23 Fascinating Birds with Black Mohawks [Images + IDs]

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In the world of birds, there are some that truly stand out, not just for their colorful plumage, but for their striking and edgy style. Imagine birds with black mohawks! These avian rebels are nature’s own rockstars, defying convention with their bold and unique look.

In this blog post, we’re going to dive into the fascinating world of birds that sport black mohawks. We’ll uncover what makes them so distinctive, where they call home, and what fuels their avian adventures. So, prepare to be captivated by these feathered fashionistas as we explore their extraordinary presence in the avian kingdom.

List of 23 Birds with Black Mohawks

Steller’s Jay

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Cyanocitta stelleri
  • Lifespan: 16 years
  • Size: 12–13 in
  • Native to: Western North America and the mountains of Central America

One of the most identifiable species of birds, the Steller’s Jay is located in western North America, including the northern Rockies and Mexico. The Steller’s Jay has a crest of feathers on its head, giving it an exotic look. It is a huge, black-headed jay with a dazzling blue body. The nests of Steller’s Jays are often found in scrub forests, chaparral brushlands, high-elevation conifer, coniferous woods, or woodlands.
They also inhabit plains with sporadic trees that provide perches for breeding and as cover from the summer heat. Acorns, pine nuts, berries, insects, and small rodents make up the majority of the diet of Steller’s Jays, which they either discover on the ground or steal from other birds that keep their food there. In the wild, Steller’s Jays only survive up to 10 to 15 years, but when kept in captivity, they may live for up to 30 years.

Northern Lapwing

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Vanellus vanellus
  • Lifespan: about 5 years
  • Size:11–13 in
  • Native to: North America

Wading birds known as northern lapwings inhabit Siberia and Europe. They travel great distances to go from northern Africa and southern Asia to Siberia and northern Europe.
In comparison to females and immature birds, male Northern Lapwings have longer crests. They also go by the name “peewits” because of the pee-wit call they produce.

Phainopepla

  • Scientific name: Phainopepla nitens
  • Lifespan: Typically around 5 to 10 years
  • Wingspan: Approximately 25 to 30 cm (9.8 to 11.8 inches)
  • Native to: Southwestern United States and Mexico.

The Phainopepla is a distinctive songbird found in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico. Adult male Phainopeplas have striking glossy black plumage, a distinctive crest on their heads, and white wing patches that are visible in flight. Females, on the other hand, have predominantly gray plumage with a hint of the black crest.

These birds are known for their preference for desert and arid habitats, such as chaparral, scrublands, and desert washes. They primarily feed on a diet of insects and berries, making them fruit-eating songbirds.

Phainopeplas are known for their melodious and varied songs, often described as a series of whistles, clicks, and musical notes. They are appreciated by birdwatchers for their striking appearance and unique vocalizations.

Great Curassow 

  • Scientific name: Crax rubra
  • Lifespan: 24 years
  • Size: 31–39 in
  • Native to: Eastern Mexico, through Central America to western Colombia and northwestern Ecuador

The Great Curassow is a large and striking bird found in Central and South America. Adult Great Curassows are known for their distinctive appearance with glossy black plumage, a distinctive curly crest on their heads, and a prominent white belly. Males have a yellow knob-like casque on their bills, while females have a shorter crest.

These curassows inhabit a variety of forested habitats, including tropical rainforests and montane cloud forests. They primarily feed on a diet of fruits, seeds, and small invertebrates.

Great Curassows are often heard before they are seen, as they are known for their deep, booming calls that can carry through the dense forest. They are appreciated by birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts for their impressive size, striking appearance, and unique vocalizations.

Palm Cockatoo

Grey crowned crane

Image Source

  • Scientific name: Probosciger aterrimus
  • Lifespan: 80 or 90 years
  • Size: 19- 27 inches
  • Native to: New Guinea and Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia

The Palm Cockatoo is a large and distinctive parrot native to parts of New Guinea, northern Australia, and nearby islands. Adult Palm Cockatoos are known for their striking appearance with black plumage, a large black crest, and a unique red patch of bare skin on their cheeks. They also have a large, powerful bill.

These cockatoos are typically found in rainforests and savannas, often near water sources. They are known for their diet, which includes a variety of foods such as seeds, nuts, fruits, and even insect larvae that they extract from tree bark using their powerful bills.

Palm Cockatoos are celebrated for their vocalizations, which include a range of calls, squawks, and drumming sounds made by tapping on trees with sticks and seed pods. They are highly intelligent birds and are often kept as pets, although they require specialized care and attention due to their unique dietary and behavioral needs.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

  • Scientific name: Calyptorhynchus banksii
  • Lifespan: Around 40 to 70 years
  • Wingspan: Approximately 65 to 75 cm (25.6 to 29.5 inches)
  • Native to: Australia, particularly in wooded areas.

The Red-tailed Black Cockatoo is a large and distinctive species of cockatoo native to Australia. Adult Red-tailed Black Cockatoos are known for their striking appearance, with predominantly black plumage and a bright red panel on their tail feathers. They have a prominent crest on their heads, and males and females can be differentiated by the coloration of their eye rings, with males having darker eye rings.

These cockatoos are found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, forests, and coastal regions across Australia. They are known for their diet, which consists of a range of foods, including seeds, nuts, fruits, and flowers.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos are appreciated for their vocalizations, which include loud and raucous calls. They are iconic and charismatic birds in Australian avifauna and are often associated with conservation efforts to protect their habitats.

Bamboo Antshrike

  • Scientific name: Cymbilaimus sanctaemariae
  • Lifespan: Information not readily available.
  • Wingspan: Information not readily available.
  • Native to: Central and South America, including countries like Brazil and Peru.

The Bamboo Antshrike is a Neotropical bird species found in parts of South America, particularly in the Amazon Basin and other lowland rainforests. Adult Bamboo Antshrikes have a distinctive appearance with black plumage, white streaks on their wings and tail, and a striking white eye ring.

These antshrikes are typically found in dense bamboo thickets within their rainforest habitats. They are primarily insectivorous, preying on a diet of insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates.

Bamboo Antshrikes are known for their vocalizations, which include a series of melodious whistles and calls. They are often heard before they are seen, as they forage in the dense vegetation of bamboo thickets. They are appreciated by birdwatchers for their unique habitat preferences and vocalizations.

Bare-faced Curassow

  • Scientific name: Crax fasciolata
  • Lifespan: Typically around 10 to 20 years
  • Wingspan: Approximately 70 to 80 cm (27.6 to 31.5 inches)
  • Native to: South America, primarily in countries like Brazil and Paraguay.

The Bare-faced Curassow is a large and distinctive bird found in parts of South America, particularly in countries like Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Adult Bare-faced Curassows have a predominantly black plumage with striking white patches on their wings and a bright blue patch of bare skin around their eyes and bill.

These curassows typically inhabit a variety of forested habitats, including tropical and subtropical forests. They are primarily frugivorous, feeding on a diet of fruits, seeds, and other plant materials.

Bare-faced Curassows are known for their vocalizations, which include a range of calls and whistles. They are often heard before they are seen and are appreciated by birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts for their impressive size, striking appearance, and unique vocalizations.

Bare-necked Umbrellabird

  • Scientific name: Cephalopterus glabricollis
  • Lifespan: Information not readily available.
  • Wingspan: Information not readily available.
  • Native to: Central and South America, including countries like Ecuador and Colombia.

The Bare-necked Umbrellabird is a striking and unique bird found in the montane rainforests of South America, particularly in parts of Colombia and Ecuador. Adult male Bare-necked Umbrellabirds have a distinctive appearance with predominantly black plumage, a pronounced crest on their heads, and a striking wattle of bare skin hanging from their necks, which resembles an umbrella. They also have a long, broad tail.

These birds inhabit the canopy and understory of wet, montane forests, and they primarily feed on fruits, insects, and small vertebrates.

Bare-necked Umbrellabirds are known for their vocalizations, which include a variety of calls, including loud croaks and whistles. They are often heard before they are seen, and their unique appearance makes them a sought-after species by birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts in their limited range.

Amazonian Umbrellabird

  • Scientific name: Cephalopterus ornatus
  • Lifespan: Information not readily available.
  • Wingspan: Information not readily available.
  • Native to: South America, particularly in the Amazon rainforest.

The Amazonian Umbrellabird is another striking and unique bird found in the Amazon rainforests of South America, particularly in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Adult male Amazonian Umbrellabirds have a predominantly black plumage, a pronounced crest on their heads, and a striking wattle of bare skin hanging from their necks, which also resembles an umbrella. They have a long, broad tail, which adds to their distinctive appearance.

These birds primarily inhabit the canopy and understory of tropical rainforests and are known for their frugivorous diet, feeding on a variety of fruits and insects.

Amazonian Umbrellabirds are known for their vocalizations, which include a range of calls and booming sounds. They are often heard before they are seen and are considered a charismatic species by birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts exploring the Amazon rainforest.

Striated Heron

  • Scientific name: Butorides striata
  • Lifespan: Typically 10 to 15 years
  • Wingspan: Approximately 44 to 47 cm (17.3 to 18.5 inches)
  • Native to: A wide range including Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands.

The Striated Heron, also known as the Little Heron or Green-backed Heron, is a small heron species found in a wide range of wetland habitats across the world. Adult Striated Herons have a distinctive appearance with a predominantly gray-blue plumage, a streaked neck and breast, and a greenish-black cap on their heads. They also have a slender bill and relatively short legs.

These herons are known for their versatility in habitat choice, and they can be found in a variety of environments, including mangroves, freshwater wetlands, and coastal areas. They are skilled hunters, preying on a diet of small fish, amphibians, insects, and crustaceans.

Striated Herons are appreciated by birdwatchers for their adaptability and their ability to thrive in both urban and natural landscapes. They are often seen wading patiently in shallow waters or perched on branches near water bodies while hunting for prey.

Great Blue Turaco

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Corythaeola cristata
  • Lifespan: 30 yrs
  • Size: 28- 30 inches
  • Native to: Guinea east across Africa to the Imatong Mountains in southern Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Western Kenya and south to Democratic Replublic of Congo and Angola

The Great Blue Turaco is a large and colorful bird native to the rainforests and woodlands of equatorial Africa. It is known for its distinctive appearance, characterized by vibrant green plumage with a prominent white patch on its face, a bright red ring around its eyes, and a striking blue crest on its head.

These turacos primarily feed on a diet of fruits, especially figs, and they are known for their unique feeding behavior. They are capable of swallowing fruits whole and later regurgitating seeds and pits, contributing to seed dispersal in their habitat.

Great Blue Turacos are often found in the canopy of dense forests and are appreciated for their striking and vibrant colors, making them a sought-after species for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Apo Myna

  • Scientific name: Basilornis miranda
  • Lifespan: Typically around 6 to 12 years
  • Wingspan: Information not readily available.
  • Native to: The Philippines, specifically on the island of Mindanao.

The Apo Myna  is a bird species endemic to the Philippines, specifically to the island of Mindanao. Adult Apo Mynas have a predominantly dark plumage with a glossy blue-black appearance and a distinctively long, graduated tail. They also have bright yellow eye patches and orange-red skin around their eyes.

These mynas inhabit montane forests and are often found in or near mossy trees. They primarily feed on a diet of insects and fruits.

The Apo Myna is considered a critically endangered species and is appreciated for its striking appearance and unique status as an endemic bird of the Philippines. Conservation efforts are in place to protect its habitat and ensure its survival.

Black Baza

  • Scientific name: Aviceda leuphotes
  • Lifespan: Information not readily available.
  • Wingspan: Information not readily available.
  • Native to: Southeast Asia and parts of Australia.

The Black Baza is a small raptor found in parts of South and Southeast Asia. Adult Black Bazas have a predominantly black plumage with distinctive white barring on their wings and tail. They have a short crest on their heads and a hooked beak.

These raptors are often found in forested habitats, including tropical and subtropical forests, and they are known for their agile flight as they pursue their prey. Their diet primarily consists of insects, small birds, and sometimes small mammals.

Black Bazas are appreciated by birdwatchers for their unique appearance and graceful flight patterns. They are often observed soaring high in the sky or gliding through forested areas.

Red-Whiskered Bulbul

  • Scientific name: Pycnonotus jocosus
  • Lifespan: 11 years
  • Size: 17-23cm
  • Native to: Southern Asia

The Red-whiskered Bulbul is a small and colorful songbird found in parts of South and Southeast Asia. Adult Red-whiskered Bulbuls have a predominantly brownish-olive plumage with a distinctive red patch behind their eyes and a red “whisker” stripe on their cheeks. They also have a white throat and belly, and their wings and tail are edged in yellow.

These bulbuls are often found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, woodlands, and urban areas. They are primarily frugivorous, feeding on a diet of fruits and berries, but they also consume insects and flower nectar.

Red-whiskered Bulbuls are known for their melodious calls and are often heard before they are seen. They are appreciated by birdwatchers for their striking appearance and pleasant songs and are commonly encountered in many parts of their range.

Rockhopper Penguin

  • Scientific name: Eudyptes chrysocome
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Size: 21.7 inches
  • Native to: islands north of Antarctica, from Chile to New Zealand

Small rockhopper penguins inhabit frigid climates on islands in the southern Atlantic, South America, the southern Indian Ocean, and the region around New Zealand.
Although Rockhopper Penguins have the most striking crest of any penguin, their crests do not develop at birth; instead, they do so as the animals become older.

Himalayan Monal

  • Scientific name: Lophophorus impejanus
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Size: 28 in
  • Native to: Himalayan forests

a big pheasant that dwells in the jungles of the Himalayas. Himalayan Monals measure around 28 inches (70 cm) in length and weigh 76 to 84 ounces (2150g – 2380g).
The males are colorfully vibrant birds with lengthy crests of shiny green feathers. Females lack the crest and are mostly brown in color.
The practice of hunting them for their crest feathers to adorn men’s hats has since been outlawed.

Crested Caracara

  • Scientific name: Caracara plancus
  • Lifespan: over 30 years
  • Size: 26 inches
  • Native to: Tierra del Fuego in southernmost South America to the southern United States, Mexico, and Central America

In Central and South America’s vast spaces, Crested Caracara often stroll on the ground or perch on lone trees. They belong to the falcon family and are often seen accompanying vultures at dead animals.
They are medium-sized raptors with orange skin around their beaks and a shaggy crest.

Great Crested Grebe

Great Curassow

  • Scientific name: Podiceps cristatus
  • Lifespan: 19.2 years
  • Size: 18–20 in
  • Native to: Europe and Asia, parts of southern and eastern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand

The biggest grebe to be found in Europe, with summer fan-shaped head feathers. As the bird climbs out of the water and waves its head, the head feathers are employed in courting displays.
For their head feathers, which were used on ladies’ hats, they were hunted to extinction in the UK.
Wintertime sees the Great-crested Grebe switch to less striking black-and-white head feathers that don’t resemble a huge mane.

Harpy Eagle

Great Curassow

  • Scientific name: Harpia harpyja
  • Lifespan: 25-35 years
  • Size: 36-40 inches
  • Native to: Central and South America

The Harpy Eagle, which is sometimes described as the biggest eagle, is a rare and stunning sight. The Harpy eagle is often mentioned as being the biggest eagle in the world, along with the Philippine eagle and Steller’s eagle.
Due to its distant jungle home, the Harpy Eagle, the national bird of Panama, is seldom seen.
Long, dark grey crest feathers on the heads of harpy eagles, which rise up when they sense danger, give them a unique appearance.
They have striped legs and a lighter grey head, and they are largely white beneath with a dark grey back. They have big, hooked, black beaks.

Crested Barbet

Great Curassow

  • Scientific name: Trachyphonus vaillantii
  • Lifespan: about 7 years
  • Size: 23 to 24 cm
  • Native to: Southern Africa

The Crested Barbet is a brightly colored African bird with a black crest on its yellow head. They eat mice, eggs, and insects.
They often nest in gardens in logs or holes in trees. Other nesting birds like doves and thrushes may be driven from their territory by their aggressive behavior against other birds in the area.

Crested Auklet

  • Scientific name: Aethia cristatella
  • Lifespan: about 10 years
  • Size: 9.5 to 10.5 in
  • Native to: Northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea

Crested Auklet is a sociable seabird that breeds in up to one million-strong colony in the Bering Sea. It is believed that sexual selection is responsible for the evolution of their forehead crest and citrus-like aroma.
Their crests, which normally have 12 crest feathers and bend forward over the face and short orange beak, are typical of this species.

Curl-crested aracari

  • Scientific name: Pteroglossus beauharnaesii
  • Lifespan: 18 years
  • Size: 16-18 inches
  • Native to: Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru

Curl-crested aracari is another large bird in our list of birds with crestThe Amazon is the home of this toucan with curly hair. They mostly eat fruit, although they have also been seen stealing other birds’ fledglings.
They are cheerful, active birds that are often kept as pets.

Final Thoughts on Birds with Black Mohawks

As we draw the curtains on our exploration of the avian world’s most unconventional trendsetters – birds with black mohawks – it’s clear that nature never ceases to amaze us. These feathered fashionistas, with their bold and edgy style, remind us that diversity in the animal kingdom extends far beyond color and size.

Through our journey, we’ve not only celebrated their unique appearances but also gained insights into their habitats, behaviors, and intriguing lives. These birds are living proof that individuality is a precious and essential aspect of our natural world.

List of birds with black mohawks

  1. Steller’s Jay
  2. Northern Lapwing
  3.  Phainopepla
  4. Great Curassow
  5. Palm Cockatoo
  6. Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
  7. bamboo antshrike
  8. Bare-faced Curassow
  9. Bare-necked Umbrellabird
  10.  Amazonian Umbrellabird
  11. Striated Heron
  12. Great Blue Turaco
  13. Apo Myna
  14. Black Baza
  15. Red-whiskered Bulbul
  16. Rockhopper Penguin
  17. Himalayan Monal
  18. Crested Caracara
  19. Great Crested Grebe.
  20. Harpy Eagle
  21. Crested Barbet
  22. Crested Auklet
  23. Curl-crested aracari
I'm Nauman Afridi, the bird enthusiast behind Birdsology.com. My lifelong passion for birds has led me to create a space where fellow bird lovers can find valuable insights and tips on caring for our feathered friends.Professionally, I'm a brand strategist and digital marketing consultant, bringing a unique perspective to the world of bird care. Whether you're a novice or an experienced bird owner, Birdsology.com is designed to be a welcoming community for all.Feel free to explore, and reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about birds.
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