When asked about “black and white animals,” people often think of pandas, zebras, and orcas. However, there are a lot of other similarly-colored animals in the world, including black and white birds!
Some popular birds with black and white feathers include ospreys, magpies, puffins, and certain warbler, chickadee, and woodpecker species.
Where can you find these birds, and what are their other distinguishing features? Read on to learn all about twenty-five different bird species!
Table of Contents
- List of Black and White Bird Species with Pictures
- 1. Black-and-white Warbler
- 2. Black Phoebe
- 3. White-breasted Nuthatch
- 4. Black-capped Chickadee
- 5. Dark-eyed Junco
- 6. Northern Mockingbird
- 7. Downy Woodpecker
- 8. Hairy Woodpecker
- 9. Loggerhead Shrike
- 10. Black-billed Magpie
- 11. Australian Magpie
- 12. Lark Bunting
- 13. White Wagtail
- 14. Eastern Kingbird
- 15. White Monjita
- 16. Black-necked Stilt
- 17. Royal Tern
- 18. Wood stork
- 19. Avocet
- 20. American Coot
- 21. Atlantic Puffin
- 22. Razorbill
- 23. Little Auk
- 24. Osprey
- 25. Gyrfalcon
List of Black and White Bird Species with Pictures
Here are 25 birds from across the globe with black and white feathers and some shades of gray in between.
The list is loosely organized according to type and habitat, with small birds first, water birds second, and birds of prey last.
Small Birds With Black and White Feathers
1. Black-and-white Warbler
The black-and-white striped bird is typically about 5 inches long and weighs 0.28 ounces. The songbirds are white birds with black stripes and tail, with males having more distinct lines than females. Female warblers can have spots of grey on their cheeks.
Black-and-white warblers can be found throughout most of central and eastern North America, such as in Ohio, the entire Central America, and the northern part of South America. You can easily spot them in gardens, woodland, and marshes in these areas.
2. Black Phoebe
Black Phoebes are small flycatchers that, as their name suggests, mainly eat insects they catch midair. These birds feature a gradient-like pattern with black heads, dark greyish upper bodies, and white undersides.
Black Phoebes are always found near mud ponds and water, particularly rivers, lakes, and the ocean. These birds prefer staying low to the ground where there are few obstructions in sight. They are located along the western coast of the US.
3. White-breasted Nuthatch
The White-breasted Nuthatch is a small black and white winter bird about 5.5 inches long with a wingspan of 8 to 10.5 inches. They have black caps, white undersides, and a gray back.
These birds are found in forests throughout most of the US and Mexico.
4. Black-capped Chickadee
The Black-capped Chickadee is a black and white bird Illinois with long tail. They are known for storing away seeds in hundreds of different locations that help them survive winter!
They mainly live in wooded areas, including forests, parks, and people’s backyards throughout the Northern United States and Canada. You can spot them at any time of the year in these regions.
5. Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Juncos prefer hopping around the ground. They only take short, low flights.
They are one of the most common birds in North America and can be found in almost all states, including in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, California, and New York.
While there are several variations of juncos, two are the most popular: the Dark-eyed junco, also known as the “slate-colored” junco, which is prevalent in the eastern US and Canada.
Meanwhile, the western US often sees the “Oregon” junco, which has a reddish-brown body.
6. Northern Mockingbird
Northern mockingbirds love singing so much that they sometimes sing even at night! These birds are common throughout the US and have been made the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas!
Interestingly, the spread of these birds across the continent is related to the spread of the rambler rosebush, which is its favorite bush for nesting. You can spot them almost everywhere in the US and many parts of Canada and Mexico.
7. Downy Woodpecker
Downy woodpeckers are small birds, about seven inches long, with a twelve-inch wingspan. Males have a patch of red on their heads, while females sport all black-and-white feathers.
Like all woodpeckers, they have bristly feathers around their nostrils, which prevent them from inhaling wood chips. They also have special padding around their brains, preventing them from rattling too much when pecking!
This species can be found across Canada and the United States, such as in PA, California, and Florida, in woodlots, parks, and backyards. The only places they don’t inhabit are the southwest deserts and the northern tundra.
8. Hairy Woodpecker
The easiest way to tell apart a Downy from a Hairy Woodpecker is by the length of its beak. A latter’s bill is much longer than the former! Hairy woodpeckers are also a little larger, about 10 inches long, with a 15-inch wingspan.
Lastly, while the male of both species sport red patches on their heads, male Downy woodpeckers have solid red patches, while male Hairy woodpeckers have a black line splitting their red patch.
Hairy Woodpeckers are a little more widespread than Downy’s. They can be spotted all the way south until Mexico.
9. Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrikes are songbirds that act like raptors. After hunting down their chosen insect, bird, lizard, or small mammal, they impale their prey on thorns or barbed wire fences to make eating easier.
This technique has given them the nicknames “Butcherbird” and “thorn bird.”
The species mostly live in southern North America and is quite rare in the Northeast and upper Midwest.
10. Black-billed Magpie
The Black-billed magpie is all black with a white belly. It is so well-known for its coloring that the answer to the black-and-white birds crossword clue is “MAGPIE”! Sometimes, its wings and tail have greenish-blue tinges.
These birds are related to crows. Their habitats are mainly in towns and fields of Southwestern Canada and the Northeastern US.
11. Australian Magpie
Though they share a name, the Australian magpie is not a corvid (of the crow family) like black-billed magpies are. Instead, they are skilled songbirds!
Australian magpies share the same black-and-white coloring as their North American counterpart, with slight differences. Their beaks are white instead of black, and their white feathers are found on their backs instead of bellies!
As their name implies, these birds are very popular throughout Australia, only staying away from regions with dense forests or arid deserts.
12. Lark Bunting
The Lark bunting is so prevalent in Colorado that it was declared Colorado’s state bird in 1931! They are large sparrows between 5.5–7 inches long and have an average wingspan of 10 inches.
This species is one of many small black and white birds commonly seen flying across grasslands and fields in Mexico and the Central US.
13. White Wagtail
The White Wagtail or Pied Wagtial is a bird with black and white wings and a long tail that wags when it walks.
This bird can be found across Europe, Asia, and northern Africa in grasslands, shorelines, farms, parks, and towns.
14. Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbirds were named after their behavior. They act like “kings” or tyrants (the basis of their scientific name, Tyrannus tyrannus), aggressively harassing crows, Great Blue Herons, Red-tailed Hawks, and even other kingbirds that cross their territory.
Sometimes, they even knock Blue Jays out of trees!
Interestingly, come winter, these birds quickly transform into social birds and travel in flocks.
Eastern Kingbirds are common in forest edges, usually in overgrown fields. Their habitat mainly covers North America, such as in Michigan, New York, and Tennessee.
15. White Monjita
The White Monjita is a small white bird with black tipped wings from the Tyrant flycatcher family. They are only seven inches long and barely tip the scale at an ounce!
The species is primarily found in South America, in certain Brazilian regions, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay. Their preferred living environments are forests, savannahs, grasslands, and shrublands.
16. Black-necked Stilt
The Black-necked stilt has a black and white body with long, bright pink legs.
These birds live in areas with shallow water, such as saltwater marshes, ponds, mudflats, and flooded fields.
While they can be spotted in the southern US states, their population sizes are the biggest in Mexico and South America.
17. Royal Tern
Royal Terns have white bodies and black feathers on their heads, which tend to “stand up,” as if the birds had just gotten out of bed. They also have long, bright orange beaks.
These seabirds mainly flock along the coasts and beaches of North and Central America.
18. Wood stork
Wood storks are wading birds that live along the coastlines of North America. The easiest way to spot this large black and white bird in the US is by visiting the wetland preserves of Florida, South Carolina, or Georgia.
Despite their size, adult wood storks are practically mute! Their only sounds are soft hisses, grunts, and snapping sounds with their beak.
The American Avocet has a distinctly curved, long beak. The species is black and white during the winter but grows pinkish-tan feathers on its head and neck during the breeding season.
The bird is a wading shorebird that lives in wetlands, including shallow ponds, mudflats, lagoons, rice fields, and flooded pastures. They can be spotted along the coastlines of North America and the central and western US States.
20. American Coot
Despite their appearance, American coots are not ducks. Their beak, legs, and feet resemble a chicken’s more closely!
American coots are black and white water birds that live in marshes, ponds, and reservoirs across Canada, the US, and Mexico.
21. Atlantic Puffin
As chicks, puffins look like little “puffy” balls of feathers, which became the basis of their name. Meanwhile, their scientific name Fratercula arctica (“little brother of the north”), refers to black and white friar robes, similar to the puffin’s feathers.
These birds stand about 10 inches tall and weigh just over a pound. They are the only puffin native to the Atlantic Ocean. However, you can see these birds in countries surrounding that body of water, including Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Greenland, and Nova Scotia.
The Razorbill is a seabird related to puffins. Their name comes from their incredibly sharp beak that is perfect for catching fish underwater, sometimes up to 330 feet deep!
People can come across these birds in the open water, rocky cliffs, and islands near Southeastern Canada and the Northeastern United States.
23. Little Auk
Little Auks are half the size of their puffin cousins, standing about eight inches tall. Their name is onomatopoeic, mimicking the call of a duck.
The small black and white bird can be detected in the islands around the Arctic and Bering seas, including Greenland, Iceland, and northern Russia. It migrates south to the United Kingdom and parts of the US during winter.
Birds of prey with black and white feathers
Ospreys are also known as sea, river, or fish hawks. This is because, unlike most other American raptors, fish comprise the central part of Osprey’s diet.
Ospreys are migratory birds. Those that live and breed in North America migrate to Central and South America during the cold months. However, those living in southern states such as in California and Florida tend to live there year-round.
The Gyrfalcon is a majestic black and white spotted bird with the title of largest falcon in the world.
Gyrfalcons live in the tundra (treeless plains) and swampy, coniferous areas of Canada, Greenland, and the Eurosiberian region.
Birds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors–even black and white.
This list covers only the tip of the iceberg, and many more black and white birds exist, including the snow goose, American oystercatcher, and the Black-headed ibis!
The next time you go for a walk or look out at your yard, see if you can spot any local black and white birds in your area. You may be surprised by how many they are.
You may not know:
George and I became friends after a birdwatching trip with our new group. And we have been enjoying every adventure together. When he told me the idea of establishing a site that shares our experiences and fun, I immediately agreed. After trials and errors, here we have Thayerbirding.