Are you looking for a small black bird with white belly? Here, you’ll now discover everything about these black and white birds.
We make it easy for you to identify species of birds with black back and white coloration on their bellies.
This guide is suitable for birding beginners and avid bird watchers, as it unravels the unique characteristics of the most popular birds with white undersides.
Small black and white birds are common in various parts of the world, from the beautiful steps of the Grand Canyon to the gorgeous archipelagos of Southeast Asia. Let’s see these birds, where they live, how they mate, and how they feed.
How To Identify a Small Black Bird With White Belly
Identifying if a small bird has black plumage and a white belly is easy, but knowing the particular species of the bird can be challenging. To easily know species of birds, classify them by their size, shape, and color.
Also, pay attention to their habitat, behavior, and food. Having a monocular scope can help you spot these characteristics. Note them down and cross-check with your field guide to know the specific species of a bird.
While your sense of sight is paramount, prick your ears open and listen to how birds sing and make calls. Make up your mind on the birds you want to identify before heading to the field. In this article, we’re focusing on small black birds with white bellies.
Why Do So Many Birds Have White Bellies?
Forget about the types of small black birds with white bellies for a moment and get to know why their underparts are white. Many birds, including eagles, phoebes, sparrows, finches, woodpeckers, hawks, falconets, doves, robins, and nuthatches, have at least one white-bellied member of their species.
Research shows that most birds have white bellies or white speckles in their breasts because the white color blends easily with most environments. This makes it difficult for predators to spot them.
When you look at the sky from the ground on a sunny day, the sky is bright, making it hard to identify any bird or object with a white underbelly. So, many small black birds have white bellies to prevent birds of prey from spotting them while they are on trees or in flight.
Top 9 Types of Small Black Birds With White Bellies
Watching birds is fun, relaxing, and refreshing. It can also be educational as it exposes you to the marvel of creation and millions of years of evolution.
Whatever motivates you to go birding, here are the most popular species of small black and white birds with white bellies.
1. Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor)
Tree swallows are very beautiful black birds with white bellies. They have a long tail, a long beak, and a round body. They can be found in forests and woodlands.
These birds are found everywhere in North America, from Alaska to Mexico, but it has been introduced to other parts such as Australia and New Zealand.
The tree swallow breeds in the spring and summer months, laying up to four eggs in a nest made from leaves, grasses, or other soft materials. The young birds fledge around 30 days after hatching and remain dependent on their parents for several weeks.
Weight: 60-0.90 oz (17-25.5 g)
Wingspan: 12-14 in (30-35 cm)
Size: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
2. Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
With a gray body and a white belly and black wingtips, the Downy Woodpecker lives in deciduous forests and woodlands. It feeds on insects, spiders, larvae, and other invertebrates. They also eat berries, fruits, seeds, nuts, bark, and flowers.
The Downy Woodpecker is a common small black bird with white belly which can be found in many areas of the United States. It’s mostly black with white feathers at the top of its head and black-tipped tail feathers.
They breed between May and August depending on where they live. Often, this species of woodpecker makes two broods per year, but this can vary depending on where they live as well as how many eggs they laid the previous year!
Weight: 0.74-1 oz (21-28 g)
Wingspan: 10-12 in (25-30 cm)
Size: 6-7 in (14-17 cm)
3. Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia)
The Black-billed Magpie is a small black bird with a red bill, blue legs, and a white belly. It has a long neck and long tail feathers that are black at the tips. The adult male has an iridescent blue throat patch and black eye stripe, while the female is similar in appearance but lacks the throat patch.
These small black and white birds are found in open country with lots of trees, as well as meadows. They forage for food on the ground or in low bushes, where they eat insects, spiders, small rodents, and other small animals.
Black-billed Magpies breed during spring and summer months when they build their nests in tall trees where both parents incubate them for 16 days. The female lays one egg at a time after the mating season ends during the fall months. This species is very vocal and is quite popular in the northwestern states.
Weight: 5.1-7.4 oz (145-210 g)
Wingspan: 22.1-24.0 in (56-61 cm)
Size: 17.7-23.6 in (45-60 cm)
4. White-Breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
Popular as pets, the white-breasted nuthatch is a small black bird with a white belly, olive-brown upperparts, and a black head. They have yellow-orange legs and a thin, pale yellow stripe running from the top of their heads to the back of their tails.
These majestic birds live and nest in deciduous trees and shrubs, where the female lays 2-4 eggs at a time. The white-breasted nuthatch breeds from January to April in the north and from September to November in the south.
These songbirds are like chickadees, but they have shorter tails and longer bills. They are one of the best bird species for backyard breeding because of their easy-to-care requirements and can adapt to a variety of environments.
Weight: 6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)
Wingspan: 7.9-10.6 in (20-27 cm)
Size: 5-6 in (13-15 cm)
5. White-bellied Drongo (Dicrurus caerulescens)
Native to India and Sri Lanka, White-bellied Drongo has a white belly and throat, but it can also have yellow or orange on its belly. Males are larger than females and have black feathers on their necks, heads, and wings.
The white-bellied drongo can be found in open countries, including forested areas, grasslands, and agricultural lands in South Asia. It nests in trees with other large birds, like ravens or woodpeckers.
Female White-bellied drongos are browner than males when they hatch from their eggs; however, both sexes develop similar brown colors as they mature through adulthood. They are also very vocal and social backyard birds.
Weight: 1.41-1.48 oz (40-42 g)
Size: to 8.7-9.8 in (22-25 cm)
6. Rose-Breasted Grossbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
The Rose-Breasted Grossbeak is a passerine, small black bird with white patches on the face, throat, and belly. Their back is brownish gray and their wings are black with white wingtips. They have a dark gray bill with a gray tip that shows when they open their beak.
This species of grossbeak is native to Southeast Asia, but they are also common in deciduous woodlands of North America. They are common backyard birds and feed on fruits, berries, insects, and other arthropods as well as seeds.
The rose-breasted grossbeak builds its nest in tree holes or undergrowth among bromeliads or mosses or sometimes inside cracks or crevices in trees by using spider webs as support for its structure. Their appearance in the eastern US means spring is fast approaching.
Weight: 1.2–2.3 oz(35–65 g)
Wingspan: 11–13 in (29–33 cm)
Size: 7.1–8.7 in (18–22 cm)
7. Black-And-White Warbler (Mniotilta varia)
The Black-and-White Warbler is a songbird that lives in the Northeast and Southeast regions of the US. It has a gray head, breast, and belly, white underparts (except for the black outer tail feathers), a gray back, and black wings and tail feathers.
It’s a small black bird with white belly that nests on tree branches and lay three to six eggs per clutch. The eggs hatch after 12 days or so and both parents care for the young until they are ready to leave their nest at 3 weeks old.
Known for its long bill, the Black-and-White Warbler produces high-pitch calls like a jay. You can find this bird in deciduous forests, where it breeds and spends its time foraging for insects, spiders, and other invertebrates.
Weight: 0.28–0.53 oz(8–15 g)
Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 in (18-22 cm)
Size: 4.3–5.1 in (18–22 cm)
8. Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
As a common wintering small black and white bird, the Dark-Eyed Junco has a dark brown body, a creamy-white face with a dusky mask, a white belly, and black wings and tail feathers. They are often seen in flocks of 5 to 10 birds, but they are also known to roost together in trees.
It’s the smallest of the Juncos and breeds from spring through summer, and it lays four to six eggs in a nest on the ground or in bushes or trees. They are popular birds in North America, and you can see them in the wild all year around.
Dark-Eyed Juncos spend most of their time on the ground moving through thick undergrowth searching for food. That’s why they’re sometimes called the “creeping juncos.” During mating season (March-June), males perform elaborate displays to attract females by bobbing up and down while singing loudly.
Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz (18-30 g)
Wingspan: 7.1 to 9.8 in (18 to 25 cm)
Size: 5.5-6.3 in (14-16 cm)
9. Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
While it’s a permanent resident of the peach state (Georgia), the Eastern Towhee can be found throughout the country. It’s a small black bird with white belly, a black cap and throat, a black bill, legs and feet, and orange eye rings.
The eastern towhee prefers wooded areas with lots of bushes and trees, and quite common in the springtime when they return to their breeding grounds after wintering in warmer climates. The eastern towhee mates for life and can be found in open fields and suburban areas with tall grasses but prefers to nest in wooded areas near marshes or ponds.
It’s an insectivore that feeds mainly on insects such as beetles and caterpillars but also eats berries and fruit during lean times. They are backyard birds with a knack for eating seeds from plants like thistles or sunflowers.
Weight: 1.1-1.9 oz (32-53 g)
Wingspan: 7.9-11.8 in (20-30 cm)
Size: 6.8-8.2 in (17.3-20.8 cm)