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25+ Black Birds With White Spots (Examples + Photos)

Black-colored birds are one of the prettiest and most elegant in the world. Spotting one can brighten your day; it gets even better if the bird has distinctive white spots on its black plumage. 

There are many examples of such birds. 

The list of black birds with white spots includes common starling, rose-breasted grosbeak, Asian koel, Australian magpie, blue whistling thrush, lark bunting, tricolored blackbird, Eurasian magpie, common loon, giant kingfisher, and many others. 

Let’s see what these birds look like and give you some main facts about them. 

Black Birds With White Spots

Common Starling

common starling

Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris
Lifespan: 2-3 years
Wingspan: 12-17 in
Plumage Color: Purple-green-black with white spots
Native to: Europe, Asia, and North Africa

The common starling or the European starling is a medium-sized passerine bird common around lawns, city parks, squares, and fields. It is a stocky black-green bird with white dots on its plumage, a short tail, triangular wings, and a long, pointed beak.

At a distance, the common starling looks black; in winter their plumage becomes dark brown with brilliant white spots. 

They are very loud and social birds living in huge flocks; winter roosts can include from a few thousand to several million birds.

Common starlings are omnivores feeding on berries, fruits, and seeds, but also on insects, spiders, snails, earthworms, and other invertebrates. 

These birds of North Texas are native to Europe and later got introduced to other places, including North America, where common starlings are now designated as invasive species.

Asian Koel

asian koel

Scientific name: Eudynamys scolopaceus
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Wingspan: n/a
Plumage Color: Black-brown with white dots
Native to: Asia

The Asian koel is a large, long-tailed, cuckoo found in the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and China.

Male Asian koels have a glossy black-bluish color of their plumage; females have blackish-brown plumage with white dots on the wings and strong streaking on the head and throat.

Like many of its related cuckoo kin, the Asian koel is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds who raise its young. Usually, those birds are crows.

It is a secretive bird but a very vocal one. Asian Koels, like crows, are omnivores that feed on fruits, insects, lizards, and eggs of birds and other animals.

Australian Magpie

australian magpie

Scientific name: Gymnorhina tibicen
Lifespan: 25 years
Wingspan: 25-33 in
Plumage Color: Dark black with white spots
Native to: Australia and southern New Guinea

The Australian magpie is a medium-sized black and white passerine bird found in grasslands, fields, residential areas, parks, and gardens of Australia and southern New Guinea. 

It has a glossy black colored plumage with white-colored patches on its nape, upper tail, and shoulders.

Australian magpies are very smart diurnal birds that can recognize familiar people based on the sound of their voices. They can also mimic over 35 species of birds, as well as humans, dogs, and horses. 

Australian magpies are omnivorous birds that feed on figs, grain, walnuts, earthworms, millipedes, snails, spiders, various insects, skinks, frogs, mice, and other small animals.

Blue Whistling Thrush

blue whistling thrush

Scientific name: Myophonus caeruleus
Lifespan: 5-10 years
Wingspan: n/a
Plumage Color: Black, dark violet-blue with white dots
Native to: Asia

The blue whistling thrush is a beautiful thrush found along streams in forested hills and mountains of China, Central, South, and Southeast Asia.

It has a distinctive black, dark violet-blue plumage with tiny white spots on the head, back, and wings. The beak is yellow. 

The blue whistling thrush does not migrate and it is famous for singing at dawn and dusk, sounding like a human whistling. It is a carnivore that feeds on water beetles, insects, and grasshoppers.

Lark Bunting

lark bunting
Nick Varvel, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited)

Scientific name: Calamospiza melanocorys
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: 10-11 in
Plumage Color: Black with white wing patches
Native to: North America

The lark bunting, one of the most beautiful black birds with white spots, is a medium-sized American sparrow found in grasslands of the central and western North America. 

Breeding males are black with white wing patches. When the winter comes, they become grayish brown with small streaks of black and white. The beak has a pale blue-gray color.

It was selected as a state bird of Colorado due to its acrobatic courtship dance, melodic song, and being native there. Lark buntings hop along the ground when foraging; they walk or run when pursuing prey.

They are omnivores that feed on seeds, insects, and some fruits. 

Tricolored Blackbird

tricolored blackbird with white spots on wings

Scientific name: Agelaius tricolor
Lifespan: 13 years
Wingspan: 10-13 in
Plumage Color: Black with red and white shoulder patch
Native to: Pacific coast of North America

The tricolored blackbird is a gregarious medium-sized passerine bird found in the wetlands and grasslands of the Pacific states. 

Male tricolored blackbirds have entirely black plumage with bright red shoulders and a white-colored patch. Females are dark gray-brown and have streaked bellies and backs along with cream-colored eyebrows.

Tricolored blackbirds form the largest colonies of any North American land bird, often including tens of thousands of individuals. They are omnivores feeding on grasshoppers, seeds, beetles, weevils, caterpillars, and snails.

Eurasian Magpie

eurasian magpie

Scientific name: Pica pica
Lifespan: 2-3 years in wild
Wingspan: 20-24 in
Plumage Color: Black with blue, green, and white patches
Native to: Europe, Asia, and northwest Africa

The Eurasian magpie, also known as the common magpie, is a resident breeding bird found throughout Europe, much of Asia, and Northwest Africa. 

It is known for its black head, neck, and breast, green and violet sheen, and white streaks on the belly and scapulars (shoulder feathers).

The common magpie is one of the most intelligent birds – it can use tools, imitate human speech, grieve, play games, work in teams, and it will recognize itself in a reflection (the mirror test). The only non-human species that have passed the mirror test are the great apes, dolphins, elephants, and magpies.

Eurasian magpies are omnivores that feed on young birds and eggs, small mammals, insects, carrion, acorns, and grain.

Common Loon

common loon

Scientific name: Gavia immer
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Wingspan: 40-50 in
Plumage Color: Black and white with white spots
Native to: USA and Canada

The common loon or the great northern diver is a large, diving black waterbird with a rounded head and dagger-like beak.

During summer, adults have black heads and bills, white breast color, and black-and-white spots on their backs. In autumn and winter, they become more pale gray.

Common loons are excellent divers that can stealthily submerge without a splash to catch fish. They can go over 200 feet below the water’s surface, stay there for up to 5 minutes, and swallow their prey underwater.  

The common loon is a state bird of Minnesota and a provincial bird of Ontario (Canada).

Giant Kingfisher

giant kingfisher

Scientific name: Megaceryle maxima
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a
Plumage Color: Brown and black with white-colored spots
Native to: Africa

The giant kingfisher is the largest kingfisher in Africa with a huge dagger-like black beak and a small crest. It has a chestnut breast and black upperparts with fine white spots. Female kingfishers are more colorful than males.

The giant kingfisher can be found around streams, rivers, lakes, dams, and some wooded areas. It is a carnivore that feeds on fish, frogs, toads, and river crabs.

Read More: More examples of black birds with long bills

Pied Kingfisher

pied kingfisher

Scientific name: Ceryle rudis
Lifespan: 4 years
Wingspan: n/a
Plumage Color: Black and white
Native to: Africa and Asia

The pied kingfisher is a medium-sized water kingfisher commonly found in Africa and Asia. It has a distinct black and white plumage; the upperparts are black with white marks. 

Pied kingfishers are very social animals and can be usually found in pairs and small family groups. They are diurnal animals that form large roosts at night. To attract females, make pied kingfishers will dance, make loud sounds, and even offer food. 

They are carnivores that feed on fish, small crustaceans, dragonfly larvae, mollusks, and frogs.

Read More: Examples of small black birds

Gray-winged Blackbird

grey winged blackbird

Scientific name: Turdus boulboul
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a
Plumage Color: Black with silvery-white wings
Native to: Asia

The grey-winged blackbird is a large thrush found in subtropical or tropical forests in south-eastern Asia. As the name describes it, males are black, females are brown, but both have flashy silvery-white wings.

The Grey-winged blackbirds are omnivores that feed mostly on insects, their larvae, caterpillars, slugs, snails, earthworms, some fruits, and berries.

Black-and-white Warbler

black and white warbler

Scientific name: Mniotilta varia
Lifespan: up to 11 years
Wingspan: 7-9 in
Plumage Color: Black and white
Native to: North America

The black-and-white warbler is a medium-sized warbler (small songbird) with a fairly long, slightly downcurved beak. It breeds in northern and eastern North America.

These birds have distinctive plumage with bold black-and-white stripes over their entire bodies. The wings are black with two wide white wing bars

Black and white warblers are very territorial and aggressive during their breeding season, like all warblers – they’ll attack and fight with other species that enter their territory.

If you are a beginner birder, this bird is a good choice, as the black and white warbler is easy to see and recognize. 

It is an insectivore (carnivore) that mostly feeds on insects, caterpillars, beetles, ants, flies, bugs, and some spiders.

Black-and-white warblers are just one of many examples of songbirds commonly found in Michigan.

Asian Glossy Starling

asian glossy starling

Scientific name: Aplonis panayensis
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: n/a
Plumage Color: Black-green with white streaks
Native to: Asia

The Asian glossy starling is a fierce-looking, large songbird found in subtropical or tropical lowland forests of Bangladesh, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. 

It has a thick, decurved bill, bright red eyes, black plumage with greenish gloss overall, except on the vent which is matt black. Juvenile birds are dark gray and have heavily streaked white bellies.

Asian glossy starlings are very loud birds that are also excellent in flight. They are omnivores that feed on insects, spiders, snails, figs, papaya, banana, mangos, berries, and nuts.

Plymouth Rock Chicken

plymouth rock chicken with white spots on its feathers

Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Wingspan: n/a
Plumage Color: Black with white bars
Native to: USA

Plymouth Rock is an American breed of domestic chicken. They are large and heavy birds, weighing 7-8 pounds.  

The Plymouth Rock Chicken comes in many different color varieties, but the most popular one is the Barred one – it has beautiful black plumage with white and gray bars on each feather. 

Due to their weight, these birds are bad fliers. Plymouth Rocks are one of Americas’ oldest breeds that were developed in the middle of the 19th century. 

They produce around 180-200 large eggs each year; some up to 250 eggs.

Helmeted Guineafowl

helmeted guineafowl

Scientific name: Numida meleagris
Lifespan: up to 15 years
Wingspan: n/a
Plumage Color: Black/gray with white pearling spots
Native to: Africa

Helmeted guineafowl is a bird with a large body, small head, and black-gray plumage with rows of hundreds of white spots that look like pearls. It is the most famous species of guineafowl, famous for its horn-like casque on the head.

Helmeted guineafowls can be found in the open country, including savannah woodlands, agricultural areas, and parks of Central and Southern Africa. 

They are very social animals that travel in flocks. Helmeted guineafowls are also territorial animals where both males and females participate in defending against predators. 

They are omnivores that feed on seeds, corn, sedge tubers, and insects, mostly grasshoppers or termites.

Read More: List of birds That Have Split Tails

California Quail

california quail

Scientific name: Callipepla californica
Lifespan: 1 year
Wingspan: 12-14 in
Plumage Color: Brown, gray, and black with white streaks
Native to: USA

The California quail, or the California valley quail, is a small ground-dwelling bird that has a noticeable crest (plume) that curves forward; males have it black, while the female one is brown. 

California quail has brown or black plumage color with white streaks; the belly can have colors ranging from bluish-gray to light yellow.

Despite having wings, these birds prefer to run and can reach speeds of 12 mph. 

They are very social birds, and to keep others safe from predators, one bird will act as a protector while others eat. California quails are omnivores that mostly feed on seeds and leaves, some acorns, berries, flowers, bulbs, and insects.

As the name suggests, the California quail is a state bird of California.

Read More: 25+ birds found in Southern California and 25+ birds found in Northern California

Pied Currawong

pied currawong

Scientific name: Strepera graculina
Lifespan: n/a
Wingspan: 22-30 in
Plumage Color: Black with white patches on the tail and wings
Native to: Australia

The pied currawong is a medium-sized black passerine bird with a large black bill and yellow eyes, native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. 

Pied currawongs are black birds with white spots under their tails, on the tips of the tail feathers, and on some parts of the wings. They also have bright yellow eyes.

The pied currawong is an omnivorous and opportunistic feeder; it feeds on fruit, berries, and preys on small lizards, insects, and caterpillars. 

It builds its nest high in the trees; the female produces a clutch of three pink-brown eggs.


anhinga blackbird with white spots on its feathers

Scientific name: Anhinga anhinga
Lifespan: up to 12 years
Wingspan: 43 in
Plumage Color: Black with silvery-white streaks on the back and wings
Native to: USA

The anhinga, also known as snakebird, darter, or water turkey, is a large and slender waterbird found in lakes, wooded swamps, marshes, and ponds. The name anhinga comes from the Brazilian Tupi language and means “devil bird” or “snake bird”.

Male anhingas are black with white spots on their wings; females look similar but have brownish necks and heads.

They do not have waterproof wings like other birds do and while swimming, only their necks appear above water, making them look like snakes.

Anhingas are carnivores that feed on fish, insects, shrimp, crayfish, and sometimes even young alligators and snakes.

Black Guillemot

black guillemot

Scientific name: Cepphus grylle 
Lifespan: 11 years
Wingspan: 20-23 in
Plumage Color: Deep black with large white patches on the wings
Native to: Atlantic coast

The black guillemot or tystie is a medium-sized seabird found in the coastal areas of the North Atlantic and Alaska. It has striking black plumage with some white patches on the wings and bright red feet. The bill is black.

It is one of the prettiest on our list of black birds with white spots. 

The black guillemot sits on the water like a duck and will dive to catch prey near the bottom. 

These birds breed in relatively small scattered colonies, lay 2 eggs, and stay monogamous for many nesting seasons. 

Black guillemots feed on fish, crabs, shrimps, some mollusks, insects, marine worms, and bits of plant material.

Inca Tern

inca tern

Scientific name: Larosterna inca
Lifespan: 2-3 years
Wingspan: 12 in
Plumage Color: Black-gray with white parts on wings
Native to: Peru and Chile

Inca tern is a large tern living in the habitat ruled by the ancient Inca Empire in South America. It has a dark black-gray plumage, white mustaches on its face, white edges of the wings, and bright orange beak and legs.

The mustache is the health sign of the tern – the longer it is, the healthier the bird. Inca terns are piscivores that feed on fish, plankton, shrimp, crayfish, crab, etc.

They are kleptoparasitic – Inca terns steal food from other animals like sea lions and dolphins.

Surf Scoter

surf scoter
ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited)

Scientific name: Melanitta perspicillata
Lifespan: 9-10 years
Wingspan: 30-36 in
Plumage Color: Hard black with white spots at the nape, forecrown, and bill
Native to: North America

The surf scoter is a large sea duck native to North America. It is a molt migrant  – after nesting, adults will go to a specific area to molt their flight feathers.

Males have completely black feathers with characteristic white patches on the forehead and the nape; females are slightly smaller and more brown.

To catch its prey, surf scoters will dive and go up to 30 feet deep. It mostly feeds on mollusks, crustaceans, aquatic insects, small fish, marine worms, etc. 

Yellow-headed Blackbird

yellow headed blackbird with white stripes on its shoulders

Scientific name: Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
Lifespan: 11 years
Wingspan: 15 inches
Plumage Color: Yellow head, black body with white patches on wings
Native to: Western North America

The yellow-headed blackbird is a medium-sized blackbird very easy to recognize by its golden head and white spots on black wings. Bill, legs, and feet are black.

The bird is pretty on the eye, but not on the ears – people describe its singing as the worst of any North American bird, sounding like a rusty farm gate opening.

Yellow-headed blackbirds are migratory birds that form large groups in winter, with some flocks estimated to be with hundreds of thousands of individuals.

Read More: 20+ birds with black plumage and white wings

Black Grouse

black grouse

Scientific name: Lyrurus tetrix
Lifespan: 5 years
Wingspan: 25-31.5 in
Plumage Color: Blue-black with white patches on wings
Native to: Europe and Asia

The black grouse is a large sedentary bird. Males have all-black plumage with a white tail, white-colored patches on wings, and a distinctive red wattle over the eye that resemble thick and bushy eyebrows. 

Read More: List Of Birds That Have Eyebrows (Sort Of)

Black grouse can be found across Europe in groups; they migrate to dense forests in large flocks. They mostly feed on plant seeds and berries. 

White-browed Wagtail

white-browed wagtail

Scientific name: Motacilla maderaspatensis
Lifespan: 2 years
Wingspan: 12 in
Plumage Color: Black body with white underparts
Native to: South Asia

The white-browed wagtail, also known as the large pied wagtail, is a medium-sized bird with prominent broad white eyebrows.  It has a black head, back, upper tail, white wing edges, and white underparts.

The white-browed wagtail is a slender bird with a characteristically long and constantly-wagging tail, as the name suggests.

It can be found in open freshwater wetland habitats. Just like other wagtails, white-browed ones are insectivorous and feed on beetles, dragonflies, small snails, spiders, worms, crustaceans, and flies.

It got its scientific name from the Indian city of Madras (now Chennai). People used to keep white-browed tails as caged birds due to their amazing looks and singing abilities.

Toco Toucan

toco toucan

Scientific name: Ramphastos toco
Lifespan: 20 years
Wingspan: 40-60 in
Plumage Color: Black with a huge white chest patch
Native to: South America

Toco toucan, also known as a giant toucan, is the largest and most famous species of the toucan family. It has a black body, a white throat patch, and orange skin around its eyes. Toco toucan’s beak is over 7 inches long and has a bright orange color.

Although it seems massive, the beak is actually very light because it is made of keratin and it’s hollow. And when they sleep, toucans tuck their beaks under the feathers to keep them warm.

They are not very good fliers and mainly travel among trees by hopping. Toco toucans are omnivores and can be found in the semi-open habitats of central and eastern South America.

Read More: 20+ birds with blue and white plumage

Final Thoughts

If you happened to spot some bird with black plumage and white patches on its feathers, we hope this article helped you recognize it. 

There are plenty of black birds that have white spots, including black guillemot, common starling, California quail, anhinga, Asian koel, lark bunting, and many many others. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of 25+ black birds with white spots, and that next time, should you meet any of these in the wild, you will have no problem identifying the species you saw.

And if you want to learn more about birds, feel free to check our popular read on blackbirds that have blue head colors.

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