25 Species Of Birds With Black Heads (With Photos)

Black-headed birds are common across North America. This kind of coloration is likely to attract a diverse range of birds, from songbirds to scavengers, and black feathers on their heads are common. Several birds are totally black, however other have merely black cheek patches.

They may be found all over the world, from the scorching deserts of southwest America to New England’s chilly beaches.


There are numerous more than 25 species with black on their heads in the bird world, and it is a fairly common hue! To offer you a sample of the many species you may see in North America, we selected a variety of different types of birds for our list.


Scientific name: Haematopus palliatus

A distinctive and readily identifiable shorebird, the American oystercatcher is This shellfish-eater stalks the beach at low tide, where it may pick the sweetest oysters and clams that have been stranded by the waves. It is found along the Gulf and East coasts.

Golden eyes, a crimson beak, and a black head are shared by both sexes. A black tip on an otherwise orange beak is seen in certain juveniles.


Scientific name: Sterna paradisaea

The black patch of feathers on the face and head of this little tern is the only exception to its pure white and gray coloration. Both males and femen have this hood that just covers their eyes.

Northern Canada and Alaska are home to the Arctic terns during breeding season. They spend the winter in Antarctica, which is one of the longest migrations known. Some have lived to be over 30 years old, which is unusually long-lived.


Scientific name: Melanerpes formicivorus

Due to its wide eye with a bright yellow iris, the acorn woodpecker frequently looks perpetually surprised. The Pacific coast of California and Oregon, as well as portions of the southwest, are home to this black, white, and red woodpecker.

The head of an acorn woodpecker is black, with a white band in the center. They hide acorns in groups and perform complex social ceremonies. Waka-waka-waka is a call they make.


Scientific name: Icterus galbula

Except for his black head and wings, the male Baltimore oriole is predominantly a bright red-orange. Females lack the black head of males and have dusky yellow-orange wings with gray wings.

Look for them in the eastern United States. During the winter months, they move south to Florida and Mexico.

Baltimore orioles favor fruit or nectar over seeds, unlike other songbirds. With new presents of jam or fruit, they may be persuaded to visit your backyard.


Scientific name: Coragyps atratus

Black vultures have black skin on their heads, unlike other birds with black heads due to the color of their feathers. Because of their diet, which consists of previously dead prey, they have evolved to lose their feathers. Hairless animals are easier to keep clean since their skull frequently gets bloody while devouring prey.

Black Vultures, which are native to Mexico and the Southeast, may be found around roadkill. Surprisingly, they have a weak sense of smell. Instead, they search for food by following other vultures.


Scientific name: Poecile atricapillus

A black cap with a black chin patch and a black cap on the head of males and females. They’re sociable and inquisitive, with the ability to hang upside-down and pick seeds from trees. Throughout the northern United States and most of Canada, look for this charming songbird.

Black-capped chickadees are attracted to feeders with ease. They’ll eat sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, and suet, so they’re a good bet for almost any kind of feeder.


Scientific name: Sayornis nigricans

The black phoebe, which lives along California’s coast, in Mexico, and across South America, is a sensitive songbird. They’re happy in suburban areas and aren’t afraid of strangers.

Prey is sought on perches near water by this flycatcher. The head of both sexes is sooty black, while the belly is creamy white. They make their nests out of mud that is readily available to them.


Scientific name: Gavia immer

Birds of lakes and beaches are known as common loons. They may be found on both the east and west coasts, as well as inland, because they don’t discriminate between salt and freshwater. They spend the summer breeding in Canada, but may also be found in the Great Lakes and New England lakes. They spend more time on the beaches during the winter.

The heads of breeding season birds are black, with a vertically striped black and white collar. Their silhouette stands out from the rest of the ducks and waterfowl because of their long slender bill and how low their body sits in the water.


Scientific name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus

The heads of male bobolinks are strikingly bright. The skull is jet black on the front, but light yellow on the rear. Females, who are yellow and brown, have little in common with the male’s breeding plumage.

Bobolinks may be found in the northern United States of North America. Every year, they embark on a migration from the Great Plains and Northeast to South America.


Scientific name: Pheucticus ludovicianus 

The male rose-breasted grosbeak stands out with his vivid red breast patch against the black and white feathers of its natural habitat, the Northeast and northern Great Plains. He is completely bald, with the exception of a small patch on the top.

Females have entirely brown and white striped plumage, which is more subtle. Their melody has been renowned for resembling that of a pleased robin.


Scientific name: Turdus migratorius

An American robin is virtually unmistakable. Some of the population migrates seasonally between Canada and Mexico, while they reside across much of the United States year-round.

Males and females have the same appearance. The head is black, the back is gray, and the breast is orange. They adapt well to human infrastructure, and after a rain they’re often seen pecking around in a yard for worms.


Scientific name: Melanitta americana

Save for a bright orange ‘knob’ at the base of his beak, the black scoter male is totally black. Females have a black head with a brown body.

They may be located along the Pacific coast from northern California to Alaska, as well as the Gulf and East coasts from northern Canada. Western Alaska and Canada’s eastern shorelines are where they breed.


Scientific name:  Pica hudsonia 

The black-billed magpie has a lengthy tail and dark black head, compared to the highly intelligent crow. Males and femen are chatty, and prefer to sit in public areas. They stand out even more thanks to their tail feathers that are very long.

These guys are happy to live in the suburbs and are well-suited to living with humans. With platform bird feeders, which can support bigger birds, attract a few to your yard.


Scientific name:  Branta canadensis

During the fall and spring, when Canada geese migrate north and south, flying V-formations of Canada geese are easy to spot. This is a big goose that stands out. It has a black tail and legs, as well as a white chinstrap around its neck and head.

You’re more likely to hear them before you see them, particularly throughout the fall and spring, because both sexes appear the same. They’re often seen in parks with ponds, their loud “honk” echoing.


Scientific name:  Spinus psaltria 

The underside of lesser goldfinches is yellow, while their backs are black. The degree of coverage varies depending on the area. Birds on the Pacific coast have only a black head patch and wings, while birds east of the Rocky Mountains are completely yellow underneath and black up top.

By presenting nyjer seed as one of their favorite foods, you may entice some to visit your yard.


Scientific name:  Spinus tristis 

The American goldfinch, one of the continent’s most popular songbirds, is found in backyards and bird feeder installations across North America. The male’s bright yellow plumage is split up by black wings, tail, and a black patch on its head during the breeding season.

Females have a black head patch, but they lack the distinctive head patch of males goldfinches. Nyjer seed and flower-producing nyjer seed attract them.


Scientific name:  Setophaga nigrescens

The black-and-white striped head of the black-throated gray warbler helps to identify it. Both sexes have a black patch over the eye, chin, and crown, but males have more defined stripes. In the very center of their eye, they also have a little yellow dot.

They prefer oak and pine woodlands, where they are bold and confident as they hop around, and are a frequent songbird in the woods west of the Rockies.


Scientific name:  Icterus parisorum

Scott’s oriole, which is boldly colored, breeds in the United States. Throughout the spring and summer, it is located southwest. They nest in yuccas, junipers, and pinyon pines and prefer desert conditions. They favor regions with a lot of yucca, which they utilize to gather insects and nectar.

Males have a dark black head that extends to their chest and upper back, while females have a yellowish-gray head. Males are a dazzling lemon yellow, while females are a more olive yellow.


Scientific name: Quiscalus mexicanus

This enormous, spirited black bird wants you to know that he is ready to celebrate. Great-tailed grackles are communal and sociable birds. From beak to tail, they’re completely black-feathered. Their feathers often take on a blueish hue in direct sunlight. Other popular U.S. colors have this identical hue. Common grackles and boat-tailed gracks are two types of grackle species.

Provide a distinct feeder for grackles if you want to attract them to your yard. They form huge flocks, especially in the evening, and will happily scare away other birds. In the Southwest and Texas, look for great-tailed grackles.


Scientific name: Corvus brachyrhynchos

Crows are smart and adaptable, which allows them to thrive in human-dominated places like cities and suburbs. In locations ranging from untouched woodlands to parking decks, you may find them across North America.

Both sexes are totally black-feathered and lack any feathers. They have powerful black beaks and appear to shine with a dull iridescence in the sunlight. The common ravens, their bigger and completely black cousins, are located in the western United States.


Scientific name: Falco peregrinus

The Peregrine Falcon was a triumph: these ‘hooded’ birds of prey were reintroduced from the brink of extinction by DDT poisoning in the mid-twentieth century.

The black head and yellow-ringed eyes of males and femen make them look like they’re wearing a mask. The Gulf Coast, Pacific Coast, and Eastern Seaboard are all good bets when it comes to spotting them on the continent’s outskirts. In the Rocky Mountains, there are breeding colonies as well.


Scientific name: Caracara plancus

The black crest of the crested caracara puts it on this list. This black mohawk of feathers is seen on both sexes.

In the southwestern US, you’ll see the caracara. Because of its crest and brilliant yellow legs, it prefers to walk on the ground and may be recognized at a glance. The crest is brown in color, but it darkens to black with age. It even appears on juveniles.


Scientific name:  Buteogallus anthracinus

In the skies of the Southwest United States, as well as south into Mexico and Central America, this strong hawk makes an impact. You may be able to locate one near a river, where they swoop down to capture fish, despite the fact that they don’t hang around backyards.

Except for a white tail stripe, both sexes are black and sooty. Their heads are the same dark black color as the rest of their bodies.


Scientific name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

In the eastern United States, look for the charcoal-black head of a male Eastern towhee. If you can’t already hear their ‘chewink’ toned call, it’s simple to detect them in the undergrowth. Using seeds scattered on the ground, attract them to bird feeders.

The black head and back are only seen on males. Females have a dark brown coloration like males, although their underparts are still red. The spotted towhee, their western counterpart, has a black head as well.


Scientific name: Leucophaeus atricilla

Adults have a completely black head, a white patch around the eye, and a dark red beak during breeding season. But, during the winter season, their head turns white with a little gray patch above the eye and a black beak, which undergoes a significant alteration.

On the east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, laughing gulls may be seen. You may hear them at the beach and docks, and their distinctive laughing-like calls are well-known.

Leave a Comment