Blue is the color that is always associated with royalty, art, and business. it goes well in combination with black and gives an intense look overall. That’s why if someone sees a black bird with a blue head, it definitely catches their attention. If you are also one of those people who has come across blackbirds with blue heads and were fascinated by them and wanted to know more about these species, you are at the right place. There are several small and large blackbirds including Shiny Cowbird, Purple Sunbird, Tree Swallow, etc. in this blog post we will explore these birds in detail.
List of blackbirds with blue heads
- Blue-necked tanager
- Shiny Cowbird
- Purple Sunbird
- Purple Martin
- Satin Bowerbird
- Common Grackle
- Blue-black Grosbeak
- Asian Fairy-bluebird
- Black Oropendola
- Superb Fairywren
- Blue-black Grassquit
- Shining Honeycreeper
- Indigo Bunting
- Blue-black Kingfisher
- Brown Sicklebill
- Southern Cassowary
- Common starlings
- Black-throated Blue Warbler
- Black Grouse
1. Blue-necked tanager
- Scientific name: Stilpnia cyanicollis
- Lifespan: n/a
- Size: 4-inch
- Native to: South America from Colombia to Bolivia
Blue-necked tanager is small and often seen in flight in the subtropical or tropical lowland forests of South America. Its striking blue head, black back, and turquoise rump make it simple to identify (back of the lower back). Blue, violet, and black make up the underparts.
Although blue-necked tanager mostly eats fruits, berries, and flower buds, they will sometimes grab insects as they are flying.
The female will construct a well-hidden moss nest after breeding. The female normally lay 2 eggs and their eggs are white with brown dots.
2. Shiny Cowbird (black bird with shiny blue head)
- Scientific name: Molothrus bonariensis
- Lifespan: n/a
- Size: 7-inch
- Native to: South America
Female shiny cowbirds closely resemble brown-headed cowbirds; they are sleek-looking medium-sized birds. They may be found with animals, in semiopen and open grassy regions, and are widespread throughout the Caribbean and South America. Shiny cowbirds may be also found in Southern Florida.
Shiny Cowbird males have greenish-blue wings and tails, glossy violet blue-black plumage, and a sharp blackish beak.
These birds are brood parasites, meaning they will deposit their eggs and depend on the nest of another bird to raise their babies.
Shiny cowbird males engage in actions such as the “head-forwards threat,” “bill-tilt display,” physical breast-to-breast contacts, and chasings to express their aggression against other birds and members of their own species.
They consume both seeds and insects like omnivores.
3. Purple Sunbird (small black bird with blue head)
- Scientific name: Cinnyris asiaticus
- Lifespan: 22 years
- Size: 4 inches
- Native to: South and Southeast Asia
The purple sunbird is a little nectar-eating bird that lives in South and Southeast Asia. Males and females have varied appearances, displaying sexual dimorphism.
When mating, the male purple sunbird’s plumage may be entirely black (in poor light), dark metallic blue, or purplish-black (in better light). The head is mostly metallic purple and blue in color.
Females have an olive upper surface, a yellowish underside, and a slender yellow supercilium that resembles an eyebrow above the eye.
These lovely birds consume nectar, insects, spiders, fruit, berry meat, and nectar. They are omnivores. Fast-flying purple sunbirds may sip nectar by hovering like hummingbirds.
4. Purple Martin
- Scientific name: Progne subis
- Lifespan: about 5 to 7 years
- Size: 7-inch
- Native to: eastern North America
Purple Martin is the biggest swallow in North America. It has long, tapering wings, a short, forked tail, and a beak that is somewhat hooked.
Male adults have a dark overall color with a close-up purplish-blue sheen. Their head color may seem to be royal blue, navy blue, deep purple, or even green depending on the light and position.
The head and back of females glisten and are grayer overall.
Straw, twigs, and pine needles are commonly used by purple martins to construct their nests. They are exceptionally gregarious and communal birds.
Their food consists mainly of insects. They eat termites, fire ants, flies, butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, crickets, moths, wasps, bees, cicadas, and spiders
They are exceptionally great flyers and can fly at rates of more than 40 mph
5. Satin Bowerbird
- Scientific name: Ptilonorhynchus violaceus
- Lifespan: 20 to 30 years
- Size: 12-inch
- Native to: eastern Australia
Eastern Australia is home to the medium-sized satin bowerbird. Adult males have eyes that are vivid violet and a small, light beak that is totally black, glossy, and blue-purple in hue.
Due to their use of tools and mixing of “paint” to cover the walls of their bower, satin bowerbirds are regarded by many ornithologists as among the most technologically sophisticated birds.
These constructions are built by males using eye-catching stuff. The females will then visit numerous of these nearby bowers to inspect the architecture and potential mates before making their choice.
Bower decorating is very competitive, and many males would take decorations from neighboring bowers in order to better their own.
If a female stumbles into a bower she loves, she joins it, but the mating process is still ongoing. Then, while carrying a prized possession in his beak, the male must dance for her. For whatever reason, these birds like blue-colored decorations.
All bowerbirds are frugivores, meaning they mostly consume the fruits of trees and shrubs. They also sometimes eat seeds, insects, and spiders.
6. Common Grackle (black bird with shiny blue head)
- Scientific name: Quiscalus
- Lifespan: 17 years
- Size: 11-inch
- Native to: North and South America
Another common bird in our list of blackbirds with blue heads is the Common Grackle. Its a medium-sized songbird with blue head plumage, the common grackle is the most well-known of the blackbirds in North America.
Its long, keel-shaped tail, dark beak, yellow eyes, and (in males) glossy black plumage with a sheen blue-green head color make it simple to identify.
There are more than 70 million common grackles, and they inhabit wet, open forests, and marshes, as well as cities, parks, and agricultural areas.
Common grackles are omnivores, feeding on insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, and grain,
They’ll allow ants to climb up their bodies to rid them of parasites. Grackles use lemons, walnut juice, and mothballs to attract ants if there aren’t any around. Furthermore, it is forbidden to kill a common grackle in Texas.
7. Blue-black Grosbeak
- Scientific name: Cyanoloxia cyanoides
- Lifespan: 6-7 years
- Size: 5 to 6-inch
- Native to: Middle America and northwestern South America
Songbirds called blue-black grosbeaks may be found in pairs at the borders of tropical lowlands’ wet evergreen woods. They are sexually dimorphic. Females have dark brown feathers with a tinge of crimson.
Males have dark blue wings and plumage, with lighter blue shoulder patches and eyebrows. A paler shade of blue may also be seen on the forehead. Similar to other bluebirds, this bird’s blue color derives from the way light reflects off of its feathers, not from pigmentation.
These omnivorous birds with blue and black feathers consume seeds, fruits, insects, snails, and other tiny invertebrates as food. Sometimes, blue-black grosbeaks may construct their nests using a snakeskin that has been shed.
- Scientific name: Corvus frugilegus
- Lifespan: 15 to 20 years in the wild
- Size: 18-inch
- Native to: Scandinavia and western Europe to eastern Siberia.
A rook is a huge, black-feathered bird that is very clever and sociable, and it has long been seen to be a sign of both good and ill omen.
In direct sunshine, the thick, silky black feathers on the head, neck, and shoulders will have a blue or bluish-purple sheen.
The rook is comparable in size to the crow, however, it prefers to avoid urban areas. Both sexes will construct a nest from of twigs, sticks, dried grass, and dead leaves. They form lifelong relationships. Rooks are omnivores and eat seeds, frogs, tiny lizards, earthworms, and small lizards.
9. Asian Fairy-bluebird
- Scientific name: Irena puella
- Lifespan: 10-12 years
- Size: 10-inch
- Native to: Sri Lanka and the western coast of India
A medium-sized tree-dwelling bird, the Asian fairy-bluebird (also known as the Asian blue-backed fairy bluebird) may be found in woods across tropical southern Asia. This stunning bird has powerful black legs and a beak, as well as vivid red eyes.
While females have a duller turquoise back, males have a dazzling blue back. The head is the same shade of blue as the sky, which may be both vivid and azure at different moments.
Asian fairy-bluebirds nest in the densest, moistest regions of the forest, usually in couples or small groups. They are known to conceal their nest and the young using green moss.
These omnivorous blue-headed birds mostly eat fruits, floral nectar, and a few insects.
10. Black Oropendola
- Scientific name: Psarocolius guatimozinus
- Lifespan: up to 20 years
- Size: 15-inch
- Native to: Colombia and Panama
The black oropendola are big blackbirds with blue heads, belonging to the Icteridae family (New World blackbirds). It may be found in the lowland subtropical and tropical forests of Panama and Colombia.
Its overall color is black, and its back, wings, and head are dark brown and indigo blue. The beak of the black oropendola has a broad blue skin patch at the base and an orange tip. Male and female appearances are quite similar.
Omnivorous black oropendolas consume fruit, small animals, and insects. More than 20 birds may construct their nest in one tree when they nest colonially. The eggs of the black oropendola are light pink.
11. Superb Fairywren
- Scientific name: Malurus cyaneus
- Lifespan: 5 – 6 years
- Size: 5-inch
- Native to: eastern Australia
Superb Fairywren may be spotted sitting high on barren twigs inspecting their territory with their magnificent blue heads. One of the species with the most vibrant colors during the mating season is the splendid fairywren. Their sky-blue-colored crowns became iridescent at that time. They have dark brown legs as well.
The male super fairywrens are said to be “the least loyal birds in the world” because they are sexually promiscuous while being socially monogamous. A significant percentage (about 76%) of the offspring are the product of avian “cheating” and are sired by males from outside the social group.
The common food of fairywrens are grasshoppers, ants, larvae, tiny seeds, and fruits.
12. Blue-black Grassquit
- Scientific name: Volatinia jacarina
- Lifespan: about 12 years
- Size: 04 -inch
- Native to: southern Mexico through Central America, and South America as far as northern Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay, and on Trinidad and Tobago.
The Blue-black Grassquit is a little black bird native to Central and South America. Males have glossy dark blue heads and backs with black tails and wings. In females, the upper parts are brown.
Fields, farms, and other open grassy regions are where you may find these grassquits.
An omnivore, the blue-back grassquit eats both tiny insects and seeds, often from tall grasses growing along roadsides.
They are lifelong partners and monogamous birds. During the mating season, males are known to engage in elaborate leaping rituals, giving origin to the local term “johnny jump-up.”
13. Shining Honeycreeper
- Scientific name: Cyanerpes lucidus
- Lifespan: 5-12 years.
- Size: 4-inch
- Native to: Central America from southern Mexico to Panama and northwest Colombia
A little tanager that resembles a warbler, the dazzling honeycreeper lives in humid tropical evergreen woods. The male is all-black, including the neck, wings, tail, and long, decurved black beak. Purple blue dominates its head, back, and underparts. The female has green underparts, a head that is greenish-blue, and green upper parts. Both birds have vivid yellow legs.
Bright honeycreepers are omnivores that mostly eat insects, nectar, and berries in the canopy.
They are very busy birds, and to keep their relationship strong males and females sing together.
14. Indigo Bunting
- Scientific name: Passerina cyanea
- Lifespan: 10 years
- Size: 5-inch
- Native to: Southern Canada to northern Florida during the breeding season, and from southern Florida to northern South America during the winter.
The blue bunting, commonly referred to as the indigo bunting, is a little seed-eating bird that inhabits deep undergrowth and forest borders. It is a migratory bird that uses the stars to guide it as it travels at night.
In the summer, adult males exhibit vivid blue plumage, with a somewhat deeper blue on their heads. They are brown all year long, exactly like females throughout the winter.
Scientists classify indigo buntings as blackbirds since some of the birds seem blue due to varied light ray angles striking their feathers. They consume berries, seeds, and insects like omnivores.
15. Blue-black Kingfisher
- Scientific name: Todiramphus nigrocyaneus
- Lifespan: n/a
- Size: 9.1 inches
- Native to: New Guinea
The medium-sized Blue-back Kingfisher has a dark blue head (crown), light blue eyebrows, a black face, and a pale blue back that darkens toward the rump and tail.
It may be found in Papua New Guinea and the nearby islands of Salawati, Batanta, and Yapen, and is thought to be rare. The carnivorous blue-back kingfisher eats fish and crabs.
16. Brown Sicklebill
- Scientific name: Epimachus meyeri
- Lifespan: 5 – 8 years
- Size: 35-inch
- Native to: New Guinea
Brown Sicklebill is among the most beautiful blackbirds with blue heads. It has large, long-tail and may be found in New Guinea’s mountainous woods.
Brown sicklebills have brown breasts, black upper parts, and iridescent blue-green feathers on the males. Most females have dark skin.
As omnivores, they mostly eat fruits, arthropods, and insects.
17. Southern Cassowary (large black bird with blue head)
- Scientific name: Casuarius casuarius
- Lifespan: up to 60 years
- Size: 70-inch
- Native to: northeastern Australia and the island of New Guinea, as well as the Indonesian islands of Ceram and Aru
Blackbirds with blue heads come in a variety of sizes, and this one is definitely huge and prehistoric-looking. Southern cassowaries have glossy black feathers, towering, brown casques (helmets) perched on their deep blue heads, and long, hanging red wattles.
Tropical rainforests and sometimes savannah forests in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and northeastern Australia make up the majority of their habitat.
The little wings of southern cassowaries prevent them from flying. They may, however, reach heights of approximately 6 feet and weights 187 pounds.
After the Somali and common ostrich, southern cassowaries are the third heaviest bird in the world.
They are also among the dinosaurs’ closest cousins.
The most lethal bird in the world, according to wildlife experts, cassowaries have murdered humans with their razor-sharp, five-inch long claws.
As omnivores, southern cassowaries mostly consume fruit, berries, fungus, rodents, snails, lizards,
18. Common starling (blackbirds with blue heads)
- 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.
Starlings are one of the magnificent bird species that belong to the Sturnidae family. They are typically native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as certain areas of Northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific. It’s fascinating to observe that while this beautiful bird species first looked to have a black appearance, closer inspection reveals shiny green and purple iridescent feathers. Starlings often consume seeds, berries, and crane fly larvae as well. It is a little passerine bird species that enjoys forming big flocks. Additionally, starling flocking is often seen throughout the winter.
All of these bird species often congregate in flocks to put on breathtaking aerobatic performances. Other starlings are drawn to the roost by murmurations, and their numbers seem to increase with time. In addition, birds fly far distances to participate in and crowd together at densities of up to 500 birds per cubic meter.
19. Black-throated Blue Warbler
- Scientific name: Setophaga caerulescens
- Lifespan: about 8 years to 10 years
- Size: 5-inch
- Native to: the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada
The well-balanced, little Black-throated Blue Warbler has a sharp, pointed beak. They breed in deep hardwood woods of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.
Males have bellies that are white, faces and sides that are black, and an upper body that is a deep midnight blue tint. Black-throated blue warblers do not alter their appearance with the seasons; they are clearly recognizable in autumn and in spring.
When they were originally found, since males and females had such dissimilar appearances, they were thought to be two distinct species.
Black-throated blue warblers are little songbirds that only weigh 0.34 oz.
They eat insects, particularly crane flies, caterpillars, moths, and spiders. They could sometimes add some fruit to their insectivorous diet.
20. Black Grouse
- Scientific name: Lyrurus tetrix
- Lifespan: 5 years
- Size: 17-inch
- Native to: upland areas of Wales, the Pennines, and most of Scotland
Males have a red wattle above their eyes that resembles thick, bushy eyebrows and black plumage. They are also distinguished by their lyre-shaped tail, which looks forked while flying.
Black grouse move to deep woodlands in big flocks and may be seen in groups all throughout Europe.
Final Thoughts on blackbirds with blue heads
This concludes our list of blackbirds with blue heads. Fascinatingly, blue feathers vary from those of every other color. Blue cannot be created from pigments by any existing species of bird. The chemical makeup of blue feathers, which influences how light waves interact with them, is the sole factor in their appearance.
In other words, blue feathers are not genuinely blue; they are merely blue in appearance.
Why is this, then? What is the purpose of a bird’s stunning blue plumage if it doesn’t reveal anything about its nutrition or health? The most common explanation, according to scientists, is that it is beautiful.
Like humans, birds may only find one another beautiful for reasons that go beyond the skin (or feathers). Blackbirds with blue heads are unquestionably stunning birds irrespective of these reasons. We hope that you enjoyed this. If you like blackbirds we are certain that you will also like blackbirds with yellow eyes