20+ Small Black Bird With White Spots (Details + Excellent Photos)

Birdwatching is a pastime that brings joy to many, offering a glimpse into the diverse and intricate world of avian life.

Among the vast spectrum of bird species, a unique category captures the imagination: small black birds adorned with white spots.

With their contrasting plumage, these birds stand out on nature’s canvas, offering a visual treat to the observer.

In this guide, we will embark on a visual journey, introducing you to over 20 species of these striking birds.

Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, a nature enthusiast, or simply curious, prepare to be enchanted by the beauty and variety of these feathered wonders.

small black bird with white spots

Here we have listed 20+ small black bird with white spots with details and picture.

1. Common Starling

Scientific nameSturnus 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 European starling, known as the common starling, is a medium-sized passerine bird frequently seen in city parks, lawns, squares, and open fields.

This robust bird boasts a black-green hue with distinctive white speckles, complemented by its short tail, triangular wings, and a sharp, elongated beak.

From afar, these starlings appear predominantly black but come winter, their feathers take on a darker brown shade, punctuated by bright white spots.

Known for their boisterous nature, they often gather in vast flocks, with winter gatherings ranging from thousands to millions.

While they have a varied diet that includes berries, fruits, and seeds, they also consume insects, spiders, snails, earthworms, and other small creatures.

Originally from Europe, these birds found their way to North Texas and other regions, including North America. The European starling is now considered an invasive species in these new territories.

2. Asian Koel

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

The Asian koel, a sizable long-tailed cuckoo, is native to the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and China.

Males boast a shimmering black-blue plumage, while females display a dark brown hue with white speckles on their wings and pronounced streaks on their heads and throats.

Intriguingly, the Asian koel, akin to its cuckoo relatives, practices brood parasitism, laying its eggs in other birds’ nests, typically those of crows, for them to rear its offspring.

Though elusive in nature, the Asian koel is notably vocal. Their diet is diverse, encompassing fruits, insects, lizards, and even the eggs of other species.

3. Australian Magpie

Scientific nameGymnorhina 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, a medium-sized passerine bird with striking black and white plumage, is commonly spotted in the grasslands, fields, and urban areas of Australia and southern New Guinea.

Its sleek black feathers are contrasted by white patches on its nape, upper tail, and shoulders.

Known for their intelligence, Australian magpies can identify individuals by the sound of their voices. Impressively, they can also mimic the sounds of over 35 bird species and humans, dogs, and horses.

With a varied diet, these omnivorous birds consume everything from figs, grains, and walnuts to earthworms, millipedes, spiders, and even small animals like skinks, frogs, and mice.

4. Blue Whistling Thrush

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

The blue whistling thrush, a captivating bird, graces the forested hills and mountains near streams across China, Central, South, and Southeast Asia.

Sporting a unique dark violet-blue to black plumage, it is adorned with minute white speckles on its head, back, and wings and features a striking yellow beak.

Rather than migrating, this thrush is renowned for its dawn and dusk melodies, reminiscent of human whistling. Its diet primarily consists of water beetles, insects, and grasshoppers.

5. Lark Bunting

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

The lark bunting is a stunning black bird adorned with white spots. This medium-sized American sparrow graces the grasslands of central and western North America.

During the breeding season, males showcase a striking black hue with contrasting white wing patches.

However, as winter approaches, their plumage transforms to a muted greyish-brown, streaked with hints of black and white. A soft blue-grey tint characterizes their beak.

Chosen as Colorado’s state bird, the lark bunting is celebrated for its mesmerizing courtship dance, melodious tunes, and native presence there.

When searching for food, these birds can be seen hopping on the ground, and they tend to walk or run when chasing after prey.

Their diet is diverse, encompassing seeds, insects, and various fruits.

6. Tricolored Blackbird

Scientific nameAgelaius 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 tricoloured blackbird, a sociable medium-sized passerine, inhabits the wetlands and grasslands of the Pacific states.

Males are distinguished by their solid black feathers, complemented by vivid red shoulders and a white patch. In contrast, females sport a dark grey-brown hue with streaked bellies and backs, highlighted by cream-coloured eyebrows.

Remarkably, tricolored blackbirds establish the most expansive colonies among North American terrestrial birds, sometimes comprising tens of thousands of members. Their diet includes grasshoppers, seeds, beetles, weevils, caterpillars, and snails.

Also Read : What Bird Can Carry The Most Weight?

7. Eurasian Magpie

Scientific namePica 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, often called the common magpie, thrives across Europe, vast stretches of Asia, and Northwest Africa as a resident breeder.

This bird is easily identifiable by its black head, neck, and breast, complemented by a shimmer of green-violet and white markings on its belly and shoulder feathers.

Renowned for its intelligence, the common magpie exhibits remarkable behaviours such as tool use, human speech imitation, grieving, playful antics, teamwork, and even self-recognition in mirrors.

Aside from magpies, only great apes, dolphins, elephants, and a few other species have passed this mirror test.

With a diverse palate, Eurasian magpies consume everything from young birds, eggs, and small mammals to insects, carrions, acorns, and grains.

8. Common Loon

Scientific nameGavia 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, also known as the great northern diver, is a sizable black diving bird recognition characteristics by its rounded head and sharp, dagger-like beak.

In the summer months, these birds showcase black heads and bills, contrasted by a white breast and speckled black-and-white patterns on their backs. However, as autumn and winter approach, their coloration shifts to a softer gray.

Renowned for their diving prowess, common loons can seamlessly submerge without causing a ripple, diving as deep as 200 feet to catch fish. Remarkably, they can remain submerged for up to 5 minutes and even consume their catch while underwater.

This iconic bird holds the distinction of being the state bird of Minnesota and the provincial bird of Ontario in Canada.

9. Giant Kingfisher

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

The giant kingfisher stands as Africa’s largest kingfisher, distinguished by its massive, sharp black beak and a subtle crest. It boasts a rich chestnut breast and black upperparts adorned with delicate white speckles. Interestingly, female kingfishers display more vibrant hues compared to their male counterparts.

Habitually found near water bodies like streams, rivers, lakes, and dams, as well as in certain wooded regions, this carnivorous bird primarily feasts on fish, frogs, toads, and river crabs.

10. Pied Kingfisher

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

The pied kingfisher, a medium-sized water kingfisher, graces the landscapes of Africa and Asia with its striking black and white plumage, characterized by black upperparts interspersed with white markings.

These birds are inherently social, often seen in pairs or small family clusters. Active during the day, they congregate in large roosts when night falls. To woo females, male pied kingfishers engage in elaborate dances, produce resonant calls, and even present food offerings.

With a carnivorous diet, they primarily consume fish, small crustaceans, dragonfly larvae, mollusks, and frogs.

11. Gray-winged Blackbird

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

The grey-winged blackbird is a sizable thrush native to the subtropical and tropical forests of south-eastern Asia. True to its name, while males sport a black hue, females are brown; however, both exhibit striking silvery-white wings.

These birds have an omnivorous diet, predominantly feasting on insects, larvae, caterpillars, slugs, snails, and earthworms, complemented by occasional fruits and berries.

12. Black-and-white Warbler

Scientific nameMniotilta 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 songbird characterized by its slightly downcurved beak. It is native to the northern and eastern regions of North America.

These birds flaunt a unique black-and-white striped pattern across their bodies, complemented by black wings with prominent white bars.

During their breeding season, like other warblers, they become quite territorial and assertive, often confronting other species that venture into their domain.

For those new to bird-watching, the black-and-white warbler serves as an excellent starting point due to its distinct appearance that’s easy to spot and identify.

Primarily insectivorous, their diet mainly consists of insects, including caterpillars, beetles, ants, and flies, along with the occasional spider.

Michigan is home to a variety of songbirds, with the black-and-white warbler being a notable example.

13. Asian Glossy Starling

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

The Asian glossy starling is an imposing, large songbird native to the tropical and subtropical lowland forests spanning countries like Bangladesh, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and several others.

Distinguished by its robust, decurved beak, this bird has striking red eyes and a black plumage with a greenish sheen, except for its vent which is a plain black. While adults possess this glossy hue, the younger birds exhibit a dark gray color with prominently streaked white undersides.

Renowned for their loud calls, Asian glossy starlings are also skilled flyers. Their diet is diverse, including insects, spiders, snails, and an array of fruits like figs, papaya, and mangos, as well as berries and nuts.

14. California Quail

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

The California quail, also known as the California valley quail, is a petite bird that resides primarily on the ground. It is easily identifiable by its forward-curving crest, with males sporting a black plume and females, a brown one.

Their feathers boast a blend of brown or black with white streaks, and their underbellies can vary from a bluish-gray to a soft yellow hue.

Even though they have the capability to fly, these quails often choose to run, clocking in at speeds up to 12 mph.

Known for their sociable nature, these birds have a unique protective system; as some feed, one quail stands guard against potential threats. Their diet is varied, consisting mainly of seeds and leaves, but also includes acorns, berries, flowers, bulbs, and insects.

15. 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, a medium-sized black bird with striking yellow eyes, is indigenous to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island.

These birds are characterized by white markings beneath their tails, at the tail feather tips, and on sections of their wings.

Their diet is varied, feeding on fruits, berries, and even small prey like lizards, insects, and caterpillars. They prefer to nest high up in trees, where the female lays a set of three pinkish-brown eggs.

16. Anhinga

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 is a slender waterbird, often referred to as the snakebird, darter, or water turkey, predominantly seen in environments like lakes, marshes, ponds, and wooded swamps. Its name, derived from the Brazilian Tupi language, translates to “devil bird” or “snake bird.”

While male anhingas sport black plumage with white spots on their wings, the females are distinguishable by their brown-toned necks and heads. Unlike many other birds, anhingas lack waterproof wings. When they swim, only their necks protrude from the water, giving them a snake-like appearance.

These birds are carnivorous, with a diet that includes fish, insects, shrimp, crayfish, and occasionally, young alligators and snakes.

17. Black Guillemot

Scientific nameCepphus 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, also known as tystie, is a notable medium-sized seabird that inhabits the coastal regions of the North Atlantic and Alaska. This bird boasts a distinctive black coat complemented by white wing patches and vivid red feet, with a matching black bill.

Among the various birds that have black feathers with white spots, the black guillemot is particularly charming.

On the water, it resembles a duck, often diving deep to hunt for its prey.

These birds tend to breed in sparse, spread-out colonies, producing two eggs per season. Remarkably, they maintain monogamous relationships across multiple nesting periods.

Their diet is diverse, including fish, crabs, shrimps, certain mollusks, insects, marine worms, and even fragments of plant matter.

18. Inca Tern

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

The Inca tern is a sizable tern indigenous to the regions once dominated by the ancient Inca Empire in South America. This bird is characterized by its deep black-gray feathers, prominent white mustaches on its face, white wingtips, and vibrant orange beak and legs.

Interestingly, the length of the mustache serves as a health indicator for the tern; a longer mustache suggests a healthier bird. Primarily piscivores, Inca terns have a diet that includes fish, plankton, shrimp, crayfish, and crabs.

These birds also exhibit kleptoparasitism, often pilfering food from sea animals like sea lions and dolphins.

19. Surf Scoter

Photo Credit : ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited)

Scientific nameMelanitta 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, a substantial sea duck, hails from North America. Following their nesting period, these birds migrate to designated areas to shed and renew their flight feathers, a phenomenon known as molt migration.

While males boast an all-black plumage accented with distinctive white patches on the forehead and back of the neck, females display a browner hue and are marginally smaller.

Foraging for food, surf scoters can dive as deep as 30 feet. Their diet predominantly consists of mollusks, crustaceans, aquatic insects, petite fish, and marine worms.

20. Yellow-headed Blackbird

Scientific nameXanthocephalus 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, a medium-sized member of the blackbird family, stands out with its striking golden head and distinctive white spots on its black wings. Its bill, legs, and feet are also black.

Visually, this bird is a treat, but its vocalizations leave much to be desired. Many describe its song as the least pleasant among North American birds, likening it to the screech of a rusty farm gate.

During winter, these migratory birds congregate in massive flocks, with some groups numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

21. White-browed Wagtail

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

The white-browed wagtail, sometimes referred to as the large pied wagtail, stands out with its noticeable broad white eyebrows and a mix of black and white plumage. Its head, back, and upper tail are black, contrasted by white wing edges and underparts.

As its name suggests, this svelte bird possesses a notably long tail, which it often wags in a characteristic manner.

This bird favors open freshwater wetland environments. In line with other wagtails, their diet primarily consists of insects, including beetles, dragonflies, small snails, spiders, worms, crustaceans, and flies.

Its scientific name has roots in the Indian city of Madras, known today as Chennai. Historically, people were drawn to cage the white-browed wagtail because of its striking appearance and melodic singing prowess.

Final Thoughts on small black bird with white spots

Should you come across a bird with black feathers accented by white patches, we trust this article provided clarity in identifying it.

Numerous black birds sport white spots, encompassing species like the black guillemot, common starling, California quail, anhinga, Asian koel, lark bunting, among many others.

We trust you found our compilation of over 25 black birds with white spots insightful. So, the next time you encounter any of them in their natural habitat, recognizing the specific species should be a breeze.