Types of Black Birds

Black birds can often be overlooked, especially when compared to the more colorful birds. Lots of people don’t find black birds as interesting, but they are anything but boring and are actually some of the most intelligent and interesting kinds of birds in the whole world.

If you’re interested in learning more about different types of black birds, then you’ve come to the right place! In this post we are going to take a look at some fun and interesting black birds.  

Types of black birds

From ravens and crows all the way to the bobolink, there are so many different types of black birds out there that deserve to be talked about more. Have a little look at some of the black birds below and see which one interests you the most! 

Common Raven (Corvus corax)

Photo by Alan Vernon

The Common Raven is one of the most well-known types of black birds in the world. They are very similar to crows, but they are much larger. These haunting and mysterious birds are incredibly intelligent and cunning, and in some cases, they can even imitate human speech eerily well! 

Ravens can actually be semi-domesticated, but this is only advised if you have a lot of time, outdoor space, and attention you can give them.

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)

Photo by Andrew Weitzel

The bobolink is a type of black bird that is actually black, white, and brown. You can find them all over the US in areas like fields, prairies, and well-irrigated meadows.  

Both males and females look the same for most of the year, but between the months of March and August, the males underbelly and face are completely black.

Black-Billed Magpies (Pica hudsonia)

Photo by Connormah

Black-billed Magpies will appear to be all black from far away, but as you get closer, you will notice that they are an iridescent blue and black! Their coloring is one of the main features that really make them stand out from other birds. 

Like ravens, Black-billed Magpies are incredibly curious and intelligent creatures. They are also very loud and tend to be very talkative.

These magpies can be found in the Northern Rockies all the way up to the plains in Canada. They tend to hang out in urban areas, so they are one of the more common black birds you will see on this list. 

Black Swifts (Cypseloides niger)

Photo by Terry Gray

Black Swifts are the largest type of swift in the world. They can usually be found on the west coast of the US, as well as in Canada and even in some parts of Mexico. 

An interesting fact about Black Swifts is that they only eat when they are flying, catching their food as they fly. They perform complicated maneuvers when they are flying and they tend to stick to damp areas such as cliffs or the coast. 

Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens)

Photo by Lip Kee Yap

The Phainopepla is a unique-looking type of black bird that can be found in the Southwestern US. They have very tall crests, which is what makes them stand out from other black birds.

The males’ crest is a lot taller than the females though, and the females are a dark gray color rather than full black. They tend to stick to forested areas and lowlands, living on a diet that mainly consists of berries. 

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

Like ravens, the American Crow is one of the most well-known black birds in the whole world. They are incredibly common and found all over the place, so it’s more than likely that you have seen dozens of them in your life already. 

This crow is very intelligent and although, it isn’t quite as large as ravens, it still has a very prominent presence. They are well-known for how well they have adapted to human areas, and some are even known to befriend humans too!

American Crows will eat practically anything, from seeds and fish, all the way to human trash.

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)

Photo by Setophaga

The American Redstart is a colorful type of black bird. Along with the black, there are also beautiful patches of red and white found all over its head, chest, and back. It typically lives on a diet of insects and can be found throughout the Eastern U.S.

They are known to migrate as far as eastern Utah, so if you haven’t seen one before, there is a high chance you will be able to if you find yourself in the western United States. 

Bronzed Cowbird (Molothrus aeneus)

Photo by Andy Reago

Located in Texas, Arizona, and Louisiana, but it very rarely migrates futher north up to the U.S. The Bronzed Cowbird is more commonly found in Mexico and Central America. 

Its name comes from the slight bronze sheen that is located on its feathers when it is in sunlight. Both males and females have incredibly distinctive red eyes that really add to how eyecatching this type of black bird is.

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)

Black Vulture
Photo by Cayambe

The Black Vulture is a type of black bird that is most commonly found in southern and eastern parts of the U.S. but it can also be found in South America. 

These birds are very distinctive in appearance and are usually found close by Turkey Vultures but they are also one of the more aggressive types of Vultures, so it’s advised to keep your distance! 


There are so many different kinds of black birds, and this list is just a small taster! Just because they aren’t the most colorful of birds, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t one of the most interesting! 

Keep your eyes peeled for some black birds, and see if you can find any of these types for yourself! 


Does America have blackbirds?

This is where confusion starts. There are black birds and Blackbirds. The Blackbird is from Eurasia where it is extremely common. It was brought over by Europeans to the U.S. along with other birds and mammals to replicate where the environment where they came from. There are also New World Blackbirds like the Red-winged Blackbirds. These are in a different family from the European Blackbird. Finally, black birds are … well, see above.

What is the big, noisy black bird in the U.S.?

Crows and ravens are the most common large black birds in continental America and they certainly are noisy.

Are black birds lucky?

There is a lot of superstition, mythology and folklore about black birds. Way too much for us to get into. Our opinion is seeing any birds on any day is good luck!

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