Black Birds of Florida

Florida is a popular travel destination for birds because of its diverse geography and favorable tropical temperature. The region is home to some of the most alluring black-colored birds ever found. In actuality, its birds are just as distinctive as it is! For this reason, a large number of birders go to Florida each year to see these magnificent animals.

You’ve undoubtedly seen an all-black bird, whether it was sitting outside your garden or near a lake. This page lists every type of black bird you can see in Florida, in case you were unable to recognize which one it was the previous time!

Without further ado, let’s get right to the most often encountered black-colored bird species you may look forward to this year!

Boat-tailed Grackle

Blackbirds that are most commonly seen in Florida throughout the winter and second most during the summer are Boat-tailed Grackles.

They are observed throughout the entire year throughout the state, and 25% of summer checklists and 24% of winter checklists include them.

Boat-tailed The male grackle has a long tail, long legs, and long, pointed bills. It is a huge, glossy black songbird. The females are half as big as the males and have a darker brown back and a lighter brown underbelly.

Near seawater, Boat-tailed Grackles may be found all across Florida’s Gulf Coast. They can be seen searching for food scraps around the borders of marshes, in parks, or in urban areas.

They eat whatever they can find, including seeds, crabs, and food waste.

The Boat-tailed Grackle makes a sequence of jeep-jeep-jeep noises that frequently terminate in a higher pitch squeak. As alarm calls, they also shout and clack.

Boat-tailed Hawk Nests Grackles construct their nests out of braided grass and stems in wetlands, adding wet mud and leaves to form the cup-shaped structure. They live in tall grasses. Then, add some soft grass and pine needles. One to five eggs are placed, and it takes around two weeks for them to hatch and fledg.

Platform feeders filled with sunflower seeds, millet, or maize will draw more Boat-tailed Grackles to your garden.

Fun fact: Only the top male in a harem of female Boat-tailed Grackles is allowed to mate. They sometimes congregate in enormous swarms, as as this one seen in a Texas parking lot.

American Coot

The American coot is an aquatic bird that resembles a chicken in form. It has a spherical head covered with black feathers. Sloping and dazzling white, the beak is. These birds have little red patches on their foreheads and crimson eyes.

In Florida, you may see these adorable waterbirds on practically every body of water. When they’re swimming through the water, they do resemble ducks quite a bit. These birds can fly, which is interesting, but they don’t fly very well. They truly need to take off after a long run-up.

Red-winged Blackbird

These blackbirds spend practically all of the breeding season on marshes and other wetlands. Females erect nests in densely vegetated areas that resemble grass, such as cattails, sedges, and bulrushes.

Males vigorously protect the nest from intruders, and Red-winged Blackbirds have even attacked me when I was strolling close to the marsh in my backyard!

Red-winged blackbirds spend a lot of time on pastures, farm fields, and grasslands during the non-breeding season searching for weedy seeds to eat. They frequently congregate in sizable flocks with other blackbird species, including grackles, cowbirds, and starlings.

Anhinga

The Anhinga is a long-necked waterbird with a tail that resembles a turkey in length and shape. It has an S-shaped neck and a bill that resembles a dagger.

This bird’s flattened wings and linear tail and neck give it the appearance of a cross in the sky when it is in flight. Basically, because of its thin frame, it gives the appearance of having a flattened body.

The body of the male anhinga is black, and its wings have white spots. In contrast, females have a similar appearance but a darker head and neck.

This animal frequently enjoys diving below, slithering through water, and scooping out fish with its beak, hence it is typically found perched on snags above marshes, ponds, and woody swamps.

Additionally, the Anhinga frequently only sticks its front end out because to its constantly changing buoyancy. As a result, it receives the moniker “Snakebird.”

During eating, the Anhinga is often found alone. It also occasionally roosts in groups when nesting in colonies, which is another observation. Although it seldom clicks and croaks, this bird is known to generate ear-opening noises near its colonies.

Because it spreads its wings and tails widely apart when perched, this bird looks a lot like a cormorant. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Anhinga goes by the name “Water Turkey” because to its unusual tail, which resembles a turkey. Some of these birds spend the winter months in peninsular Florida, which is in the southern part of the state.

White-Crowned Pigeon

The state of Florida is home to the White-crowned Pigeon. These seed- and fruit-eating birds belong to the pigeon and dove family. A typical pigeon’s size is roughly the same as theirs, but they weigh less and have squarer tails.

Their feathers range from black to grey, and they have a dazzling white crown on top of their heads, which is duller on females. The youngsters have white irises, a red bill with a grey tip, and a body that is greyish-brown in color. They have a loud “coo cura coo” or “coo croo” for their call.

Common Grackle

Common Grackles are the most often observed blackbirds in Florida during the summer and the third most frequently during the winter, despite being a near-threatened species.

They have been observed all year throughout the state and are listed in 19% of winter and 25% of summer checklists.

Blackbirds with shiny, iridescent bodies and longer tails than the average blackbird are known as common grackles. Compared to men, women have slightly less shine.

In the southeastern states, common grackles are year-round residents, although those that breed in Canada and the Midwest migrate south.

Open forests, marshes, parks, and fields are just a few examples of their diverse environment. They congregate in loud groups high up in trees and consume a variety of crops, but primarily maize. They may be a pain since they will also devour rubbish.

Despite the fact that they may congregate in the millions, they are listed as near endangered on the IUCN red list as a result of a 50% fall in population during the 1970s.

They produce a variety of croaks, squeaks, and whistles that are characteristic to grackles.

High up in conifer trees close to water, Common Grackles build their nests from of twigs, grasses, and leaves. They deposit one to seven eggs, which hatch in approximately two weeks and fledge after another two weeks.

Sprinkled grain and seed mixtures on the ground or on platform feeders can entice Common Grackles to your garden.

Fun fact: During the winter, millions of common grackles may congregate together with other blackbird species to feed and roost.

American Crow

The American crow is a common bird since it may be found all throughout the United States. These are big, glossy-black birds with black beaks that have a black body. Their short, rounded tails are squared off at the tip, and they have quite large wings.

The majority of Florida’s counties are home to American crows. They’re actually smart birds with excellent problem-solving skills. They frequently live in densely populated metropolitan settings. By rifling through trash cans and abandoned food containers, they can frequently obtain a free meal at these locations.

European Starling

One hundred starlings were imported from Europe and released in Central Park in New York City in 1890. The person in charge, Eugene Schieffelin, set out to bring every bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays to North America.

The rest is history as starlings quickly ruled the continent, outcompeting many of our stunning native birds in the process. They are unlike any other species in their capacity to adapt to human civilization and consume nearly everything.

Starlings are entertaining to observe and have lovely plumage when they come in small numbers. Unfortunately, when they arrive in large numbers, these aggressive birds may rapidly ruin an event by driving away all of the other birds and devouring your pricey bird food.

You’ll need to take drastic measures and put some tried-and-true tactics into practice if you want to keep these blackbirds away from your bird feeders.

Swallow-Tailed Kite

The Swallow-tailed Kite, known for its striking blackish-white plumage and sharply forked tail, has earned the title of “coolest bird on the globe.” The pointed wings and short, hooked beak of this big, buoyant, and slender raptor serve as distinguishing features.

This beautiful bird of prey, with its distinctive form, color, and flying, has a distinct pattern of a black and white head and underbody. Its tail, back, and wings are all intensely jet-black in hue.

The wings have white interiors that may be seen from below. This bird zooms through the air while scarcely moving its wings as it glides, swoops, rolls upright, and somersaults. This bird frequently hangs motionless in the sky. The Swallow-tailed Kite is, to put it simply, a visual delight!

In the Southeast, this species was fairly prevalent throughout the summer. Today, it is primarily found in Florida and a few other southern areas, though. On occasion, it glides over quite low trees in search of little creatures lurking in the branches.

It frequently orbits quite high in the sky, nearly beyond of reach of the human eye. The Swallow-tailed Kite is undoubtedly an aerial creature. You can see this bird flying in crowded groups as it is moving.

In Florida, look for these animals among marshes, swamps, and wide rivers. This bird is easily identified by its pied colour, tapering wings, and forky tail.

Smooth-Billed Ani

Due to its physical resemblance to passerine birds, the Smooth-billed Anis, a member of the cuckoo family, is thought to be linked to them. These birds breed throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and southern Florida.

Smooth-billed Ani is completely black from head to toe, with a long black tail, ridged black beak, and dark brown eyes. Despite their lack of flying prowess, they are excellent ground runners. Additionally, they do the most of their foraging on the land.

Brown-headed Cowbird

In Florida, brown-headed cowbirds may be seen all year long and are listed in 3% of winter and 4% of summer checklists. They are mostly year-round inhabitants of the state’s north and can be observed wintering there.

Brown-headed male Cowbirds have short tails and black bodies with brown heads. Females are often gray-brown with faint striping and are smaller.

Brown-headed Cowbirds can be found all year round in the eastern, southern, and Pacific coast states, while those that breed in the northern, western, and Canadian states must travel south for the winter.

In contrast to forested regions, pastures and fields are where you may typically locate Brown-headed Cowbirds. In particular, they browse close to grazing animals in anticipation of food being kicked up by the animals.

The majority of their food consists of grass and weed seeds, although they also consume insects. Additionally, female cowbirds visit backyard feeders where they eat eggs and shells for calcium.

Brown-headed Cowbird Sounds: Cowbirds make a succession of brief, high-pitched whistles and gurgling noises that are quick and repetitive, much like water. Moreover, they place brief calls.

Brown-headed Cowbirds don’t construct nests. Since they destroy the eggs of smaller songbirds in order to place their own eggs in the nest and have the bird care for their young, they are frequently seen as a nuisance. If they take their egg, they could also bother the host or wreck the nest.

Are they courageous or foolish? Additionally, Brown-headed Cowbirds have been observed to deposit their eggs in raptor nests!

Brewer’s Blackbird

Another blackbird species where the male and female have somewhat distinct colorings is this one. All of a male bird’s feathers are a glossy black color. They also have blueish gloss on their heads and golden eyes. The females, on the other hand, have dark brown feathers and dark eyes.

These blackbirds frequent busy streets and urban parks where they forage on the ground. Additionally, they live on grasslands, meadows, golf courses, and riverbanks.

Snail Kite

The Snail Kite can only be found in Florida in the United States. With its distinctive deep plumage and highly hooked mouth, this raptor is outstanding at scooping up the big snails that make up the majority of its meal. These species are perfectly suited to consuming the Apple Snails that may be found in the marshes of the state.

This medium-sized bird has long legs, extended wings that resemble paddles, a large tail, and a narrow beak.

With significantly darker wings and a black tail that continues into a white base, the adults have a body that is blackish-grey in color. Around their beak, males have pinkish-red skin. The females have a similar appearance to the males, except they are a little bit browner and have white feathers surrounding their faces.

In Florida’s broad marshes and tropical wetlands, you may search for the snail kite and observe it skimming over the sawgrass.

Unlike other species, this bird doesn’t need to catch up to a quick flight because it greatly adores devouring snails. It does a fantastic job of extracting the juicy prey from the shell with its sharply curved bill.

Snail Kites typically live in groups called colonies and roost alongside herons and other waterbirds like anhingas.

Double-Crested Cormorant

The Double-crested Cormorants are seabirds that live all throughout North America and are part of the Cormorant family. Rene Primevere Lesson, a French naturalist and ornithologist, made the first discovery of these birds in 1831.

Their body is medium in size, and they have a hooked beak, a long neck, a short tail, and webbed feet. They have orangish-yellow gular skin and black plumage. Their name comes from the two white crests on their forehead, one on each side. Just over their eyes are these crests.

The youngsters have duller, greyer or browner plumage with yellow bills. The Double-Crested Cormorants are renowned for diving into bodies of water to capture their prey. These birds mostly consume fish, however they occasionally eat amphibians and crabs as well.