Many different birds have black and white heads. Many of birds will probably stop by the feeders in your backyard. Furthermore, if you go bird watching, you could see a range of these various species. How do you determine which species you are viewing?
You can accurately identify the species of bird you’re going to shoot by being familiar with the many distinguishing characteristics of birds. This is particularly helpful if you want to keep track of the variety of animals that use your garden feeders.
We’ve chosen 15 birds with black and white heads to assist you and described each one’s distinguishing characteristics.
At nightfall, it’s common to observe these little nighthawks, which have rounded wings and rather long, notched tails, soaring low over grasslands and deserts.
Lesser Nighthawks have “earthy” colored plumage that conceals them; you can only notice their unique band across the wingtips while they are in flight. In males, this stripe is white, whereas in females, it is cream-colored.
The simplest method to tell the Lesser Nighthawk from the Common Nighthawk is by where the white wing patch is located: on the Lesser, it is closer to the wingtip, while on the Common Nighthawk, it is closer to the base of the wing.
Lesser Nighthawks are distinguished by their unpredictable, bat-like flying style, beautiful loops, and frequent changes of flight direction.
These birds breed throughout Mexico and the northern and central regions of California, Nevada, and southern Utah. They also breed in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas.
Instead of building nests, females will deposit their eggs simply on the ground, concealing them with their camouflaged bodies. As insectivores, these birds consume flying insects including beetles, moths, grasshoppers, ants, and termites.
Lesser nighthawks may go into torpor, which is a state like to hibernation, to cope with the desert heat of their environments.
A medium-sized insectivore, the common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor), prefers open spaces near marshes and wooded regions, which are often places where insects may flourish.
The Common Nighthawk has buff-colored, extremely long, pointed dark wings that are “cut” in the middle by a brilliant white stripe. Its plumage is a mixture of white, black, and grey.
Insects are the Common Nighthawk’s primary food source, and they are most active in the morning and evening when they may be observed flying in loops.
Due to their well-camouflaged plumage, they are particularly difficult to notice while they are resting on the ground or roosting on a tree branch during the day.
Large flocks of common nighthawks may congregate while traveling or foraging in open, insect-rich regions.
Males begin courting by flying 5 to 30 meters in the air, plunging to the ground, and then drawing up approximately 2 meters above the surface.
Male and female Common Nighthawks vary in that the male has a white neck patch and a white tail stripe, while the female lacks a tail stripe and has a cinnamon- or light-brown colored throat.
Black And White Warblers
You will be able to recognize a black and white warbler even if it has the most common hues. Its color pattern is the most noticeable characteristic.
The body is streaked all over, yet it stands out because of the different directions and how they combine.
Compared to downy woodpeckers, the black and white warbler is somewhat shorter in length. It ranges in size from 11 to 13 cm.
The length of the wingspan, which ranges from 12 to 22 cm, is the primary distinction. The body mass, which is significantly smaller in contrast, ranges from 8 to 15 grams.
This little bird has a narrow beak with a slight bend at the end. The head has a little neck and blends into the body without being particularly conspicuous. Compared to other warblers, the black and white warbler has long wings and a shorter tail.
The black and white warbler is, as its name implies, black and white. What makes this design unique is that it is created using the two most common colors.
Both sexes have skulls with white eyebrows and black and white stripes. However, the female has a white neck and the male a black one.
The remainder of the body is severely stained as well. The difference may be in the stripes’ orientation, which gives the bird its extremely distinctive pattern. The tummy has black and white stripes. It has wings that are black with white wing bands.
The Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is a medium-sized songbird that inhabits areas that are quite close to human habitation, such as low-lying plains, backyards, parks, and towns.
The Northern Mockingbird has two white stripes on each wing and a grey-brown body with lighter spots on the breast and belly.
On roosting birds, the bird additionally has a white patch on each wing. These patches enlarge into huge white flashes when it flies.
The Northern Mockingbird is an omnivore who switches to a vegetarian diet mainly on fruits in the winter from its midsummer diet of insects.
Anywhere you look, you may spot Northern Mockingbirds: atop fences, in tall foliage, close to houses, or even hopping on the ground. It is quite aggressive in chasing off intruders, whether it is acting alone or in a pair.
In the spring and early summer, this species mates, and the partners typically stick together for the whole breeding season or even the years after.
Yet there are documented instances of male Northern Mockingbirds mating with more than two females.
The only obvious difference in the sexes’ Northern Mockingbirds is their plumage, with the male being somewhat bigger than the female.
Another difference in behavior is that males construct nests, guard territories, and raise offspring while females incubate nests.
The killdeer is a giant plover that lives in the Americas. It has a thin body, a huge, round head, wide eyes, and a short beak.
In the United States and the majority of Canada, you may frequently see this shorebird on lawns, golf courses, sporting fields, and parking lots. In Washington, killdeer can be seen all year long, especially west of the Cascades.
The killdeer has a brown upper body, white underparts, and narrow wings with prominent white wing stripes. In order to deter predators from its nest, it is a master of diversion and may pretend to have a “broken wing” by flapping around the ground in an act of hurt.
Beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, fly larvae, spiders, earthworms, centipedes, crayfish, snails, and certain seeds are among the insects that killdeer consume.
These birds were given their name because of their loud, piercing cries, which somewhat like the words “kill-deer, kill-deer.”
The White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica), which originated in desert shrubs, is now found close to populated areas.
The White-winged Dove has neat white half-moons on the rear of its wings and impeccable brown upperparts. In flight, these crescents transform into bright white stripes that give the bird its popular name.
White-winged Doves eat berries from bushes as well as seeds (sunflower, maize, milo).
When under stress, they frequently can be observed at high bird feeders or flying near your window, so make sure your windows are bird-safe.
The male White-winged Dove flies up and down in broad circles during the mating ritual, and while roosting, it raises its tail, fans it rapidly quickly, and then closes it to reveal a black and white tail pattern.
They nest in shrubs, trees, or cacti, 10 to 70 cm above the ground. The ceremony involves both couples nodding and making preening motions.
Although there are minor changes between the juvenile and adult White-winged Doves, there are no obvious differences between mature male and female birds.
Young birds have a more faded appearance on the head, with delicate pale grey fringes on the scapulars and wing covers, in contrast to mature birds, which have a grey or grey-brown head and neck with a wash of pink on the neck and breast.
Home feeders, public spaces, and wooded areas are all good places to spot the active Downy Woodpecker.
The bird’s red patch, which stands out against the white and black backdrop, is what most obviously distinguishes it from other birds. It will be challenging to mix it up with the other two due to this.
The smallest woodpeckers in North America, measuring between 14 and 18 cm, are downy woodpeckers. This bird’s wingspan is measured to be between 25 and 31 cm long.
Although it’s unlikely that you could weigh the bird from a distance, just so you know, it weighs somewhere between 25 and 30 grams.
Compared to other woodpecker species, Downy Woodpeckers have a smaller body shape. They stand straight-backed, with wide shoulders and a short, rigid beak. Additionally, in contrast to other woodpeckers, it appears that the bill is smaller relative to the size of the bird.
Black and white create a stunning contrast in the downy woodpecker’s feathers. Their marks are distinctive and unique. It would thus be challenging to confuse it with any other bird once you understand its color pattern.
The bird’s back and belly are white, while its upper body is black. Additionally, the skull has a little red patch and white stripes.
The black wings of the woodpecker look to have white bands. The wings are actually black with white specks that appear in a pattern of horizontal lines.
A female downy woodpecker has practically the same same pattern as a male, with the exception of the red spot on the head and the belly’s brownish hue.
The common magpie, commonly known as the Eurasian magpie, is a resident breeding bird found throughout much of Asia, Northwest Africa, and Europe.
Black head, neck, and breast, green and violet sheen, white streaks on the abdomen, white scapulars (shoulder feathers), and prominent white stripes on the primaries are some of its distinguishing features (longest wing feathers).
One of the most cognitive birds, the common magpie can utilize tools, mimic human speech, express grief, play games, collaborate in groups, and even identify itself in a mirror (the mirror test). The great apes, dolphins, elephants, and magpies are the only non-human creatures that have successfully completed the mirror test.
The omnivorous Eurasian magpie consumes young birds, eggs, small animals, insects, carrion, acorns, and grain.
A colorful bird with an orange body and chest and black and white striped wings, the hoopoe (Upupa epops) is known for its vivid colors. It may be identified by the feather crown perched on its head.
Across fields, open spaces, orchards, and trees, hoopoes may be found in Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Hoopoes consume insects as food before using their long beaks to probe the ground. Sometimes it can even capture lizards.
Hoopoe males sing loudly early in the morning to declare their nest’s territory as part of their mating ritual.
The same-sex birds have been seen engaging in fights, singing competitions, and pursuing one other. Jumping and dancing are done throughout the combat, frequently with the crest lifted.
Except for the female Hoopoe’s somewhat smaller body and less eye-catching plumage, the male and female Hoopoe seem rather similar.
The medium-sized American sparrow known as the lark bunting may be found in grasslands in central and western North America. It is the state bird of Colorado. On our collection of birds with white wing stripes, it is one of the most attractive creatures.
Breeding males have wide white wing bars on a black background. They become grayish brown with tiny white and black stripes throughout the winter. The beak is a light shade of blue-gray.
Due to its acrobatic courting dance, beautiful singing, and native status in Colorado, it was chosen as the official bird of that state. When foraging, lark buntings hop around the ground; when chasing prey, they walk or sprint.
They consume a variety of fruits, seeds, and insects as omnivores.
The popular name “Swamp Boubou” refers to a songbird that inhabits river systems or swamps in northern, western, and southern Central Africa (Laniarius bicolor).
A black and white bush bird known as the swamp boubou has all-white underparts, deep blue-black upperparts, and black wings with white wing stripes.
Swamp Boubous generally stay hidden, however they have been seen to live in couples and occasionally come out into the open.
This species hunts for fruits and insects on the ground, reedbeds, and trees to eat. It has sporadically been seen devouring frogs.
The Swamp Boubous’ mating season lasts virtually the entire year, peaking in November.
Two eggs are put in the nest, which is a little cup-shaped knitting of twigs and roots, and both sexes incubate them. Every time they have to swap, they sing a duet.
The female Swamp Boubou resembles the male with the exception of a rufous wash on the breast and some dark gray on the upper parts.
The juvenile birds resemble female birds, however they have marbling on their upper parts, barred below, and a rusty wash on their wing stripes.
It will be quite tough to confuse it with this magpie after reading and analyzing the other two birds. Here, the size of the bird would be the most noticeable difference.
It has less designs than the other two birds, although it does feature two regions with distinct single defined colors.
The black-billed magpie will be simple to distinguish from the other two if it comes down to size. It is considerably longer than them, measuring between 45 and 60 centimeters.
Its wingspan, which may reach a length of 20 to 21 centimeters, is not significantly longer. With a body mass ranging from 141 grams to 216 grams, the black-billed magpie is bulkier and mostly seen in males.
The bird’s tail, which measures around 20–23 cm, gives it an extended form. Interestingly, the length of the other two birds would be comparable to the magpie’s tail. The bird has a large, upwards curving beak.
The black-billed magpie has a jet-black body without any streaks or stripes, in contrast to the other two species. The white spreads out from side to side, partially obscuring the bird’s belly and wings.
Despite the fact that some people would assume the bird is entirely two-toned, a surprising third color does occur. Although it is not always apparent, the color blue makes this bird even more distinctive.
This little non-migratory songbird serves as the provincial bird of New Brunswick in Canada as well as the state bird of Massachusetts and Maine in the United States.
It has a long neck, a big head, a black helmet and bib, and gray wings with white spots along the edges.
The unique “chickadee-dee-dee” sounds and the black caps on their heads are how black-caped chickadees received their name.
The white-winged striped chickadees consume a variety of pests, such as insect eggs, larvae, weevils, lice, sawflies, as well as certain snails, slugs, and spiders, making them one of the more beneficial birds in an orchard or woodland.
A medium-sized songbird with a long tail, black and white coloring, and a white stripe running from the shoulders to the tips of the wings is known as an Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis).
In tropical Southern Asia, eastern Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, and South China, Oriental Magpie-Robins can be found in agricultural regions, open forest, and adjacent to populated areas.
Although the Oriental Magpie-Robin feeds mostly on crustaceans and insects, it is well known that they sometimes eat fish, leeches, and nectar while hunting.
In the breeding ritual, which takes place from March to July in India and from January to June in Southern Asia, the male sings while perched high above the female and courtship displays include puffing feathers, lifting the beak, and fanning the tail.
Oriental Magpie-Robins build their nests in tree hollows or the crevices of ancient buildings when they don’t “hire” nest boxes.
About a week before depositing the eggs, the female is busy constructing the nest, while the male, who may be a bit aggressive during mating season, is busy protecting the territory.
The Oriental Magpie’s female counterpart has greyish-brown and white feathers, which distinguish them from the male.
The juveniles resemble females, but they have scaly patterns on their heads and upper bodies.