10 Examples of Black Birds with Yellow Beaks: A Quick Guide to Identifying Them

Did you see a black bird with a yellow beak? It’s one trait that will capture anyone’s attention. Many birds have this striking combination of black plumage and a contrasting yellow beak.

When observing these black birds with yellow beaks, you’ll find differences in their size, habitats, behavior, and feeding patterns. You’ll need to identify which black bird with a yellow beak you saw because they all have differing habits.

So, here’s a list of many birds with black or dark feathers and yellow beaks!

10 Species of Black Birds with Yellow Beaks

Examples of Black Birds with Yellow Beaks

All of these birds have yellow beaks and black (or blackish) feathers. If you spot a bird with a yellow beak, it may be on our list!

Toco Toucan – Black Birds with Yellow Beaks

Toco Toucan a black bird with a yellow beak

Identification:

The Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) is a striking and instantly recognizable bird known for its distinctive appearance with the following features:

  • A large-bodied toucan with a length ranging from 20 to 25 inches (51 to 63 cm).
  • Prominent, oversized orange-yellow bill with a black base and serrated edges.
  • Black plumage with a bold white throat and chest.
  • Bright blue skin around the eyes, which adds to its vibrant appearance.
  • Long tail feathers with red undertail coverts.

Habitat and Range of Toco Toucans:

Toco Toucans are primarily found in South America, inhabiting a range of forested habitats, including tropical and subtropical rainforests, savannas, and woodland edges. Their range extends from Venezuela through Brazil and into northern Argentina.

Diet of Toco Toucans:

These toucans have a varied and omnivorous diet, consuming a diverse range of food items:

  1. Fruits: Toco Toucans primarily feed on a variety of fruits, including large and small fruits, berries, and figs.
  2. Insects: They supplement their diet with insects and other small invertebrates.
  3. Small Vertebrates: Occasionally, they may consume small vertebrates like nestling birds and tree frogs.

Toco Toucans are known for their agile movements in trees and are often seen using their large bill to pluck fruit from branches. They can also toss food items into the air and catch them in their bill, displaying remarkable coordination.

Their calls are distinctive and include a series of loud, croaking or yelping sounds. They are highly social birds and often seen in small groups or family units, making them a captivating sight for bird enthusiasts and wildlife observers.

Observing Toco Toucans in their lush forest habitats is a memorable experience, as they are not only visually stunning but also play a crucial role in seed dispersal and forest ecology.

Hill Myna a Black Bird with a Yellow Beaks

Hill Myna - a talking bird with a yellow beak

Hill Mynas (Gracula religiosa), native to southern Asia, are famous for their ability to mimic human speech. Learn more about which birds talk.

They have glossy black plumage, a vibrant yellow-orange beak, and a featherless patch of yellow skin around their eyes.

Hill Myna Diet and Feeding Habits: 

Hill mynas have an omnivorous diet and consume a diverse range of food items:

  1. Fruits: Hill Mynas feed on various fruits, often plucking them from trees and shrubs.
  2. Insects are skilled insect hunters who capture many insects and their larvae.
  3. Small Vertebrates: Occasionally, they may consume small vertebrates like frogs, lizards, and even small birds.

Habitat and Distribution of Hill Mynas: 

Hill Mynas live in South and Southeast Asia’s hills and montane forests. They inhabit various forested habitats, including subtropical and tropical forests at varying altitudes. Their range extends from the Indian subcontinent through parts of Southeast Asia.

Common Blackbird

Common Blackbird

You might see the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) while exploring Europe, Asia, or North Africa. These birds have a black plumage and yellow eye-ring. Usually, male blackbirds have a yellow beak, unlike their female counterparts that have a brown beak.

Common Blackbird Diet and Feeding Habits: 

These black birds with yellow beaks birds are omnivorous and have a diverse diet that includes:

  • Insects: During the breeding season, insects and their larvae comprise a significant portion of their diet.
  • Earthworms: Common Blackbirds are known for their skill in finding and extracting earthworms from the ground.
  • Fruits and Berries: They feed on various fruits and berries, including those from trees and shrubs.

Their diet may vary with the seasons, with a greater emphasis on insects and invertebrates during the breeding season. Then, they’ll shift towards fruits and berries in the fall and winter months.

Common Blackbird Habitat and Distribution: 

Common blackbirds are highly adaptable and can be found in various habitats, including woodlands, gardens, parks, and farmland. They are native to Europe, including the British Isles, and their range extends into parts of Asia, such as the Middle East and North Africa. They are also turning up in New Zealand and Australia.

Common Starling

Common Starling is a black bird with a yellow beak

Common Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), also known as European Starlings, can be found in Europe, Asia, and northwestern Africa. They show an iridescent purple-green sheen, though they appear black from a distance. During the breeding season, both sexes have a bright yellow beak.

Common Starlings are known for their acrobatic and synchronized flight displays called murmurations. These mesmerizing gatherings involve thousands of birds flying together in intricate patterns.

When flying in a group, they are amazing! You’ll see them during the autumn and winter months. Check out our guide if you want to attract starlings.

Starlings Diet and Feeding Habits: 

These black birds have a diverse diet that includes a wide range of food items:

  1. Insects: Common Starlings feed on insects and their larvae, making them beneficial for pest control in agricultural areas.
  2. Earthworms: They are skilled at foraging for earthworms by probing the ground with their bills.
  3. Fruits and Berries: Starlings consume various fruits, berries, and crops, especially in the fall and winter.

Habitat and Distribution of Starlings: 

Common Starlings are highly adaptable and can be found in various habitats, including urban areas, farmland, grasslands, and woodlands. They are native to Europe but have been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America and Australia. Their range continues to expand in some regions.

Alpine Chough

Alpine Chough

The Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) is a mountain-dwelling bird found in the highlands of southern Europe and Asia. They have glossy black feathers and a striking yellow beak, which helps them stand out against the snowy landscapes they inhabit.

Alpine Chough Diet and Feeding Habits: 

These black birds with yellow beaks have a varied diet suited to their mountainous habitats:

  1. Insects: Alpine Choughs feed on a wide range of insects and invertebrates, especially during the breeding season when insects are abundant.
  2. They also eat a lot of food left behind by mountain hikers! Check out this article on their eating habits and personality.
  3. Plant Matter: They also consume plant materials, including seeds, fruits, and berries.
  4. Carrion: Occasionally, they scavenge carrion, taking advantage of any available food source in their harsh environment.

Alpine Chough Habitat and Distribution: 

Alpine Choughs have adaptations for living in high-altitude environments, typically in alpine and subalpine regions. Their range extends through the mountainous areas of Europe, including the Alps, Pyrenees, and the Himalayas in Asia. They thrive in rocky terrain and are often seen soaring above cliffs and peaks.

Black Scoter

Black Scoter black birds with yellow beaks

Black Scoters (Melanitta americana) and American Scoters are sea ducks found in North America. They have a dark body, contrasting with the males having a distinct yellow-orange knob on the bill.

Look for them along the coastlines or during migrations.

Diet and Feeding Habits of Black Scoters: 

These birds are omnivorous, which means they have a varied diet. Their primary food sources include:

  1. Insects: Yellow-headed blackbirds feed on various insects, especially during breeding.
  2. Seeds: They also consume seeds from wetland plants, such as cattails and bulrushes.
  3. Aquatic Invertebrates: Besides insects, they forage for marine invertebrates like snails and small crustaceans.

Habitat and Distribution of Black Scoters: 

You’ll find yellow-headed blackbirds in freshwater wetlands, such as marshes and reed beds, along ponds and lakes’ edges. They are native to North America and have a range that extends from western Canada down to the west of the United States, including parts of the Great Basin and California.

Crested Oropendola

Crested Oropendola

Crested Oropendolas (Psarocolius decumanus) are native to the tropical regions of South America and known for their unique appearance. Their bright yellow beak complements the dark plumage on their body, and they have a beautiful crest on top of their head.

Crested Oropendolas Diet and Feeding Habits: 

Crested Oropendolas blackbirds have a varied diet that includes a wide range of food items:

  1. Fruits: Crested Oropendolas primarily feed on fruits, including tropical tree fruits and berries.
  2. Insects: During the breeding season, they may also supplement their diet with insects.
  3. Nectar: They have specialized brush-tipped tongues that allow them to feed on nectar from flowers.

Habitat and Distribution Crested Oropendolas:

Crested Oropendolas live in tropical and subtropical forests of Central and South America. They prefer a variety of forests, including lowland rainforests and humid montane forests. Their range extends from Mexico down to northern Argentina.

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Found in South America, the Yellow-rumped Cacique (Cacicus cela) has a black body with eye-catching yellow patches on its rump and wings. Their yellow beak adds to their striking appearance, making them easy to identify.

Diet and Feeding Habits of the Yellow-rumped Cacique: 

These black birds have an omnivorous diet and consume a diverse range of food items:

  1. Fruits: Yellow-rumped Caciques feed on various fruits, often using their substantial bills to tear into them.
  2. Insects: Insects and their larvae are high, especially during the breeding season when higher protein is essential for their chicks.
  3. Nectar: They have specialized brush-tipped tongues that allow them to feed on nectar from flowers.

Habitat and Distribution of the Yellow-rumped Cacique: 

Yellow-rumped Caciques live in tropical and subtropical forests of Central and South America. They inhabit various forested habitats, including lowland rainforests, savannas, and gallery forests along rivers. Their range extends from southern Mexico to northern Argentina.

Black Thrush

Black Thrush

The Black Thrush (Turdus infuscatus), also known as the Sooty Thrush, can be seen in Central America. A pale yellow beak complements their dark body. You can find these birds in forests from Costa Rica to Panama.

Black Thrush Diet and Feeding Habits: 

These thrushes have an omnivorous diet, consuming a diverse range of food items:

  1. Fruits: Black Thrushes primarily feed on various fruits, often plucking them from trees and shrubs.
  2. Insects also include insects, spiders, and other invertebrates in their diet.
  3. Small Vertebrates: Occasionally, they may consume small vertebrates like lizards and frogs.

Habitat and Distribution fo Black Thrush: 

You’ll find Black Thrushes in the lush, tropical, and subtropical forests of Central and South America. They inhabit various forested habitats, including lowland rainforests, montane cloud forests, and dense woodlands.

Their range extends from southern Mexico through Central America and into northern South America.

Black Hawk

Black Hawk with a yellow beak

Black Hawks, such as the Great Black Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga), are raptors in Central and South America. These birds-of-prey have a black body, contrasting yellow beak and cere. They primarily inhabit wetlands and forests.

Great Black Hawk Diet and Feeding Habits: 

As birds of prey, Common Black Hawks are carnivorous and primarily prey-driven to feed on a variety of items: 

  1. Fish: They are skilled hunters of fish, often seen soaring over water bodies and diving to catch their prey.
  2. Crabs: Besides fish, they may also consume crustaceans such as crabs.
  3. Small Vertebrates: Occasionally, they capture and eat small mammals, reptiles, and birds.

So, if you want to attract hawks to your yard, you’ll need a reason for them to visit. 

Habitat and Distribution of the Great Black Hawk: 

You’ll find Common Black Hawks in the neotropical regions of the Americas. They inhabit a variety of wetland and riparian habitats, including mangroves, swamps, and riverbanks. Their range extends from the southern United States through Central America to northern South America.


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