18 Black Birds With White Spots [Images + IDs]

Black Birds With White Spots

Have you recently caught sight of a black bird with white spots? If so, you may be curious to know the species of this captivating bird. In this article, we aim to assist you in identifying the bird you spotted by providing an overview of the most commonly observed black birds with white spots. Along with identification tips, we will delve into key facts about each species, offering a comprehensive guide to these remarkable birds.

Whether you encountered a single bird or a flock, our guide will equip you with the knowledge to discern the species and gain insight into their intriguing characteristics.

Let us embark on this ornithological journey together, as we explore the distinct features and fascinating details of these black birds with white spots. By the end, you’ll be well-equipped to identify and appreciate these captivating birds

List of 18 Black Birds With White Spots

  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Black-and-white Warbler
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
  • Common Starling (European Starling)
  • Lark Bunting
  • Tricolored Blackbird
  • Pacific Loon
  • Anhinga
  • California Quail
  • Helmeted Guineafowl
  • Asian Koel
  • Red-And-Yellow Barbet
  • Giant Kingfisher
  • Plymouth Rock Chicken
  • Asian Glossy Starling
  • Pied Kingfisher

Downy Woodpecker

black bird with white stripes on wings and tail

  • Scientific name: Picoides pubescens
  • Lifespan: about 3 to 5 years
  • Wingspan: between 10 and 12 inches
  • Native to: North America

Females are fully black and white, as opposed to males who have a little red patch on their necks.

When the wings are folded, the black and white stripes resemble spots on these birds’ wings.

Except for dry areas in southern states, Downy Woodpeckers are not migratory and may be found all year round in North America.

It’s tiny size and short beak set it distinct from the related Hairy Woodpecker.

Despite not migrating, Downy Woodpeckers like moving about in search of regions with an abundance of food outside of the breeding season.

They thrive in deciduous or mixed forests, where they eat insects and insect larvae that live under the tree bark. They also consume berries and seeds in the winter.

What is the difference between a downy and a hairy woodpecker? Downey woodpeckers are smaller than Hairy woodpeckers. They also have a smaller bill as compared to Woodpeckers.

Black-and-white Warbler (small black bird with white spots)

black bird with white stripes on wings and tail

  • Scientific name: Mniotilta varia
  • Lifespan: about 11 years
  • Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 in
  • Native to: As far north as northern Canada and winter as far south as northern South America

The Black-and-white Warbler has two white wing stripes on its black wings, as well as black upperparts with white stripes.

The white stripes seem more like white streaks or specks when the wings are folded.

Female Black-and-White Warblers resemble males almost identically, unlike many other warbler species, with the exception that they lack the black patch that would have increased the white area on their heads.

The Black and White Warbler is found in eastern North America, from Canada in the north to Texas in the south. Its breeding season runs from May to August.

A minor portion of this bird’s population winters in Florida and the Gulf Coast as a seasonal migrant who spends the winter in Central America.

It inhabits a variety of woodland settings and eats tiny insects and other invertebrates.

Are Black and White Warblers friendly? They are not considered friendly birds and are quite fierce in nature. they will attack other birds that try to enter their territory.

Common Starling black bird with white spots

blackbirds in Florida

  • Scientific Sturnus vulgaris
  • Lifespan: 2 – 3 years
  • Size: 8-inch
  • Native to: Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific.

The European Starling is a highly adaptable and intelligent bird that has been introduced to various parts of the world. With its glossy black plumage speckled with iridescent purple and green, it stands out in both urban and rural environments. Its legs are a dark pinkish-gray color, blending in with its overall dark coloration. These legs are strong and enable the European Starling to walk, hop, and probe the ground for food. Known for its vocal mimicry skills, the European Starling can imitate a wide range of sounds, including other bird songs and human-made noises. Its leg color may not be as vibrant as other species, but it serves as a functional and unobtrusive part of its anatomy, allowing this adaptable bird to thrive in various habitats.

4. Spotted Towhee

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  • Scientific name: Pipilo maculatus
  • Lifespan: Up to 9 years
  • Size: Approximately 18-21 cm (7-8 inches)
  • Native to: Western North America

The Spotted Towhee is a bird species native to North America. It is a medium-sized bird with a stocky build. Its appearance shows a black head, back, and tail, contrasting with a white belly. The wings and sides are covered with white spots, which give the bird its name. Males have red eyes and a noticeable red eye ring, while females have brown eyes.

Adult Spotted Towhees usually measure around 7-8 inches (18-20 centimeters) in length. They are found in different environments, including shrubby areas, forests, and thickets across their range.

These towhees are known for their unique call, a sharp “chewink” sound. They mainly graze on the ground, scratching through leaf litter to find insects, seeds, and nuts.

During the breeding season, males engage in territory shows, singing from perches to draw females. Nesting happens on or near the ground, where the female builds a cup-shaped nest.

Hairy Woodpecker

Black Birds With White Spots

  • Scientific name: Leuconotopicus villosus
  • Lifespan: about 11 years to 15 years
  • Wingspan: 15-inch
  • Native to:  Southwest from Mexico to Panama

The Hairy Woodpecker resembles the Downy Woodpecker, but it is a considerably bigger bird overall and has a longer, thicker beak.

Both the male and female have black upper parts with white wings that are striped with white feathers (though they look more like spots when the wings are folded).

The red spot on the male’s rear of the head is very tiny compared to the red patches on other woodpecker species.

The Hairy Woodpecker is a popular breeding bird that lives all year round in North America.

Both coniferous and deciduous kinds of wood, as well as parks and other urban areas with trees, are breeding grounds for this woodpecker.

Why is it called a Hairy Woodpecker? The Hairy woodpecker gets its name from the long hair-like white feathers that run down the back of the bird.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Black Birds With White Spots

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  • Scientific name: Sphyrapicus varius
  • Lifespan: Up to 9 years
  • Size: Approximately 19-22 cm (7.5-8.5 inches)
  • Native to: North America

The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker is a woodpecker species native to North America. This unique bird can be recognized by its black and white striped feathers, with a yellow belly and red crown on males. Females have a white neck and a less noticeable red crown, while both genders show white wing spots and straight white lines on their wings.

Measuring about 7-8 inches (18-20 centimeters) in length, the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker uses different wooded areas, including deciduous and mixed woods, as well as trees near water sources throughout its range.

Notably, the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker is known for its eating habits. It makes rows of small holes in tree bark, especially in deciduous trees, to feed on the sap that runs from the holes. Insects drawn to the sap, as well as sweets and berries, also make up part of their food.

During the spring and summer, the female builds a nest hole in a tree, where she lays 4-6 white eggs. Both parents share brooding chores and care for the hatchlings.

Lark Bunting

  • Scientific name: Calamospiza melanocorys
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.0 in
  • Native to: The grasslands and shrubsteppe of North America

Lark male Buntings have a dazzling white wing stripe and are totally black. On the other hand, the juveniles and females have a light brown color with white streaks.

The Lark Bunting is a seasonal migrant to central North America, having a range that reaches as far north as Canada.

It gathers into large flocks in the autumn and moves south all at once.

Prairies and grasslands are the Lark Bunting’s favorite habitat, where it spends the summer foraging for seeds and tiny invertebrates.

Why is the Lark Bunting important to Colorado? Lark Bunting is the official state bird of Colorado. It was assigned this status because of its acrobatics and dance in the air

Tricolored Blackbird

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  • Scientific name: Agelaius tricolor
  • Lifespan: 3-6 years
  • Size: 20-25 centimeters (8-10 inches)
  • Origin: North America

The Tricolored Blackbird is a unique species of blackbird found only in California. It is known for its striking appearance, with males sporting black feathers and a bright red patch on their shoulders, while females have a brownish-gray coloration.

Tricolored Blackbirds inhabit a range of wetland habitats, including marshes and grasslands. They feed on insects, seeds, and other small invertebrates.

During the breeding season, these birds form large colonies, with nests often found in close proximity to each other. Females construct cup-shaped nests made of grasses and other plant fibers. Tricolored Blackbirds are facing population declines due to habitat loss, and conservation efforts are necessary to protect these birds.

Despite their small range, Tricolored Blackbirds are admired by birdwatchers for their beauty and unique behavior in forming large colonies during the breeding season.

Pacific Loon:

Black Birds With White Spots

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  • Scientific name: Gavia pacifica
  • Lifespan: Up to 20 years
  • Size: 58-76 centimeters (23-30 inches)
  • Weight: 1.4-3.2 kilograms (3-7 pounds)
  • Origin: North America (breeding in arctic regions)

The Pacific Loon, also known as the Pacific Diver, is a migratory bird species that breeds in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. During the breeding season, these loons have a striking appearance with their black head and neck, white underparts, and gray back. They are known for their distinctive yodel-like calls, which can be heard across their breeding grounds. Pacific Loons spend their winters along the coastlines of the Pacific Ocean, where they primarily feed on small fish and invertebrates. They are skilled divers, capable of submerging themselves underwater for extended periods in search of prey. Pacific Loons are fascinating birds to observe, and their presence adds to the rich diversity of avian life in coastal ecosystems.

Anhinga (large black birds with white spots)

large black bird with white stripes on wings and tail

  • Scientific name: Anhinga anhinga
  • Lifespan: 12 years old
  • Wingspan: 42.9 in
  • Native to: Florida

The Anhinga resembles a cormorant in appearance, but it has a neck that resembles a snake, which it utilises to grab fish underwater. It’s typical to only see the head and neck of this black bird poking above the water while it’s submerged. Female Anhingas have a dark grey body with a brown head and neck, but adult male Anhingas are mostly black in color.

When the wings are folded, the white stripes on both sexes’ wings appear like white speckles. Its most suitable habitat is the swamps and freshwater ponds of the southern region of North America

Are Anhinga herbivores? No, they are adept fish hunters who also capture a variety of other small animals, although their primary prey is fish.

California Quail

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  • Scientific name: Callipepla californica
  • Lifespan: Up to 8 years
  • Size: Approximately 23-28 cm (9-11 inches)
  • Native to: Western North America

The California quail, a small ground-dwelling bird native to the western United States, is known for its unique look and behavior. Males have black faces, gray-blue bodies, and a unique hanging belly feather. They form social groups and graze on the ground for seeds, fruits, insects, and small animals. These outdoor birds make a unique three-syllable call, “chi-ca-go.”

During the breeding season, males engage in wooing shows by raising their crests and singing to draw females. Nesting happens on the ground, where the female builds a small nest hidden under plants or grasses. The clutch consists of 10-16 cream-colored eggs with brown speckles, which are kept by both parents for around three weeks. The chicks are precocial, able to walk and feed themselves soon after hatching.

Helmeted Guineafowl

Black Birds With White Spots

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  • Scientific name: Numida meleagris
  • Lifespan: Up to 20 years
  • Size: Approximately 53-58 cm (21-23 inches)
  • Native to: Sub-Saharan Africa

The Helmeted Guineafowl has a bald, bumpy head with a helmet-like casque. Their bodies are covered in dark gray or black feathers with white dots, giving them a spotted look. With a small crest on the head and a noticeable beak, they stand out.

Adult Helmeted Guineafowl measure about 20-26 inches (50-65 centimeters) in length and weigh around 2-3 pounds (0.9-1.4 kilos).

These social birds utilize different African environments, including savannas, fields, and forest edges. They are flexible and can be found in human-altered areas like farmlands and cities.

Helmeted Guineafowl are ground-dwelling and feed on seeds, fruits, insects, and small animals. They are known for their loud, laughing calls that allow conversation within their groups.

Breeding usually happens during the wet season. The female builds a nest on the ground, usually hidden under plants. Clutches consist of 6-12 cream-colored eggs, and the chicks are precocial, capable of independent moving soon after hatching.

Asian koel (Female)

brown birds with white spots

  • Scientific name: Eudynamys scolopaceus
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Size: 15 inches
  • Native to: tropical southern Asia from Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to southern China and the Greater Sundas

The Asian koel is a sizable member of the cuckoo family and, like many of its related cuckoo relatives, is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of hosts like crows and other birds that then take care of its young.

The male Asian koel has grey legs and feet, a red eye, and a glossy brownish-black body with a light greenish-grey beak. The female has rufous stripes on her head and a brownish crown. With white and buff markings, the back, rump, and wing coverts are dark brown. Even though they are strongly striped, their underparts are white. Young birds have a black beak and top plumage that is more similar to that of a male bird.

The Asian koel is an omnivore and eats a range of insects, caterpillars, eggs, and tiny vertebrates. Fruit is the major food for adults. On occasion, they may protect the fruit trees they forage in and drive off other frugivores. They have been reported to have a significant role in the spread of the Indian sandalwood tree. Small-seeded fruits are eaten by koel and are more likely to be deposited further away from the parent tree than large-seeded fruits, which are sometimes immediately regurgitated close to the parent tree. They can consume huge fruits, including the hard fruit of palm trees like Arenga and Livistona, thanks to their wide mouths. It has been reported that they sometimes steal little bird eggs.

Red-And-Yellow Barbet

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  • Scientific name: Trachyphonus erythrocephalus
  • Lifespan: Up to 12 years
  • Size: Approximately 18-20 cm (7-8 inches)
  • Native to: Sub-Saharan Africa

The Red-and-Yellow Barbet is a bright bird species found in certain parts of Africa. This barbet species boasts a colorful appearance, with a redhead, black and white face marks, a yellow throat, and a black body adorned with yellow and red patches on the wings and belly. The head is thick and strong.

Adult Red-and-Yellow Barbets measure around 7-8 inches (18-20 centimeters) in length. They populate different environments such as woods, savannas, and forest edges in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

These barbets are often seen perched on tree branches, making a unique call made of a fast series of notes. They mainly feed on fruits, nuts, flies, and small animals.

During the breeding season, the female lays 2-4 eggs in a nest hole made in a tree. Both parents take turns holding the eggs and caring for the chicks.

While the Red-and-Yellow Barbet is not currently considered globally endangered, ongoing destruction and ecosystem loss pose challenges to their numbers. These bright birds contribute to the various avian wildlife of Africa, adding beauty and liveliness to their environments.

Giant Kingfisher

Black Birds With White Spots

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  • Scientific name: Megaceryle maxima
  • Lifespan: Up to 10 years
  • Size: Approximately 42-48 cm (17-19 inches)
  • Native to: Sub-Saharan Africa

The Giant Kingfisher is a powerful bird found in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of the Indian subcontinent. It is a big species, reaching around 16-18 inches (40-45 centimeters) in length. With blue-gray feathers on its back and wings, a white belly and chest, and a bushy crest on its head, it holds a unique look.

Giant Kingfishers frequent watery environments such as rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds with nearby thick greenery. They are skilled fishermen, perching near the water to carefully watch and then dive quickly to catch fish, crabs, frogs, and rarely small snakes.

During the dry season, Giant Kingfishers dig nest tunnels in riverbanks. The female lays a clutch of 3-5 white eggs, which are raised and cared for by both parents.

Plymouth Rock Chicken

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  • Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
  • Lifespan: Up to 8 years
  • Size: Approximately 28-33 cm (11-13 inches)
  • Native to: Domesticated breed originating from the United States

The Plymouth Rock Chicken, also known as the Barred Rock Chicken, is a popular breed of domesticated poultry originating from the United States. Known for its classic and recognizable appearance, the Plymouth Rock Chicken is a versatile and hardy bird.

These chickens have medium-sized, well-rounded bodies and exhibit distinctive black and white barred plumage. The feathers are glossy and lay close to their bodies, creating an attractive pattern. The breed comes in two varieties: the Barred Rock, with black and white bars, and the White Rock, with solid white plumage.

Plymouth Rock Chickens are prized for their dual-purpose qualities. They are not only valued for their high-quality meat but also for their ability to lay a good number of brown eggs. They are known for their friendly and docile temperament, making them suitable for backyard flocks and small-scale farming.

These chickens are adaptable to various climates and are well-suited for free-range or confined settings. They are known to be relatively easy to care for, requiring standard poultry husbandry practices.

Asian Glossy Starling juvenile

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  • Scientific name: Aplonis panayensis
  • Lifespan: Up to 10 years
  • Size: Approximately 20-24 cm (8-9.5 inches)
  • Native to: Southeast Asia, including countries like Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia

The Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) juvenile is a captivating bird found across various parts of Asia. As young birds, they possess a distinct appearance that differs from the adult plumage.

Juvenile Asian Glossy Starlings have a predominantly dark brown plumage with streaks of lighter shades. Their feathers lack the glossy sheen and iridescence seen in adult birds. Over time, their plumage gradually transforms into the glossy and vibrant colors characteristic of the adult stage.

Like adult starlings, juveniles are social and often seen in flocks. They engage in playful behaviors, practicing their flight skills and foraging techniques under the guidance of more experienced adults. They feed on a diverse diet that includes fruits, insects, and nectar.

As they grow, their vocalizations evolve, starting with simple calls and gradually developing a more complex repertoire of songs. Juvenile Asian Glossy Starlings undergo a period of learning and development as they prepare to become independent adults.

The transformation from juvenile to adult plumage is a fascinating process to observe, highlighting the beauty and diversity found within the life stages of the Asian Glossy Starling.

Pied Kingfisher

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  • Scientific name: Ceryle rudis
  • Lifespan: Up to 7 years
  • Size: Approximately 22-27 cm (8.5-10.5 inches)
  • Native to: Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Asia, and the Middle East

The Pied Kingfisher is an eye-catching bird that may be found all over the globe, including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The Pied Kingfisher is a wonderful sight to see, with its striking black and white plumage and amazing fishing abilities.

This medium-sized kingfisher has a striking black-and-white color pattern. The male is distinguished by a double black band across its breast, whilst the female has a single black band. Both sexes have a crest on their forehead and a long, pointed beak that is ideal for capturing fish.

Pied Kingfishers are adept hunters recognized for their incredible aerial dives into bodies of water to capture fish. They have exceptional vision and can hover above the water before diving into the depths with remarkable accuracy to get their food.

These kingfishers are most often found around freshwater environments including rivers, lakes, and coastal locations. Nests are built in burrows excavated into sandy or earthen banks.

Final Thoughts Black Birds With White Spots

We really hope that this blog post has given you useful information on recognizing black birds with white spots. With this information, you’ll be better prepared to identify these fascinating bird species in the field in the future.

By being acquainted with the various plumage patterns and characteristics of these birds, you will be able to accurately identify the species you see, boosting your entire birding experience.

Remember that the world of birds is enormous and ever-changing, so continue to explore, observe, and learn. Enjoy your birdwatching!

Further Readings

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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