Florida is a popular travel destination for birds because of its diverse geography and favorable tropical temperature. The region is home to some of the most alluring blackbirds ever found. For this reason, a large number of birders go to Florida each year to see these magnificent animals.
You’ve undoubtedly seen an all-black bird, whether it was sitting outside your garden or near a lake. This post lists every kind of black bird you may see in Florida, in case you were unable to recognize which one it was the previous time!
Without further ado, let’s get right to the most often-seen blackbird species you may look forward to this year!
List of Blackbirds in Florida
Many of these birds live in Florida all year round, and some only visit during the summer breeding season.
Other species make Florida their winter home.
Let’s now dig into the specifics and examine each of these blackbird species in more depth.
1. Boat-tailed Grackle
- Scientific name: Licmetis
- Lifespan: up to 50
- Size: 36 cm and 39 cm
- Native to: Western Australia
The Boat-tailed Grackle, which is larger than the Common Grackle, may be recognized by its long tail, which has an end that resembles a spatula.
Like other grackles, the tail of the grackle is often folded into a keel shape with the tail borders held higher than the center.
The head and back of adult male Boat-tailed Grackles have the most metallic shine, and they are completely glossy black in color.
This bird spends the whole year in Florida and is most often seen in marshy areas and city parks.
2. Common Grackle
- Scientific name: Quiscalus
- Lifespan: 17 years
- Size: 11-inch
- Native to: North and South America
A Common grackle seems to be totally black from a distance, making it simple to mistake it for a crow, which is likewise fully black.
The Common Grackle, however, differs from a crow in that it has a pointed, cone-shaped beak, brilliant yellow eyes, and a long, wedge-shaped tail.
It resides in open areas like meadows, parks, and fields in Florida, as well as in suburban and residential areas.
The black feathers on the male Common Grackles’ heads, breasts, necks, and other body parts exhibit a shimmering purple coloring.
The females build substantial nests during the nesting season when they will deposit a clutch of approximately five eggs.
The Common Grackle is a migratory summer visitor to the northern sections of its range, but it spends the whole year in Florida.
It belongs to the New World family of blackbirds, which includes some of the most widespread birds in North America. Many members of this family like congregating in huge flocks and making a lot of noise.
Florida farmers may encounter difficulties as a result of the large flocks of Common Grackles that gather on fields to roost and feast on grains and crops.
The Common Grackle can survive in a variety of habitats due to its adaptability as a species.
3. Anhinga (large blackbirds in Florida)
- 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 uses to grab fish underwater.
It is typical to only see the head and neck poking above the water while it is submerged.
Female Anhingas have a dark brown head and neck in addition to their black body plumage, whereas adult male Anhingas are virtually totally black.
It spends the whole year living in Florida’s wetlands and freshwater ponds.
4. Rusty Blackbird
- Scientific name: Euphagus carolinus
- Lifespan: 8 years
- Size: 8.3-9.8 in
- Native to: Canada and the United States
Compared to some of its family relatives, the Rusty Blackbird poses a far less threat to agricultural operations.
This is because it reproduces in distant locations that are situated in swampy, uncultivated areas.
Females and young Rusty Blackbirds are brownish-grey with some black feathers, whereas adult males are entirely black.
The male’s plumage changes to a dull, rusty brown hue throughout the fall months.
Florida is the best state to see this bird during its autumn migration. This is due to the fact that it migrates south from its primary breeding grounds in Canada around this season, passing through Florida in vast flocks.
Some of these birds spend the whole winter in Florida and may be seen there from September through late April, while many of them travel through Florida on their autumn and spring migrations.
Swamps, marshes, and the margins of lakes and rivers are these birds’ favored habitats.
Sadly, this species’ population has seen a sharp drop, and it is now included on the IUCN’s red list.
5. Smooth-billed Ani (blackbirds in Florida)
- Scientific name: Crotophaga ani
- Lifespan: n/a
- Size: 14 in
- Native to: Southern Florida, the Caribbean, parts of Central America, south to western Ecuador, Brazil, northern Argentina and southern Chile
The Smooth-billed Ani is a rare bird that inhabits open grasslands and urban areas. It is totally black with hints of greenish blue on its back.
The Smooth-billed Ani’s big beak, which has a keel-shaped projection on the top, is one of its most distinctive features.
In the state of Florida, it breeds all year long and mostly eats fruits and small animals for food.
. White-crowned Pigeon (blackbirds in Florida)
- Scientific name: Patagioenas leucocephala
- Lifespan: about 14 years
- Size: 14 inches
- Native to: the Caribbean
This pigeon is an uncommon breeding bird in southern Florida and is most often seen in the Caribbean.
Except for a dazzling white crown that continues down to the level of the dark eye in mature birds, the White-crowned Pigeon is nearly totally blackish-grey in color.
It has iridescent black feather stripes on its neck, like many other pigeon and dove species. It is a reclusive bird that inhabits coastal woods and mangrove areas.
7. Common Starling
- 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 Common Starling commonly referred to as the European Starling, is a widespread and flourishing bird in Florida. The uniform black color of adult Common Starlings has a glossy finish.
Common Starlings have bright dots on their black winter coats, which is a fantastic way to recognize them.
Although it originated in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, this black species was transported to North America and many other regions of the globe, where it has quickly established itself as a successful breeding species.
Although their natural habitat is wide land with few trees, common starlings are also among the most successful urban birds and are particularly prevalent in parks and gardens.
While Common Starlings typically nest in tree holes in the wild, they have also been seen to do so in urban areas, including within buildings and nest boxes.
Unfortunately, starling competitors can force native birds away from their breeding locations.
Outside of the breeding season, Common Starlings gather in large groups, much like grackles and other blackbirds.
These flocks, which may number in the millions, are known to engage in breathtaking aerial gymnastics.
8. Brewer’s Blackbird
- Scientific name: Euphagus cyanocephalus
- Lifespan: 10 years
- Size: 3.74–4.04 in
- Native to: Central and western North America
The Brewer’s Blackbird tends to prefer human-made habitats above those that are naturally occurring in a major percentage of its range.
However, it favors more rural regions in locations where this bird competes with the Common Grackle.
Brewer’s Blackbirds like gathering in large flocks in the fall and feeding on leftover grains that are found on farms after the harvest, much like other species in their family.
This bird has long legs and a long, black tail, and it is roughly the size of a robin. Birds’ tails seem to be widened and rounded while they are sitting on the ground or perched on a limb.
The black feathers on the adult males’ heads have a purple shine, while the remainder of their bodies has a greenish tint that gradually fades into total blackness.
In contrast, the females and young of this species are a more uniform shade of brown, with greyish-black wings and tails.
This bird may be found in more urban settings like parks and lawns as well as open habitats like grasslands and meadows.
The Brewer’s Blackbird is one of just a few blackbird species found in Florida, and it is often only seen as a rare migratory between the spring and autumn.
9. Brown-headed Cowbird
- Scientific name: Molothrus ater
- Lifespan: 12 years
- Size: 6.3–8.7 in
- Native to: North America
Cowbirds are likewise members of the blackbird family, but they have one important distinction: they are parasitic on the young.
The sole brood parasite in Florida is the Brown-headed Cowbird. A bird that doesn’t make its own nest but instead deposits its eggs in other birds’ nests is known as a brood parasite.
Numerous different bird species’ nests have been documented to be used by Brown-headed Cowbirds to deposit their eggs.
Only a small percentage of the host birds that Cowbirds prey on recognize the parasite eggs as foreign and discard them. The majority of hosts nurture the nestlings as if they were their own by incubating the Cowbird eggs.
You may be certain that a warbler or other tiny bird in Florida is rearing a cowbird if you witness it feeding a young bird that is twice its size.
a masculine adult Brown-headed Cowbirds have an iridescent black body and a chocolate-brown head. Contrarily, females are drab gray-brown with black undertones.
Cowbirds earned their name because they like tagging around with cattle and buffalo to eat insects and other tiny creatures that the huge animals disrupt.
Although it tends to roam about a lot in the months between mating seasons in search of food, this bird is always seen in Florida.
Brown-headed Cowbirds frequently gather in groups with other blackbird and starling species to search for food on the ground.
10. Orchard Oriole
- Scientific name: Icterus spurius
- Lifespan: 9 years
- Size: 5.9-7.1 in
- Native to: Caribbean coast of Mexico
Due to its predilection for orchards and open forests, this Oriole earned its name. It comes to Florida during the summer months and is most often seen in the south of the state.
Males have a dark orange hue with a black head, neck, upper back, wings, and tail, in contrast to the females, who are predominantly bland yellow with black wing tips.
Over the course of their first two years, young guys progressively start to look more and more like females in terms of hue.
The Orchard Oriole eats insects in the early summer, but when the fruit ripens, it switches to eating wild fruits.
Parent Orioles often bring their young to feeding stations once they have fledged, particularly if you have a nectar feeder.
Since they are less frequent at their feeders at the height of the summer, some people are led to think that the Orioles have moved on.
The birds, however, are still in the area and are only concerned with finding insects to bring back to their nestlings.
The Orchard Oriole is one of the springtime birds that arrive extremely late and one of the fall-time species that depart quite early.
11. American Coot
- Scientific name: Fulica americana
- Lifespan: 9 years
- Size: 15 inches
- Native to: United States from California to Florida
On open water, American Coots are often seen gathering in large flocks (especially during migration).
Coots have red eyes, a white beak, and a forehead. Their colors vary from dark grey to black.
Despite being water birds, American Coots have wide, lobed toes rather than the webbed feet of ducks.
Coots are good divers and can hunt for food on the bottom of small lakes and ponds in addition to being able to swim above the water.
Coots are a favorite prey item for Bald Eagles, and they will attempt to exhaust one by continuously pushing it to dive until it becomes too fatigued and gives up.
American Coots may be found in a range of aquatic settings, such as lake margins, marshes, reservoirs, and ponds in city parks.
A floating platform that is fastened to the nearby vegetation serves as its nest.
Only during its spring and autumn migrations can one see this bird in southern Florida; it breeds in northern Florida.
12. American Crow
- Scientific name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
- Lifespan: 7 – 8 years
- Size: 17.5 inches
- Native to: Nearctic region all over North America
One of the most distinctive blackbirds in Florida is this American Crow
The beaks, legs, and eyes of American crows, which are big birds with all-black feathers, are also black. Since both adults and young birds are all black, it might be difficult to tell them apart.
One of the world’s smartest birds is this one. It also happens to be one of the friendliest, and it enjoys pestering other birds to pass the time.
American crows like eating roadkill in Florida, much like vultures and other raptors, although they are seldom struck by vehicles.
In trees, the American Crow constructs a large stick nest that it often returns to. Many other species, including raptors and owls, build their nests in abandoned crow nests.
Crow family groups separate during the day to go foraging, but they sleep together at night.
It creates enormous flocks outside of the mating season, sometimes numbering up to thousands of birds.
American crows are widespread in Florida and may be seen in open woods, farms, parks, golf courses, and other public spaces.
13. Snail Kite (large black birds in Florida)
- Scientific name: Rostrhamus sociabilis
- Lifespan: 14 years
- Size: 14-16 inches
- Native to: Southern Mexico to northern Argentina
The Snail Kite specialised in consuming a specific kind of freshwater marsh snail.
It grabs a snail from the aquatic plants in a shallow marsh and pulls the flesh from the shell with its slender, hooked bill.
With the exception of the tail, which is white at the front end and black at the rear border, male Snail Kites are a dark shade of greyish black.
The Snail Kite is a species of tropical kite that exclusively breeds in Florida and not in any other US state. In the Everglades, it may be found most often.
14. Red-winged Blackbird
- Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
- Lifespan: 2-3 years
- Size: 9 inches
- Native to: most of North America and much of Central America.
A real blackbird species that is native to North America is the Red-winged blackbird. The adult female is generally dark brown in color, while the adult male has black plumage with noticeable red and yellow shoulder patches.
These birds are often seen adjacent to wetlands and freshwater marshes, where they construct their nests in close proximity to the ground among thick vegetation. In Florida’s marshes and marshy regions, the Red-winged blackbird is a frequent sight.
These birds spread seeds from the plants they consume and assist in regulating bug populations.
Additionally, during the nesting season, bird observers may hear their peculiar songs across the state. The number of Red-winged blackbirds has decreased recently as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation, despite the fact that they are not officially listed as vulnerable or endangered. Therefore, protecting these ecosystems is crucial if these birds are to continue thriving in Florida.
15. Bobolink (blackbirds in Florida)
- Scientific name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus
- Lifespan: 8 years
- Size: 6.3–7.1 in
- Native to: Southern Canada and the United States
A beautiful black and white bird, known as the bobolink is becoming harder to find in Florida. The distinctive songs of these birds, which include a range of whistles, clicks, and notes, are well recognized.
Males are mostly black with white shoulders and lower backs, a yellow patch at their napes, and other markings. The back and flank of females are light brown with black stripes. They also have darker tails and wings.
Male Bobolinks often aggressively defend their territory while singing from perches high in trees to lure females. Bobolinks are most often seen in Florida’s northern and central regions.
Since they migrate, the spring and autumn seasons are the greatest times to watch them. Some Bobolinks do, however, spend the whole year in Florida. If you’re fortunate enough to view one of these birds, you’ll be treated to an astonishing sight.
16. Bronzed Cowbird
- Scientific name: Molothrus aeneus
- Lifespan: 10-15 years
- Size: 7 inches
- Native to: United States
The bronzed cowbird is a little songbird that may be found in both North and South America. It used to go by the moniker “cowbird” because it fed on insects that the herds of cattle kicked up while they grazed.
They have long legs, a small, conical beak, red eyes, and black plumage with azure wings and tails. Females have a tan color. Furthermore, Bronzed cowbirds eat mostly grass and forb seeds in addition to some insects and other arthropods. Additionally, they consume grains including milo, oats, maize, and rice.
The habitat of the bronzed cowbird is open terrain, including pastures, native coastal prairie (Texas), mesquite forests, shrublands, golf courses, grasslands, marshes, and agricultural land. Bronzed cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds’ nests while having no nest of their own.
17. Yellow-headed Blackbird
- Scientific name: Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
- Lifespan: 11 years
- Size: 8 to 10 inches
- Native to: United States and Canada
The yellow-headed blackbird is another beautiful bird on our list of blackbirds in Florida. It is a large songbird found in North and Central America that is mostly black in color. It has a distinguishing white patch on its wings, a head and neck that are yellow, and black eyes. The head and throat of the female have light yellow or buffy striping and brownish-colored plumage.
They mostly eat insects and seeds for food. Beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other insects make up the majority of their food throughout the summer. However, they will also consume ants, wasps, spiders, and snails.
Yellow-headed blackbirds usually construct their nests above the water line in cattails or other tall marsh plants. The nest is shaped like a cup and is lined with more luxurious materials. The eggs are laid by the female and are incubated for 12–13 days before they hatch. After hatching, both parents feed the young. After 9–12 days, the chicks fledge.
18. Double-Crested Cormorants (big blackbirds in Florida)
- Scientific name: Phalacrocorax auritus
- Lifespan: up to 20 years
- Size: 30 inches
- Native to: North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico
The Double-crested cormorant is the most widely spread in North America and the only one that is often likely to be spotted inland. It is the largest bird in our list of blackbirds in Florida
These birds mostly eat fish and other small aquatic creatures mostly by diving from the surface and swimming underwater while using their feet as propulsion (may sometimes use wings as well). They may forage in muddy or clear water, more often at mid- to upper levels of water than at the bottom.
They lay 3 to 4 eggs which are bluish-white in color. Both sexes incubate for 25–33 days. The young are fed by both parents and may leave ground nests after three to four weeks and explore the colony, but they eventually come back to the nest to eat. Usually, the young make their first flight at about 5–6 weeks and becomes independent at 9–10 weeks.
Their diet varies with the season and location and comprises a highly diverse range of fish, as well as frogs, salamanders, crabs, shrimp, crayfish; sometimes snakes, mollusks, and plant debris.
Usually, the first breeding occurs at the age of 3 years. On the water, males perform displays for females by diving, splashing with their wings, and bringing up weeds. The male shows at the nest location by squatting and calling as his wings vibrate.
Final Thoughts on blackbirds in Florida
This concludes our list of blackbirds in Florida. Whether you are an experienced birder or a novice, you must include a trip to this sunny state on your birding itinerary!
All of this was about the blackbird species that are most often seen in Florida. Now that you are prepared, we hope you will discover some of Florida’s most intriguing black birds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What blackbirds are most prevalent in Florida?
Common Grackles are the blackbirds that are the most prevalent blackbirds in Florida. They often visit bird feeders and reproduce regularly across Florida.
These black passerines create large flocks that may number in the thousands outside of the mating season and eat the remaining grains on harvested fields.
Do Ravens live in Florida?
The breeding range of the Common Raven is only located in the western United States, hence there are no wild ravens in Florida (with the closest breeding population found in western Texas).
In Florida, it’s sometimes possible to see a stray raven or an emancipated bird park resident.
But if you see a huge bird that resembles a raven, it’s possible that you’re looking at an American Crow, which is likewise black and resembles a Common Raven quite a bit (albeit smaller).
What are the noisy blackbirds in Florida?
Boat-tailed Grackles build their nests in noisy colonies, and the males make a show of it by flapping their wings a lot and making loud, repetitive cries. Very widespread within its area; in recent years, it has expanded its breeding range northward along the Atlantic Coast. Inland sections of Florida as well as marshes, beaches, and coastal regions.