Common Black and White Birds
Herons – Family Ardeidae
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
The bill configuration of the Black Skimmer (coastal only) makes this species an easy one to identify.
Woodpeckers – Family Picidae
Compare this Downy Woodpecker to the very similar but larger Hairy Woodpecker.
Flycatchers and Phoebes – Family Tyrannidae
The Black Phoebe is a western species that might be confused with some races of the Dark-eyed Junco.
Note the white tip on the tail of this Eastern Kingbird.
Chickadees – Family Paridae
The Black-capped Chickadee and the Carolina Chickadee are very similar.
Black-capped has more white on the wings. Ranges overlap in limited area.
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
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
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
The Black-and-white Warbler is most often observed on trunks or large branches, not in leafy areas. Compare with Blackpoll 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
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.