Common Black and White Birds

Herons – Family Ardeidae

Black-crowned Night-Heron
The Black-crowned Night-Heron is common in many parts of the United States. Compare with Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, especially juvenile birds.

Skimmers – Family Laridae

Black Skimmer
The bill configuration of the Black Skimmer (coastal only) makes this species an easy one to identify.


Woodpeckers – Family Picidae

Downy Woodpecker
Compare this Downy Woodpecker to the very similar but larger Hairy Woodpecker.

Flycatchers and Phoebes – Family Tyrannidae

Black Phoebe
The Black Phoebe is a western species that might be confused with some races of the Dark-eyed Junco.
Eastern Kingbird
Note the white tip on the tail of this Eastern Kingbird.

Chickadees – Family Paridae

Black-capped Chickadee
The Black-capped Chickadee and the Carolina Chickadee are very similar.
Black-capped has more white on the wings. Ranges overlap in limited area.
Carolina Chickadee
The Carolina Chickadee is a southern cousin to the Black-capped Chickadee, above, The Carolina Chickadee has less white on the wings.

Shrikes – Family Laniidae

Loggerhead Shrike
The Loggerhead Shrike is also called the butcher bird, named for its habit of impaling grasshoppers and mice onto thorns.  Compare with similar Northern Shrike.

Nuthatches – Family Sittidae

White-breasted Nuthatch
The White-breasted Nuthatch has an aggressive display -- a crouched posture with outstretched wings. Compare with the Brown-headed Nuthatch in the southeast.

Wood-Warblers – Family Parulidae

Black-and-white Warbler
The Black-and-white Warbler is most often observed on trunks or large branches, not in leafy areas. Compare with Blackpoll Warbler.
Yellow-rumped Warbler
The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of our most common warblers.
Birds in the western United States have a yellow throat. Eastern Yellow-rumped Warblers have a white throat.

Grosbeaks – Family Cardinalidae

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male) is most often reported during migration, when it shows up at feeding stations and birdbaths. Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak and female Black-headed Grosbeak are very similar.