Florida is a popular destination for bird watchers. The abundant coastal landscapes and inland forests provide plenty of habitats for several species, including many black birds. If you love avians with this color, you’re in luck. This article will cover 17 species of black birds in Florida that you might get to encounter.
- What Are the Noisy Black Birds in Florida?
- 1. American Coot
- 2. American Crow
- 3. Anhinga
- 4. Black Vulture
- 5. Boat-tailed Grackle
- 6. Brewer’s Blackbird
- 7. Brown-headed Cowbird
- 8. Common Grackle
- 9. Downy Woodpecker
- 10. Eastern Phoebe
- 11. European Starling
- 12. Red-cockaded Woodpecker
- 13. Red-winged Blackbird
- 14. Smooth-billed Ani
- 15. Snail Kite
- 16. Swallow-tailed Kite
- 17. White-crowned Pigeon
- Final Thoughts
What Are the Noisy Black Birds in Florida?
While solid black birds are quite rare, there are several black or mostly-black bird species you’ll find in Florida. Here are 17 of them.
1. American Coot
Scientific Name: Fulica americana
Wingspan: 23-25 inches (58-63 centimeters)
If you see a relatively large black bird in your backyard during the wintertime, it might be an American Coot. They’re mostly aquatic, meaning you’ll often find them gathered in lakes and ponds.
2. American Crow
Scientific Name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
Wingspan: 33.5-40 inches (85-100 centimeters)
Crows are a ubiquitous sight in parking lots and suburban neighborhoods across Florida. These social birds are clever problem-solvers and often rummage through trash cans to find something to eat.
Scientific Name: Anhinga anhinga
Wingspan: 43 inches (109 centimeters)
The unique Anhinga is black with silver streaks on its back and wings. It swims and hunts for fish in lakes and waterways and subsequently holds its wings out to dry in the sun. Anhinga are a common sight on logs and perches near water.
4. Black Vulture
Scientific Name: Coragyps atratus
Wingspan: 4.4-5.5 feet (1.3-1.7 meters)
These majestic black birds can frequently be found soaring high in the sky, where they ride thermal columns to preserve their energy. Like other vultures, they eat carrion, so they typically hang by roadsides to nip at any unlucky roadkill.
5. Boat-tailed Grackle
Scientific Name: Quiscalus major
Wingspan: 15.3-19.7 inches (39-50 centimeters)
The boat-tailed grackle is a coastal songbird. Their black feathers are glossy in bright sunlight and can look almost iridescent. They get their name from their long tail, which looks like a boat’s keel. You’ll commonly find them on the shore, scavenging for any bits of food they can find.
6. Brewer’s Blackbird
Scientific Name: Euphagus cyanocephalus
Wingspan: 14.6 inches (37 centimeters)
These all-black birds come to Florida for the winter. You can find them in open fields, where they forage for grains and seeds.
7. Brown-headed Cowbird
Scientific Name: Molothrus ater
Wingspan: 12.6-15 inches (32-38 centimeters)
These noisy birds have black bodies with brown heads, although look entirely black from a distance. They’re a common sight in parking lots, where they forage for food and compete for mates.
8. Common Grackle
Scientific Name: Quiscalus quiscula
Wingspan: 14-18 inches (36-46 centimeters)
These black birds in Florida are iridescent blue and bronze when seen in direct sunlight. The species usually flock together in parking lots and residential areas, where members forage for food humans leave behind.
9. Downy Woodpecker
Scientific Name: Picoides pubescens
Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 inches (25-30 centimeters)
These cute woodpeckers have a black-and-white checkered body with a tiny black bill. If you listen hard enough, you might hear them hammering on tree bark in the summer to find insects.
10. Eastern Phoebe
Scientific Name: Sayornis phoebe
Wingspan: 10-11 inches (26-28 centimeters)
Phoebes get their name from their call, which sounds like a sharply-whistled “phoe-be.” If you’re quick, you can catch these active birds perching on fences or low tree branches.
11. European Starling
Scientific Name: Sturnus vulgaris
Wingspan: 12-16 inches (31-40 centimeters)
These birds have an interesting backstory. They were introduced in New York City by a group of Shakespeare fans in 1890. Since then, the European Starling has become widespread across North America, forming flocks that frequent parking lots and lawns.
12. Red-cockaded Woodpecker
Scientific Name: Leuconotopicus borealis
Wingspan: 14.2 inches (36 centimeters)
This species is strongly connected to the longleaf pine forests of Florida. Unfortunately, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker is endangered, so you might have to be patient if you want to spot one of these beauties.
13. Red-winged Blackbird
Scientific Name: Agelaius phoeniceus
Wingspan: 12-16 inches (31-40 centimeters)
These birds are hard to miss. Females are black all over, but males have bright red and yellow patches on their wings. You’ll commonly see them in marshes and along waterways.
14. Smooth-billed Ani
Scientific Name: Crotophaga ani
Wingspan: 16-18 inches (41-46 centimeters)
This black cuckoo bird is found in Southern Florida. The species usually flock together in groups and forage through shrubs for insects and fruit.
15. Snail Kite
Scientific Name: Rostrhamus sociabilis
Wingspan: 43-48 inches (109-116 centimeters)
These crab-eating raptors can be spotted in marshes across Southern Florida. They are listed as endangered, so you might have a hard time seeing them in the wild.
16. Swallow-tailed Kite
Scientific Name: Elanoides forficatus
Wingspan: 48 inches (122 centimeters)
The Swallow-tailed Kite has a sharply-contrasted pattern of white bodies and black wings. These raptors spend most of their time flying over trees, searching for prey in the branches.
17. White-crowned Pigeon
Scientific Name: Patagioenas leucocephala
Wingspan: 23 inches (59 centimeters)
This rare pigeon is black with a white cap across the top of its head, hence the name. You can find the species on remote islands and marshes, usually where mangroves are present.
You can observe plenty of black birds in Florida. Some might be rarer than others, so you may need a little bit of luck for a few species. But, whatever you encounter, be sure to use this guide to help you on your birdwatching journey.