62 Black and White Birds (Pictures and Identification)

Black and white birds have a contrasting appearance that helps them immediately stand out. From woodpeckers to herons, these birds live all around the world.

The United States and Canada are home to tens of species of resident or migratory black and white birds.

Here are some of the most common types of birds with black and white plumage that can be seen both in North America and around the world.

1. Downy Woodpecker

A widespread woodpecker in North America, The Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) has black and white coloring with a contrasting red crown.

The species features a white tail with black spots and a black beak in the case of males and females.

Downy Woodpecker

Some coloring differences exist between males and females. For example, it’s only the male Downy Woodpecker that features a red cap.

Also known for its different vocalizations, this species may be sedentary or migratory.

Populations in the Northern parts of the continent are known to move South to overwinter. Some Downy Woodpeckers living at high altitudes may also engage in short migration to lower elevations to overwinter.

Distribution: Alaska, Canada, United States

2. Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron

A worldwide species, The Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) is s species named after its black crown.

The rest of its head and body show white and gray color combinations.

A complex species by feeding behavior, The Black-crowned Night-Heron is among the species that live next to the water and eat fish.

They use different tactics to catch fish such as patience and even live bait. They use small insects and objects as lures to draw fish to the surface.

Present in many areas of the world, Black-crowned Night-Heron is among the species that may migrate, especially those in Northern countries.

Distribution: The Americas, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia

3. Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee

A black and white appearance with additional cream bellies is specific to The Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis).

This is a bird species that has a black and white head and a white chest. Its wings are black and gray while its belly is cream or bright yellow.

A native bird in many Eastern states of The United States, this species shows a resident status without any overwintering migrations.

Some of the birds that live in Northeastern states may build nests in tree cavities to escape the colder days of the winter.

Insects and seeds are their favorite seeds. The contrasting bird moves along trees to find suitable seeds and insects to feed on and it may even be seen hanging upside down to reach them.

Distribution: Eastern and Southeastern United States

4. Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Highly similar to Carolina Chickadees, Black-capped Chikadees (Poecile atricapillus) also have black and white heads.

The crown and the neck of the species are black, together with the beak. White colors are specific to the sides of its head.

A white and yellow belly is a further characteristic of the appearance of the species, together with gray wings.

As Carolina Chickadees, Black-capped Chickadees also show an ability to regulate body temperature in the winter.

Found in all types of forests, Black-capped Chickadees feed on different types of caterpillars and insects they collect on trees.

Distribution: Alaska, Canada, Northern United States

5. Western Gull

Western Gull

Black and white colors contrast the appearance of the adult male Western Gull (Larus occidentalis).

Native to The United States, The Western Gull is a large bird that grows to a size of up to 27 inches.

Much of its range is tied to The West Coast where it spends most of its life, rarely venturing more than a few miles inland.

These birds are found along the coast of California, Washington, and Oregon.

Only the Northernmost and Southernmost populations of the species may migrate for overwintering. Baja California is one of the most common regions to overwinter for its Southern populations.

Distribution: California, Oregon, Washington State.

6. Laughing Gull

Laughing Gull

Laughing Gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla) have black heads, black wings, and black tails. These gulls also have a red-brown beak.

Young Laughing Gulls are mostly characterized by various shades of bright gray.

Growing to a size of around 15 inches, Laughing Gulls aren’t always black and white, as they only reach this contrasting appearance as adults.

It can take several years for a young gray Laughing Gull to grow into an adult black and white gull

This species is found around the Eastern Coast of North America to the Northwestern Coast of South America.

Distribution: Southeastern Canada, US East Coast, The Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador

7. Bufflehead


Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola) are a type of sea duck native to North America. This species may come in black and white, particularly in the case of males.

The male duck has a black and white head, a black back, a white belly, and long black and white wings.

A green face is further seen in males while the female duck shows different shades of gray.

This species is seen around saltwater where it feeds on crustaceans. It may also feed on different types of plants.

Buffleheads are seen in different areas according to the season. Some of the Northern ducks prefer to travel to The Great Lakes for overwintering.

Distribution: Canada, United States (including Alaska), Mexico

8. Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked Duck

Reaching a size of up to 18 inches, Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) are also dominated by black and white colors in the case of males.

These ducks are known for their black body and leeches or snails in their early days. As omnivores, they only start consuming plant matter as they reach adulthood.

Ducks of this species may travel to Southern states and Central America or even Western Europe for overwintering.

However, Ring-necked Ducks may not migrate every year, as other birds.

Distribution: Canada, Northern United States, Western and Southern United States, Mexico

9. Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker

Only found in the Southwestern range of The United States in North America, Acorn Woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) are black and white birds named after their most common food, acorns.

These types of woodpeckers grow to a size of up to 8 inches. Much of their wings, bellies, and head coloring patterns are based on black and white.

Both male and female Acorn Woodpeckers have red crowns.

These types of birds are spotted in California where they may nest in the fall. This is an adaptation to their need to feed on acorns.

Woodpeckers of this species collect and stack acorns but they may also eat insects and other foods, to a lesser extent.

Distribution: Southwestern US, Mexico

10. Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

With a length of up to 15 inches, the Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) is a species with black and white plumage and pink legs.

These birds have black and white heads, white bellies, and black wings.

A long thin black beak is also seen on these birds.

Known for its wetland habitats across America, this species is found in new wetlands, particularly in areas with shallow water.

In North America, the species is seen around San Joaquin Valley as well as along the Colorado River.

Its presence is higher in Southern Mexico and South America.

Distribution: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico, Cuba, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil

11. Common Merganser

Common Merganser

A black and white male is specific to The Common Merganser (Mergus merganser americanus).

This is a bird species with a black head and a long red-brown beak. The tip of the beak is curved and black.

Its wings are mostly white and black while the underside of the bird is white.

Females have brown heads and gray wings. Apart from the color differences between the sexes, females further exhibit a head crown.

These birds have serrated beak edges so that they can hold prey easier. This helps them grip various crustaceans easier.

These birds may migrate short distances to overwinter. The areas they first leave when temperatures drop are those where lake, pond, or river water surfaces freeze.

Distribution: North America, Europe, Northern Asia, Central Asia

12. Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

A black and white color combination is seen on male and female Hairy Woodpeckers (Dryobates villosus). These woodpeckers have black and white colors but some may also show gray or light brown bellies.

Males are differentiated from males by their red crowns, a colored area also seen on the juveniles of the species.

These woodpeckers live in woodlands of falling leaf trees.

They show a constant presence across The Americas and a versatile diet. Much of their nutrition is given by insects they dug out from under tree bark.

Hairy Woodpeckers often also choose to eat different foods such as small fruit.

Distribution: Canada, Alaska, United States, Mexico

13. Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus) are native to North America. They are spotted in South America when they migrate.

These birds may also accidentally end up in Europe during some migrating years.

A black head is characteristic of the appearance of these birds while their wings are gray and their body and chest are white.

Some gray areas are seen on the chest plumage.

Birds of the species feed on various insects which they may catch while flying. As Hairy Woodpeckers, they may also feed on seeds and fruit.

Shrubs and small trees represent ideal places for these birds to look for food or to build nests.

Distribution: Canada, United States (except the Southwestern states), Southern Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil

14. Common Loon

Common Loon

The breeding Common Loon (Gavia immer) takes on a black and white appearance. Its head becomes black, with a green sheen while the rest of its body shows black and white patterns.

The species is mostly gray and white outside of its breeding season.

A common sight on water and in coastal areas of The Northern Hemisphere, this bird is characterized by multiple appearance changes as it grows.

As a young bird, it has to go through a complete molt where it changes its appearance and loses its feathers completely.

It loses its ability to fly before its permanent gray and white plumage appears.

The best time to spot its black and white plumage is in the breeding season. The male and female remain together after breeding.

Distribution: North America, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Europe

15. Lesser Scaup

Lesser Scaup

The adult male Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) has a black and white appearance during the breeding period.

Its head becomes black with a green sheen while its body is mostly black and white.

Its wings are also black and white.

A brown and chestnut color combination is seen on the female plumage.

Found around lakes, ponds, and marshes, these birds are seen nesting on the ground.

While it may migrate, this species is seen throughout the year in the area of The Great Lakes. Its populations along The Rockies are also less likely to migrate.

Distribution: Alaska, Western and Central Canada, United States, The Caribbean, Central America

16. Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (Pheucticus ludovicianus) are named after the male’s plumage. This species has a red chest and a black head.

Black and white wings and a white underbelly complete the appearance of the male.

Females of the species are mostly brown and dark brown.

This species can survive for decades, but it rarely does so in the wilderness.

A common sight in North American woodlands, The Rose-breasted Grosbeak engages in a long migration to overwinter.

Its preferred destinations are further South in the tropical woodlands where it spends a few months before returning to North America.

Distribution: Canada, Eastern United States, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Panama

17. Black-bellied Plover

Black-bellied Plover

A species commonly seen along coastlines, The Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) is a bird that takes on a black and white appearance in the breeding season.

Outside of its breeding time, the male bird has a white and dark gray appearance, similar to juveniles.

This species may be seen on its own or in flocks, feeding along the beach. It can walk and fly and it has widespread global distribution.

A species found in tundra, it’s rarely spotted inland. This species inhabits coastlines along North America up to The Arctic.

It is also widespread in Europe where it can be seen on Northern and Southern coastlines.

Distribution: North America, Europe, Northern Asia, Arctic regions

18. Black-and-white Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

The Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia) grows to a size between 4 and 5 inches. It has a black and white color specific to both males and females.

Birds of this species are characterized by a streaked appearance. They show black and white streaks on their heads, bodies, and wings.

Small coloring differences may be seen between males and females. The female has gray or brown spots around the belly or on the face.

Still, both species show main black and white coloring throughout the year.

This species migrates from its Northern Territories of North America to tropical and subtropical climates to overwinter.

Distribution: Eastern and Central Canada, Eastern United States, Southern Florida, Central America, Colombia

19. Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Black and white are specific colors to the breeding season of The Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca).

These birds are named after their long yellow legs. Elongated legs help these birds forage in shallow water.

Seen along different boreal forests in the Northern parts of North America, birds of the species only travel South to overwinter.

They can travel as far South as Argentina or the West or East Coast of North America.

Springtime marks the time these birds fly black to Canadian territories where they settle in wet areas and where they breed.

Breeding sights are found in the same areas as their feeding sights but are typically hidden in dense vegetation.

Distribution: Canada, United States, Central, and South America

20. Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

A black and white contrasting appearance is specific to the male Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). Metallic green hues are specific to the head of the male.

White cheeks and a black beak complete the contrasting appearance of the male Common Goldeneye.

Females of the species have a dark brown head, yellow and black eyes, and a black beak with a yellow tip. The plumage of the bird is gray and white.

Boreal forests of North America and Asia are among the preferred habitats of these birds.

They prefer lakes and waterways where they can forage underwater. Some of their preferred foods include crustaceans.

Once established in an area, Common Goldeneye becomes aggressive and territorial.

Distribution: North America, Northern Europe, Northern Asia, East Asia

21. American Avocet

American Avocet

Much of the plumage coloring of The American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) is influenced by its breeding season.

The American Avocet is a species that has black and yellow plumage almost throughout the year. Red sections appear on this bird in the breeding season.

Its head and neck become bright red, while its underbelly and wings remain black and white.

Reaching a size of up to 20 inches, birds of this genus are found along the Eastern sides of North America in their breeding range.

The presence of the species in other areas is not backed by a breeding status.

Much of their territories outside the Eastern territories of the continent are marked by the presence of shrimp, one of its favorite foods.

Distribution: Eastern Canada, Eastern United States, The Gulf of Mexico

22. Nuttall’s Woodpecker

Nuttall’s Woodpecker

Growing to a size of up to 6-7 inches, Nuttal’s Woodpecker (Dryobates nuttallii) is a species characterized by its black and white colors.

Both males and females show white bands across their black wings while the belly is white and the head is black and white.

Males may stand out a bit more due to their red crowns.

Woodpeckers of this family are adaptive in terms of the woodlands they inhabit. These birds can live in dry woodlands and moist woodlands but aren’t found outside California.

While their range is restricted to one state, Nuttall’s Woodpeckers have numerous and stable populations in the state.

Clutch size of at least a few eggs laid in cavities helps this species spread across the state.

Distribution: California woodlands

23. Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie

Black, white, and blue colors are characteristic of Black-billed Magpies (Pica hudsonia). This species is mostly black and white but its body also has a dark blue iridescent section.

This is one of the species that show a very long black tail. Black-billed Magpie tails are considered some of the longest (based on their body size) of all birds in The United States and Canada.

Its range spread across the Eastern and the Western parts of The Rocky Mountains, reaching the Southern parts of Alaska.

Commonly seen around farms and open areas, Black-billed Magpies grow to a size of up to 24 inches.

These birds can eat almost anything they find from fruits and seeds to dead animals and acorns.

Distribution: Western North America

24. Heermann’s Gull

Heermann’s Gull

A white head, black and gray wings, and a bright gray belly is seen on Heermann’s Gulls (Larus heermanni).

These types of gulls are mostly found around The Gulf of California and The West Coast and are only contrasted by bright red beaks.

A coastal life means these birds feed on the foods they find on the coast, such as small fish, bugs, and other types of insects.

They are always seen in large numbers, often in their thousands together.

Aggressive when it comes to food even towards their species, these types of gulls build nests and lay eggs on the ground.

Distribution: Gulf of California, West Coast

25. Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gulls (Larus marinus) reach a size of up to 31 inches being the largest in the world. This species has a mostly white body with gray and black wings.

Its beak has a yellow-orange or dark-orange color.

Found in coastal areas, Great Black-backed Gulls are opportunistic feeders.

They always look out for different types of food from fish to carrion. These types of gulls may show a resident status in some areas but may migrate in others.

Most Great-backed Gulls migrate for overwintering. Crossing The Atlantic Ocean is not difficult for this large species.

Living for decades, this species finally becomes a black and white adult in its 4th year.

Distribution: Eastern US, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Europe

26. Common Eider

Common Eider

A black crown, a white body, and black wings are specific to the male Common Eider (Somateria mollissima).

Females have dull brown-gray coloring without any white spots.

Seen in a few subspecies around the world, Common Eiders are some of the largest ducks in the world.

They live in coastal colonies. A Common Eider colony can number hundreds or up to thousands of ducks.

Common Eiders use social living to care for their young. Females of a colony work together to raise the young ducks.

This trait of the female ducks is seen from an early stage as some of them may even lay eggs together.

Distribution: Canadian coastlines, Alaskan coastlines, Northern Europe coastlines

27. Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis) are named after their tails. The male of the species shows bright white and contrasting black coloring while the female is mostly brown.

Spread along the cool coastlines of The Northern Hemisphere, Long-tailed Ducks are some of the top species when it comes to diving for crustaceans.

These ducks can dive hundreds of feet.

Some populations migrate. Overwintering locations are still tied to coastlines but are generally located in warmer areas.

The wintertime also marks the period when these ducks molt, as males go from white to gray heads.

Distribution: Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland, Europe, Northern Asia

28. Bobolink


Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) is often seen as pest birds throughout the Americas.

Growing up to a size of 8 inches, Bobolinks show black and white striped male appearance and brown-gray coloring in the case of females.

These birds are further known for their capacity to migrate long distances.

One of the most common migration routes takes North American Bobolink populations to South America for overwintering.

Much of their routes are busy which means their flocks may rest in open fields and on crops, feeding on various grains.

This has led to Bobolinks being seen as pests in many parts of The Americas.

Distribution: Southern Canada, Northern US, South America

29. Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

White, black, and gray colors are seen on the adult male Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus).

Its head and underbelly are white while its wings are gray and black towards the tips.

The 5 subspecies of Lesser Black-backed Gulls live in coastal areas of the world and around lakes.

Birds of this group have an omnivorous diet that includes earthworms and mollusks.  They also eat fruits and even carrion.

Mostly present outside North America, Lesser Black-backed Gulls are also found on the East Coast, especially in coastal overwintering colonies.

Distribution: Gulf of Mexico, North America’s East Coast, Europe, Africa, Northern and Southern Coastal Asia, East Asia

30. Pigeon Guillemot

Pigeon Guillemot

A coastal species, Pigeon Guillemots (Cepphus columba) are seen along North America’s West Coast.

Males of this species show dark plumage. Black and dark brown plumage dominates the species which also has white wings and red legs.

Birds of this family are known to live in small numbers and not in large flocks like gulls.

They can also live solitary lives, including after mating.

Much of their diet is represented by marine wildlife, including invertebrates. These are collected straight from the water.

Some of these birds may migrate to overwinter but rarely considerably out of their natural coastal range.

Distribution: Western and Southern Alaska, Western Canada, US West Coast

31. Black-throated Gray Warbler

Black-throated Gray Warbler

The black and white color combination on the head and neck of these birds (Setophaga nigrescens) inspires their name.

While their wings might be brown, they are less distinguishable compared to the contrasting appearance of the head.

This is a specie seen even in inhabited areas. Birds of the species move along frequently and may even consider moving and migrating with other flocks.

Much of their distribution is tied to woodlands. From oak woodlands to chaparral, this species is found in different areas in The United States.

Distribution: Eastern US, Mexico, Baja California

32. Surf Scoter

Surf Scoter

Mostly black, the male Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) also shows white patches on the crown and behind the head as well as a yellow, black, and white beak.

Females of the species show mottle gray and brown coloring.

Apart from being differently colored, the male is always slightly larger than the female.

A typical Surf Scoter male is maybe 2 inches bigger than a female.

The male of the species also initializes breeding. Its vocalizations are known to be low-pitched while the vocalization of the females is slightly higher-pitched.

Distribution: Alaska, Canada, US West Coast, US East Coast

33. Clark’s Grebe

Clark’s Grebe

The breeding plumage of Clark’s Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii) is mostly black and white.

Both males and females show contrasting black and white coloring with the crown of the head being black while the eyes are red.

These birds are tied to bodies of water. This is why they are found along The Pacific Coast of North America.

They also live along lakes and the Colorado River, particularly in areas with plenty of trees.

Distribution: Western United States, Southwestern United States, Mexico

34. Swallow-tailed Kite

Swallow-tailed Kite

This bird species (Elanoides forficatus) is found in North and Central America but spends most of its winters in South America.

Its range is dictated by temperature but the presence of moist forests also attracts the species.

Known for its unusual fork-shaped tail, this species has a white head with black and white wings and a white body.

Birds of the species are known predators of various small reptiles and even small mammals.

Distribution: Gulf of Mexico, South America

35. Barrow’s Goldeneye

Barrow’s Goldeneye

Lakes in forests are among the primary areas of Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica), a species characterized by black and white coloring.

Only the males of the species show black and white contrasts while the females are mostly chestnut brown and gray.

The head of the female is mostly black, with white cheeks while the head of the female is completely brown.

Birds of this species may also be spotted along the coastline but they tend not to be as loud as others. They might only show their vocalization when they breed.

Some Barrow’s Goldeneye ducks might even migrate to breed.

Distribution: Eastern North America

36. Yellow-billed Magpie

Yellow-billed Magpie

This black and white bird (Pica nuttalli) has a vivid yellow beak and green streaks along its wings and tails.

Its long tail can show a metallic green nuance while its head and neck are black. Only the base of the wings and the underbelly of The Yellow-billed Magpie are white.

An interesting fact about this species includes the capacity of the birds to gather around whenever one of them dies, in a form of a ritual.

Yellow-billed Magpie is a species that needs hot summer and may only be spotted in California.

Distribution: California Central Valley

37. Lark Bunting

Lark Bunting

Lark Bunting Males (Calamospiza melanocorys) are mostly black with reduced white areas, mostly along the wings.

The male has a dual-colored black and white beak as well. Females are mostly gray and they show why coloring is so important to Lark Buntings.

Females of the species choose males based on how they look. They always choose a different type of black and white ratio male from one year to another.

This is believed to be tied to a higher variety of genetic material being carried forward, an attribute in the breeding process females control.

Distribution: United States, Mexico

38. Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Red bands or streaks along the head of the male inspire the name of this woodpecker (Dryobates borealis).

Its head has a black crown, red lateral streaks, and white cheeks. The wings of the species are mostly black with white marks while its chest and belly are mostly white.

Females lack the fine red sections on the head but may share the same tree.

Much of the trees these woodpeckers are seen in include various pines, as they’re less likely to favor trees with falling leaves.

These trees are where woodpeckers of this family may spend a time of up to 3 years or even more.

Distribution: Southeastern US

39. Pin-tailed Whydah

Pin-tailed Whydah

A streaked black and white appearance is characteristic of this African bird (Vidua macroura).

Males of the species are mostly black and white, also showing red or orange bills. Females are gray and brown and they lack the long black tails seen on males.

A known parasite bird, the Pin-tailed Whydah nests with different other species.

Found in the sub-Saharan climates, these birds even drive out other species from their nests.

Up to 4 eggs are laid by the female Pin-tailed Whydah in the nest of other birds.

Distribution: Nigeria, Liberia, Togo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Angola, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa

40. Black Guillemot

Black Guillemot

Northern coastal areas are native ranges to The Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle).

Birds of this species may be mostly black, with partly white wings or dark gray outside of the breeding season.

These birds are also among the few to breed in Coastal Iceland.

Some Black Guillemot populations prefer to move South to overwinter before coming back to breed.

Distribution: Eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Europe

41. Razorbill


A coastal species, Razorbills (Alca torda) are characterized by their black and white appearance.

As an auk in The Atlantic, the species shows a black head with a black and white beak and a white belly.

These birds have rare breeding patterns such as males taking turns taking care of the eggs or only choosing a single breeding partner throughout their life.

Females also show different breeding patterns as they only lay 1 egg each year.

Distribution: Eastern Canada, Northern Europe

42. American Three-toed Woodpecker

American Three-toed Woodpecker

Found in some of the most remote Northern Canadian woodlands, The American Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis) is mostly black and white.

Males of the species can be differentiated by their yellow or yellow-orange crowns. This is a small area on the top of their heads.

Most American Three-toad Woodpeckers are residents with only the Northernmost woodpeckers moving South to overwinter.

Distribution: Alaska, Canada, Northwestern US

43. Sabine’s Gull

Sabine’s Gull

Black, white, and gray colors are mostly seen on Sabine’s Gulls (Xema sabini).

The head of the species is gray and may turn black during the breeding season.

A coastal species, this gull may reach a maximum size of 13 inches and is known to eat almost anything it can find.

These gulls may engage in long-distance migrations when it flies from their Northern range to warmer African climates.

Distribution: North America, South America, Europe, Africa

44. King Eider

King Eider

King Eider (Somateria spectabilis) males have a black and white body, a gray-blue and green head with a yellow and red beak.

The females of the species have brown and dark brown coloring. Young ducks are gray and change their colors in the fall as they take on black and white plumage.

A type of sea duck, King Eider breeds in tundra habitats.

Found along lakes and ponds, this type of duck mostly feeds on invertebrates.

Distribution: Northern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Russia

45. Horned Puffin

Horned Puffin

Horned Puffins (Fratercula corniculata) are mostly black and white. They have yellow-orange bills.

Horned Puffins are known for their Northern Pacific distribution and their atypical flight pattern.

These birds use high vantage points to jump before taking off. They can also run first before flying away.

Rocky beaches are among their preferred habitats. Invertebrates and small fish are part of their diet.

Distribution: North Pacific

46. Pomarine Jaeger

Pomarine Jaeger

This species (Stercorarius pomarinus) has black and yellow-white coloring.

Growing to a size of up to 26 inches, these types of seabirds live all around the world, including North America.

Building nests in Arctic regions, this species mostly breed in the Northern parts of its range before migrating South.

Pomarine Jaegers are omnivores, eating fruit, seeds, and carrion.

Distribution: Arctic range (breeding), South America, and Africa (overwintering)

47. Thick-billed Murre

Thick-billed Murre

Only adults Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia) are black and white. The head of these birds is black, together with the bill, neck, and back.

The underbelly is bright white.

White stripes are also seen on the sides of its face, leading up to the bill.

Much of the lives of these auks are spent at sea. They are only seen on shores during the breeding season, mostly in colonies.

Distribution: North Pacific, North Atlantic

48. Sooty Tern

Sooty Tern

A black and white head is characteristic of The Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus), a species that also has an elongated black beak.

Its upper wings are black while its underwings are white.

This marine species is migratory. It prefers to overwinter in the tropical regions of the world.

Migration involves hundreds or thousands of Sooty Terns flying together.

Distribution: Tropical regions

49. Long-tailed Jaeger

Long-tailed Jaeger

Black, white, yellow, and gray colors are seen on the breeding Long-tailed Jaeger (Stercorarius longicaudus).

Its crow is black while the beak and the sides of its head are yellow.

Birds of this species have a white chest and belly with gray wings and a long black tail.

Adapted to Arctic regions, Long-tailed Jaegers live in the tundra. Their vocalizations are low-pitched.

Distribution: Northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Siberia

50. Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) grows to a size of up to 28 inches and can be as small as 22 inches, mostly in the case of females.

Both males and females have a similar black and white appearance. They have a white head with a black crown and black lateral stripes.

The neck is black, as it’s the upper back. Its belly is white while the wings of these geese are black and gray.

Juveniles of the species have uniform silver-gray coloring.

Distribution: Northern Europe

51. Masked Booby

Masked Booby

Named after its black mask, this seabird (Sula dactylatra) has a white head. Its black mask is contrasted by its short wide yellow beak.

Most of its plumage is white, while its wings show both black and white colors.

This species is a fast flier, living in some of the warmest waters. It prefers to breed in colonies, mainly in coastal areas.

Distribution: Oceania, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean

52. Slaty-backed Gull

Slaty-Backed Gull

A white head contrasted by black and white wings is characteristic of The Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus).

It takes several years for the adult gull to reach this final color combination.

Its first years are marked by gray, brown, and white dominant colors.

Most Slaty-backed Gulls are found in the Western Pacific, with small migrating populations confirmed in Alaska.

Distribution: Eastern Pacific

53. Yellow-footed Gull

Yellow-footed Gull

Yellow-footed Gulls (Larus livens) are a species native to California, Baja California, and the entire region in The Gulf of California.

It shows a black and white body with contrasting yellow legs.

Reaching a size of up to 30 inches, this type of gull is routinely seen on the coast, particularly in sandy and rocky areas that lack dense vegetation.

Distribution: California, Baja California

54. Dovekie


Dovekies (Alle alle) change their gray and white appearance to a black and white appearance in their breeding season.

A black head and neck are specific to these birds. They also show matching colors for the beak and eyes. The upper back is also black.

Its wings are black and white while the underbelly is completely white.

Dovekies are known divers, going underwater for food.

Distribution: Northeastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, North Europe

55. Parakeet Auklet

Parakeet Auklet

Coastal areas and cliffs in the Northern Pacific are the places where Parakeet Auklets breed (Aethia psittacula).

This species is mostly black, with a white underbelly, and an orange beak.

Marine birds of this species show almost no color differences in the color of their plumage during the non-breeding season.

This species feeds on small invertebrates in the water, rarely making contact with humans.

Distribution: North Pacific

56. Morelet’s Seedeater

Morelet’s Seedeater

Black, white, and yellow colors are specific to the North and Central American Morelet’s Seedeater (Sporophila morelleti).

The male of the species is dominated by black colors along the body and the head. The females of the species are mostly brown and dark brown.

Despite its name, this species also feed on insects and fruits, apart from seeds.

Birds of this species also eat various plants and grasses.

Distribution: Texas, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua

57. Steller’s Sea-Eagle

Steller’s Sea-Eagle

Steller’s Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) is a large predatory species with black, white, and brown coloring.

The females of the species tend to be larger, reaching a size of over 3 feet.

As a sea eagle, this species is mostly interested in the foods it can find in the sea. It feeds on various species of fish such as salmon.

This predator also considers smaller water birds whenever fish isn’t available.

Distribution: Japan, China, Korea, Russia

58. Manx Shearwater

Manx Shearwater

The black and white coloring is specific to the plumage of Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus), a type of South American seabird.

This species is rarely seen as it lives out in the ocean where it dives for food or where it captures prey at the surface of the water.

Small fish and crustaceans are part of Manx Shearwater’s diet.

Birds of this species may be spotted in their breeding period when they live on colonies on coastlines.

Distribution: Northern Europe, Eastern Canada, Eastern South America

59. Nazca Booby

Nazca Booby

A mostly black and white appearance is specific to The Nazca Booby (Sula granti). Its non-colored plumage is contrasted by its orange beak.

This species is found around Central American waters, down to Colombia.

It’s here that the bird finds various types of small ocean fish to feed on.

These birds also breed here, laying nests on cliffs to limit the access of potential predators.

Distribution: Baja California, Mexico, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Colombia

60. Bridled Tern

Bridled Tern

Growing up to 12 inches, The Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus) is mostly black, white, and gray.

Bridled Terns are also among the tropical species with black legs.

Living in colonies, this species can be spotted in tropical and subtropical climates.

Bridled Terns prefer oceans, seas, and coastal areas, rarely venturing inland.

Distribution: Gulf of Mexico, Central America, Arabian Peninsula, Indian Subcontinent, Oceania

61. Least Auklet

Least Auklet

Least Auklets (Aethia pusilla) are mostly gray and white but become black and white during the breeding season.

Adults have black wings and a black head with a contrasting white belly.

These birds eat various aquatic invertebrates such as zooplankton. They fly over areas rich in water invertebrates to increase their chance of a quick meal.

Rocky coastal areas are among the most common places where the Least Auklet colonies are seen.

Distribution: Alaska, The Arctic

62. Black Noddy

Black Noddy

A mostly black appearance is specific to The Black Noody (Anous minutus). This species shows a contrasting white crown and a long black beak.

Some of its atypical breeding habits inspire its name. The birds nod their heads in the courting process.

Only found in tropical and sub-tropical climates, this species is categorized into multiple subspecies, depending on its region which expands from Hawaii to Australia.

As opportunistic feeders, Black Noodies mostly feed on fish and squid.

Distribution: Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean