Common Birds: Black Birds

American CrowAmerican Crow:  Crows are large (15 to 20 inches), all black birds (even their legs and beak are black). You'll find them just about anywhere and they eat almost anything. 

You'll sometimes see crows chasing away larger birds, including birds of prey such as hawks and owls.

Food:  Crows aren't pick eaters.  They'll eat seeds, nuts, berries, insects and small animals such as mice and aquatic animals like fish, crayfish and clams.

Range:  Crows are permanent residents across most of the United States.

More info:  American Crow at Cornell Lab of Ornithology

American Redstart - MaleAmerican Redstart:  A small songbird, the male redstart is black with patches of orange and the female is gray with patches of yellow.  Mainly seen foraging for insects in wooded areas.


Food:  Redstarts eat insects and small fruits.

Range: Redstarts can be found in the central United States, mid-atlantic, and northeast during the summer.  They can be spotted in the southeast during fall migration.

More info:  American Redstart at Cornell Lab of Ornithology



European Starling:  7 1/2 to 8 1/2 " in size.  In the summer, Starlings have yellow bills and an iridescent sheen to their feathers.  In falls, their bills turn dark and their feathers have white tips, making them look speckled.  The male and female are similar. 

European Starling - Photo Ingrid Taylor (Wikipedia)

Food:  Starlings eat insects, fruit, weed seeds, and grain.  At bird feeders, they prefer suet, peanut hearts, and millet.

Range:  The European Starling was introduced to the United States in 1890, when they were released in New York City's Central Park.  They have spread to become permanent residents across the United States.

More info:  European Starling at Cornell Lab of Ornithology.



Purple Martin:  8" in size.  The male Purple Martin is a dark, glossy, purplish-black.  The females are pale gray below. 

Purple Martin - Photo, JJ Cadiz (Wikipedia)

Food:  Purple Martins spend most of their time on wing, swooping and diving after insects.  They will also eat meal worms provided at feeders.

Range:  Purple Martins breed across the United States, except in some Western and Rocky Mountain states.  They winter in South America.

More info: Purple Martin Conservation Association.


Red-winged Blackbird: 8 3/4" in size.  The male is black with red shoulder patches that have a yellow border.  The female is dark brown with brown streaks below. 

Redwing Blackbird

Food:  Red-winged blackbirds eat weed seeds, grains, and some insects and fruits.  At the feeder, they like cracked corn and other seeds.

Range:  The Red-winged Blackbird is a permanent resident across most of the United States.

More info: Red winged blackbird at the Patuxent Bird Identification Info Center.




Common Grackle:  12" in size.  Grackles are black birds, with a purplish or bronze iridescence.  The female is similar to the male, but is slightly smaller and has less iridescence. 

Common Grackle, Photo - Mdf (Wikipedia)

Food:  Grackles eat insects, earthworms, small frogs and fish, nuts, seeds, and fruit.  At feeders, they like cracked corn and sunflower seed.

Range:  Grackles are found year around throughout most of the eastern United States. 

More infoCommon grackle at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.