blackbird’s calls are known for their harsh “chek” sounds.
- Scientific name: Lyrurus tetrix
- Lifespan: 5 years
- Size: 17-inch
- Native to: upland areas of Wales, the Pennines, and most of Scotland
The Black Grouse is a large game bird native to the forests of Europe and Asia. With a forked tail and predominantly black plumage, males stand out with their striking deep blue hues on the neck and back. They also have red bare skin on their face, adding to their unique appearance. Females, on the other hand, exhibit warm brown plumage with heavy barring.
As omnivores, Black Grouse have a varied diet, consuming insects, berries, nuts, and other plants. They live in monogamous pairs, and while the female incubates the eggs, the male takes care of the chicks.
Due to being a game bird, the meat of the Black Grouse is safe to eat, although some may prefer the red grouse for culinary purposes.
Origin: Found in New Guinea and nearby islands, known for their elaborate courtship displays
The Parotia bird is a fascinating and beautiful species known for its elaborate courtship displays resembling ballet performances. This black bird is native to the rainforests of New Guinea and is divided into six subspecies, each with its own unique characteristics. The Western Parotia, Carola’s Parotia, Bronze Parotia, Eastern Parotia, Lawes’s Parotia, and Wahnes’s Parotia all exhibit stunning black plumage with distinctive white markings on their heads.
These active birds are constantly on the move in the trees and are often heard giving loud vocalizations. The males, in particular, showcase their impressive courtship rituals to attract mates. Unlike many other bird species, Parotia birds are polygynous, meaning they have multiple partners.
Their diet mainly consists of insects and other small animals found in their rainforest habitat.
- Scientific name: Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
- Lifespan: 11 years
- Size: 8 to 10 inches
- Native to: United States and Canada
The Yellow-headed Blackbird is a visually striking and sexually dimorphic medium-sized blackbird species. Its name is derived from its mostly black body, contrasted by a bright yellow head, which serves as a distinctive feature of the species.
Similar in size to the common blackbird, the Yellow-headed Blackbird measures up to 10 inches in length, with a wingspan of approximately 17 inches. With a thin and sharp black beak, they are commonly found in open areas near water, where they primarily feed on insects and other small animals.
Southwestern states are their preferred habitat, and females construct their nests on dry vegetation overlooking the water.
- Scientific name: Molothrus ater
- Lifespan: 12 years
- Size: 6.3–8.7 in
- Native to: North America
The Brown-headed Cowbird is a medium-sized blackbird species native to North America. The adult male boasts a striking brown head and a black back and underside, while females display gray plumage. The Brown-headed Cowbird is infamous as a brood parasite, laying its eggs in the nests of other bird species.
The cowbird eggs are often larger than those of the host bird, and once hatched, the young cowbirds tend to outcompete the host’s offspring for food. This aggressive behavior towards other birds is characteristic of the Brown-headed Cowbird.
- Scientific name: Florisuga fusca
- Lifespan: About 3-5 years
- Size: Medium-sized hummingbird; approximately 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in length
- Origin: Found in parts of South America
The Black Jacobin is a small black bird closely related to hummingbirds, and it is found in certain regions of Brazil and Argentina. Measuring around 5 inches in length, this bird exhibits mostly black plumage with a white undertail.
It is a common and widespread species, thriving in a variety of habitats such as open woodlands, forest edges, gardens, and farmland.
Like hummingbirds, the Black Jacobin uses its long bill to feed on nectar from flowers. Additionally, it can also capture small insects from spider webs. Known for their territorial behavior, these birds emit high-pitched “szee” sounds as part of their vocalizations.
- Scientific name: Quiscalus
- Lifespan: 17 years
- Size: 11-inch
- Native to: North and South America
The Common Grackle is a large black bird native to North America and a member of the icteridae family, closely related to the Florida Grackle. It is easily recognizable by its black plumage, long tail, and striking bright yellow eyes.
These birds can be found in a wide range, from southern Canada to central Mexico, and they inhabit open habitats such as farmland, parks, and woodland edges.
Common Grackles are highly social birds, often forming large flocks that can number in the thousands. They are known for their vocal nature, with both males and females emitting harsh croaking sounds. Their diet consists of various items, including insects, fruit, seeds, and rodents. They are strong competitors for food with other bird species, especially those in the crow family.
- Scientific name: Cercomacra serva
- Lifespan: Typically 5-7 years
- Size: Small to medium-sized bird; around 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in length
- Origin: Native to Central and South America
The Black Antbird is a small black bird with a black beak, belonging to the Thamnophilidae family and related to the ovenbird. It displays sexual dimorphism, with males being slightly larger and entirely black in color.
Females, on the other hand, have brown-gray upperparts and orange underparts, with long and slender bills and dark gray legs. The Black Antbird primarily feeds on insects, which it extracts from tree crevices or under bark. It is often seen foraging in pairs or small groups, and occasionally joins mixed-species feeding flocks.
- Scientific name: Thamnophilus nigriceps
- Lifespan: About 5-7 years
- Size: Small to medium-sized bird; approximately 5-6 inches (13-15 cm) in length
- Origin: Found in parts of South America
The Black Antshrike is a small black bird with a black beak, belonging to the antbird family. It is commonly found in open woodlands and savannas of South America, spanning from southern Colombia to Tierra del Fuego, including Trinidad and the Lesser Antilles.
Measuring around 6 inches in length and weighing approximately 0.8 ounces, males have predominantly black plumage, while females display a rufous back and streaked underparts. The Black Antshrike is known to be shy and often conceals itself in dense foliage. It mainly feeds on insects, capturing them by hovering in front of them before swooping down for a catch.
- Scientific name: Chlidonias niger
- Lifespan: Typically 4-7 years
- Size: Small tern; about 9-10 inches (23-25 cm) in length, wingspan of 24-26 inches (61-66 cm)
- Origin: Found in North America, Europe, and Asia
The Black Tern, scientifically known as Chlidonias niger, is a small tern species with a length of about 10 inches, a wingspan of 24 inches, and a weight of approximately 2.5 ounces. Its predominantly black plumage is contrasted by gray wings, which are visible during flight. The Black Tern has a pointed black beak.
This species breeds in North America, Europe, and Asia, with its North American range spanning from Alaska to Mexico and east to the Atlantic coast. During the winter, it migrates to South America and Western Asia.
Black Terns typically nest in colonies on the ground near water bodies and lay three or four eggs. Both parents participate in incubating the eggs for about 21 days, and the chicks are fed by both parents until they fledge after approximately 28 days.
Final Thoughts on Black Birds with Black Beaks
As we conclude our exploration of the captivating world of black birds with black beaks, we’ve uncovered a remarkable tapestry of nature’s creativity. These birds, with their elegant ebony feathers and matching beaks, remind us of the stunning diversity found in the avian kingdom. Their social behaviors and melodious songs add an extra layer of intrigue to their captivating presence.
From Brewer’s blackbird to the American crow, these feathered wonders have left an indelible mark on various landscapes. As we bid farewell to this journey, let’s remember the beauty that lies in the simple and unique characteristics of these birds.
- Black Birds with Red Heads
- Black Birds with Red Eyes
- Black Birds with Yellow Heads
- Black Birds with Green Heads
- Black Birds with White Bellies
- Black Birds with Yellow Beaks
- Black Birds with Orange Wings
- Black Birds with White Stripes on Wings
- Black Birds with White Spots
- Black Birds with Gray Heads
- Black Birds with Blue Heads
- Black Birds with White Beaks