20 Black and White Birds You Might See

Updated: Mar. 15, 2023

Many bird species are colorful, but there are also a lot of black and white birds in the world. Here's some of them you might see in North America.

black and white warbler
Courtesy Douglas Emlin

Black-and-White Warbler

“I took this shot of a black-and-white warbler bird on May 10 at Magee Marsh in Ohio. I would have been really ticked off if I had missed this shot of the beautiful black and white bird!” says Douglas Emlin. Check out 8 yellow and black birds you should look for,

black and white birds, Carolina chickadee in a tree
Courtesy Emily Boward


“This Carolina chickadee perched serenely in the early spring sunshine on our backyard pussy-willow bush. Ironically; the very next day, a snowstorm swept through our area,” says Emily Boward. Don’t miss 20 incredibly cute chickadee pictures.

black and white birds, nuthatch
Courtesy Sarah Gibson

White-Breasted Nuthatch

“A sweet little nuthatch was hanging out on a shepherds hook in the backyard this spring. I especially like this shot because the bird seemed very comfortable and content,” says Sarah Gibson. Offer these 4 foods to attract nuthatches to your yard.

black and white birds, woodpeckers
Courtesy Lucine Reinbold

Downy and Hairy Woodpecker

“This past spring, my kids and I were participating in Project FeederWatch. As we were counting the downy woodpecker on the left, I was trying to explain to them the difference in size between the little downy and the larger hairy woodpecker. As if right on cue, a beautiful hairy woodpecker flew right up to the other side of our suet feeder, giving us a picture perfect glimpse at these two very similar black and white birds side by side!” says Lucine Reinbold. Discover 10 woodpecker species birders should know.

rose breasted grosbeak
Courtesy Alan Tucker

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

“A rose-breasted grosbeak perched in a dogwood tree in my front yard in May. I don’t see many of these birds. So to capture it in nice light was special,” says Alan Tucker. Don’t miss more outstanding pictures of rose-breasted grosbeaks.

black billed cuckoo
Courtesy Mike Bruch

Black-Billed Cuckoo

“The black-billed cuckoo because it’s a beautiful bird that is more often heard than seen. I was blessed from above this day to get one in good light to sit still long enough for me to get a great shot. Check out 25 small yellow birds you should know.

black skimmer, black and white birds
Courtesy Rosemary Meredith

Black Skimmer

“While visiting St Augustine, Florida, this summer this black skimmer flew in with his catch. He marched across the ridge of the dune so proudly!” says Rosemary Meredith. Check out 9 small red bird species you might see.

black and white birds, black phoebe
Courtesy Jennifer Meyer

Black Phoebe

“My husband and I have been feeding mealworms to a pair of black phoebes in our backyard for several years. Because they are flycatchers, they can snatch the worms out of the air when we toss them. This spring, they brought their babies around. This juvenile flew in and seemed to pose on the back of one of our patio chairs,” says Jennifer Meyer. Don’t miss 20 photos of breathtaking blue colored birds.

black necked stilt
Courtesy Lea Frye

Black-Necked Stilt

“I spotted this handsome bird at Frantz Lake near Salida, Colorado, when out on a nature-a-thon. It was early spring when we tend to have migrant and incidental birds like this black-necked stilt show up in our valley. Lucky for me the stilt was still there the next day in the same location, as I was able to go early in the morning when the water was calm and the light soft to capture this image,” says Lea Frye. Learn more about beach birds and beach birding locations.

mute swans
Courtesy Mel Banks

Mute Swan

“I spotted the black mute swan along with several white ones on the pond in front of the observation platform in Cape May Point State Park. I walked around the pond and got this lucky angle with the two black and white birds together,” says Mel Banks. Check out 6 romantic and fascinating swan facts.

royal tern, black and white birds
Courtesy Ashley Buckler

Royal Tern

“I took this photo during the summer in Florida with a telephoto lens, so as to not disturb the mother royal tern and her young. We were visiting the beach for my sister’s wedding and it was fun watching all the shorebirds. Many had hungry offspring following closely behind,” says Ashley Buckler. We found more pictures of super cute baby birds you need to see.

american oystercatcher
Courtesy Sophia Schade

American Oystercatcher

“What a wonderful day! On April 26, my friend introduced our photography club to this roosting place of several species, including this American oystercatcher,” says Sophia Schade. Check out 15 photos of white cardinals and leucistic birds.

snow geese
Courtesy Roger Krahl

Snow Goose

Roger Krahl captured this photo of black and white snow geese during winter in Grayson County; Texas, at Hagerman Wildlife Refuge. Discover 20 types of ducks to look for in spring.

wood stork, black and white birds
Courtesy Elizabeth Angelone

Wood Stork

“We’re lucky to have several wood storks who call our backyard home. This was shot at sunrise on a lovely fall morning. With wings wide spread; the main character in this photo seems to be holding court! The reflections and ever-changing colors at the lagoon always serve as a beautiful backdrop for the many wading birds that visit us here in the South Carolina Low Country,” says Elizabeth Angelone. Psst—these pictures will change the way you look at black birds.

white pelican
Courtesy Renee Cybul

White Pelican

“This shot of a white pelican was taken on Lake Puckaway in Marquette, Wisconsin. I think what makes this photo special is the energy felt in its wings and the push off from the rock with its feet,” says Renee Cybul.

american coot
Courtesy Mike Bruch

American Coot

“It was unique to get the mother and young all together at one time. I saw this American coot family in Horicon, Wisconsin,” says Mike Bruch. We love these adorable photos of bird mothers with babies.

common loon, black and white birds
Courtesy Bill Dinkins

Common Loon

“I took this photo of a common loon on her nest. Loons are difficult to get close to and most people (myself included) assume it is just a black and white bird, but there is a beautiful iridescent turquoise patch at the base of her neck in addition to the intricate black and white plumage,” says Bill Dinkins. Check out the 51 best spring bird pictures ever.

Shutterstock 1216632352 0001
Agami Photo Agency/Shutterstock

Blackpoll Warbler

This adult male blackpoll warbler was photographed during spring migration in Galveston County, Texas. Check out 16 spring warblers you should know.

ladder backed woodpecker
Courtesy Lisa Welch

Ladder-Backed Woodpecker

“This handsome, spirited male ladder-backed woodpecker has frequented our backyard all summer, along with a few of his family members. I’ve enjoyed watching and photographing these black and white birds,” says Lisa Welch. These are the 4 best foods for attracting woodpeckers.

Black-billed Magpie in Alaska
Larry Keller, Lititz Pa./Getty Images

Black-Billed Magpie

The black-billed magpie, also known as the American magpie, is a bird in the crow family that inhabits the western half of North America. It is a black and white bird, with black areas on the wings and tail showing iridescent hints of blue or blue-green. You won’t want to miss these simply stunning bird photos of cardinals.