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Black And White Birds: 7 Amazing Two-Toned Species To See

Last Updated on: July 9, 2024

Birds are colorful creatures that beautify our backyards and despite being exceptional creatures, seeing the black and white birds in your backyard has different meanings.

In fact…

The exact meaning of black and white birds varies with tradition and culture. In some cultures, they represent a good thing, while in others, they’re associated with future unhappy events and death. But despite the different meanings, these birds are still very beautiful, so here are some of the world’s most commonly white and black birds.

The Most Common Black And White Birds

1. Black And White Warbler

Black And White Warbler

Like most birds residing in the American continents, the black and white warbler winters in Central America and breeds in North America, but they’re quite rare in Western Europe.

These beautiful small-sized songbirds are covered by white and black stripes all over their body, including their heads. The male has a more obvious blackish streak on the cheeks and underparts, while the female is paler and with less streaking. Their beaks are quite long and curve a bit downwards.

The black and white warbler has a short neck supporting its small head that appears flat on the surface.

Like some birds belonging to the genus Mniotilta, they have relatively short tails and long wings. They tend to act more like the nuthatches than a warbler species. Despite its arboreal foraging habit, these species prefer nesting on the ground. They feed mainly on insects.

2. Black-Capped Chickadee

Black-Capped Chickadee

Thanks to its quickness in finding new bird feeders and investigating human beings, the black-capped chickadee is one of the first birds we learned about while growing up. Like some birds, this species is universally considered cute thanks to its tiny body and oversized round head.

Its exceptional short neck and huge head help the black-capped chickadee stand out.

But if its unique shape doesn’t work for you, then you should examine the unique black and white pattern feathers on its body. Its head has a wide white stripe around its eye’s lower parts and a solid black cap. It also has unique solid white cheeks.

Their bellies and breasts are buff or white, while the feathers on their backs have a lovely gray color. Other outstanding features include their short black beak and minute black eyes that can be very hard to notice thanks to their black cap. Chickadees are the easiest birds to attract to our backyards for peanuts, sunflower, and suet.

3. Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Generally, the hairy woodpecker resembles the downy woodpeckers in appearance, but they’re a bit larger. This medium-sized bird is quite common in North and South America; by 2003, there were over 9 million individuals on the planet.

They have a wingspan of about 15 inches and a maximum length of about 9.8 inches. And unlike most of the black and white birds on our list, the male hairy woodpecker has a red patch on its head. Their black wings are usually checkered with white, while their heads have two white stripes.

Another behavior that stands out is their slowly undulating flight pattern. They tend to forage on trees and are known to turn over the tree’s bark to uncover insects. They mainly consume nuts, berries, fruits, and tree sap.

4. Black-Throated Gray Warbler

Black-Throated Gray Warbler

Unlike most birds, the Black-throated gray warblers are beautiful yet monochrome birds with an exceptional yellow spot right in front and above the eye. This bird gets its name from its gray back and black throat, but its bold white-and-black striped face is also eye-catching.

The black-throated gray warblers are known for singing the buzzy tune Zeedle-zeedle zeet-chee.

And if you think you have seen everything, you should wait for it to spread its wings and see its whitish underside with white and black patches on its edges.

5. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Like most of the birds on our list, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is native to North America, particularly the United States and Canada. But they are known for migrating to Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Therefore, you should expect to see the rose-breasted grosbeak in your feeders every morning from May to September.

The rose-breasted grosbeak birds are identified by their black backs, wings, heads, and tail with a rose-pinkish patch on their chest. They feed on seeds from certain weeds, including wild plum or thistle. They also consume insects, fruit, and sunflower seed cake.

6. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Undoubtedly, you have been visited by the downy woodpecker at some point in your life. Despite its resemblance to the hairy woodpeckers, the downy woodpeckers are still one of the most common visitors to our backyards.

Like most woodpeckers, the downy woodpecker has some black and white stripes on its head, but what makes the male stand out is the red patch on the back of their heads.

The downy woodpecker has a white stripe on its back bordered by black feathers and a whitish underside.

7. White Breasted Nuthatch

White Breasted Nuthatch

Despite being a medium-sized bird, this black and white bird is one of the world’s largest nuthatches; in fact, the white-breasted nuthatch is smaller than the tufted titmouse and bigger than the Red-breasted nuthatch. This medium-sized bird has a small neck, huge head, narrow, long bills, and a short tail.

Its unique long and narrow beak, either slightly upturned or straight, helps them probe into the back farrows in search of food.

Like all nuthatches, the white-breasted nuthatches can be found upside down and sideways on a vertical surface while foraging.

Another fact that helps this black and white creature stand out is that they rarely lean on their tails like woodpeckers when foraging. They have a blue-gray back and frosty whitish underpart and face. Its gray or black cap and neck frame makes it look like it’s wearing a hood.

Roaming Tip: Let’s go deep black this time and admire (or despise) a bird wearing this hue — How To Attract Crows.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Female Blackpoll Warblers White And Black?

No, despite being considered black and white birds, only the male blackpoll warblers have black and white feathers. The males have whitish cheeks, a white belly, and a chest edged with white and black stripes. They are native to North America, but the winter is in Central and South America.

What Do Black And White Colored Birds Symbolize?

Generally, black birds, even the ones with a few white patches, represent magic, mystery, and spiritual perception. They connect us to higher spiritual life, but in some communities, they represent a bad omen. It is considered a messenger of the spirit, and seeing it near your home can be a bad omen.

So when some cultures see this bird, they believe there will be a symbolic death in their family. For some communities, it’s considered a warning from their ancestors, showing them that they need to change something in their lives.

What Kind Of Bird Is Black, Gray, And White?

There are several black and white birds, but only a few have a gray upper body. And one of the birds with this color combination is the white-breasted nuthatches. This bird comes with a gray and black back, while the lower belly and lower part of the tail are chestnut colored.


A huge percentage of the birds with black and white heads are songbirds that love visiting our backyards. The others with black and white feathers are medium-sized, like the woodpeckers and the warblers. 

Fortunately, they have other things that help them stand out, with some simple ones like the white-breasted nuthatches being able to forage while straight or upturned on a vertical surface; plus, with the above details, you can easily identify these birds.

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