Optics Mag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

10 Types of Black Birds in Hawaii (With Pictures)

Last Updated on

Red-whiskered Bulbul on a tree

There are many interesting birds that call the state of Hawaii home. They come in all kinds of colors, shapes, and sizes. In fact, there are several types of black birds alone that live in Hawaii. Some are more prominent than others, but they all share the same types of habitats throughout the islands. Here are 10 awesome black birds living in Hawaii that you should know about.

binoculars 3 divider

The 10 Types of Black Birds in Hawaii

1. The Hawaiian Crow

Hawaiian crow perched on a dead tree branch

Image Credit: USFWS, Pixnio

Species: Corvus Hawaiiensis
Size: 18 – 20 inches long
Lifespan: 18 – 25 years

Sadly, the Hawaiian Crow is extinct in the wild, and only a small number are safely living in Hawaiian sanctuaries and conservation centers. They were first were declared extinct in 2002. Thirty Hawaiian crows were introduced to the wild in 2016 to see how they would do, and unfortunately, all but five succumbed to the elements or circumstances that they found themselves in. The remaining five birds were brought back into captivity for their protection, which officially rendered the bird extinct in the wild again.


2. The Crested Honeycreeper

Akohekohe palmeria dolei haleakala national park

Image Credit: Picryl

Species: L. Melanops
Size: 6 – 10 inches long
Lifespan: 25 – 30 years

This bird breed is a small songbird that is referred to as the ‘akohekohe in Hawaiian. Their black feathers are decorated with small gray and orange specks, and they sometimes have orange bands that extend around the backs of their necks. These little birds eat the nectar that the indigenous Ohia Lehua tree produces. They also like to chow down on insects and fruits from various vegetation in the wild. They are mostly found in high elevations on the island of Maui.


3. The Hawaiian Gallinule (Moorhen)

Hawaiian Gallinule foraging in the grass

Image Credit: Pxhere

Species: Rallidae
Size: 12 – 14 inches long
Lifespan: Unknown

These are considered black birds, but most are slate grey in color. They have bright red bills, with the tips of the bills typically being yellow. They look a bit like ducks. These birds prefer living in dense vegetation and like to have access to water as often as possible. This is an endemic species to Hawaii, meaning you can’t find them anywhere else. Unfortunately, they are an endangered species, and not many of them are left living in the wild.


4. The Hawaiian Coot

Hawaiian Coot standing in the grass

Image Credit: Omar Ramadan, Pexels

Species: Fulica Alai
Size: 13 – 16 inches long
Lifespan: 5 – 9 years

The Hawaiian Coot likes to live in freshwater and marsh areas, so you won’t see them near the beaches. Sadly, these birds have been listed as endangered since 1970. This is thought to be due to decreased habitat and a lack of water because it’s been drained for human development. These birds have black heads and dark gray bodies. Their long legs make it easy for them to move quickly away from possible predators.


5. The Hawaiian Stilt

Hawaiian Stilt walking around

Image Credit: USFWS, Pixnio

Species: Himantopus Mexicanus Knudseni
Size: 14 – 16 inches long
Lifespan: 15 – 17 years

These little birds have extremely long legs and long, thin bills to help them get their food. They like to live in low-growing vegetation near freshwater areas. They were once hunted by humans, so their numbers dwindled to about 200 birds in the wild. With assistance from preservation organizations, there are now currently between 1,500 and 1,800 Hawaiian Stilts living throughout the Hawaiian Islands.


6. The Black Noddy

Black Noddy sitting on a dead tree branch

Image Credit: Hagerty Ryan USFWS, Pixnio

Species: Anous Minutus
Size: 14 – 16 inches long
Lifespan: 15 – 25 years

The Black Noddy is a small black bird with a 2-foot wingspan. These birds have black bodies and white heads with long black bills and small circular eyes. They are sometimes referred to as the Hawaiian Noddy or the White-Capped Noddy, and they can be found living in coastal areas throughout the islands. You may be able to spot one in the trees while you are spending time at a Hawaiian beach.


7. The Lesser Scaup

lesser scaup duck on the water

Image Credit: Krumpelman Photography, Shutterstock

Species: Aythya Affinis
Size: 15 – 18 inches long
Lifespan: 13 – 18 years

Technically a duck, this migrating bird breed enjoys living near lakes and reservoirs, of which there are many throughout the islands of Hawaii. They tend to live in tight-knit groups for support and protection. These ducks are expert water divers, which is how they get most of their food throughout their lives, starting as young as 7 weeks old! Lesser Scaups can be found living in fresh waterways in the interior of the Hawaiian Islands.


8. The Common Mynah

Common mynah foraging on the ground

Image Credit: priya100, Pixnio

Species: Acridotheres Tristis
Size: 9 – 10 inches long
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years

The Common Mynah is popular among farmers in Hawaii because they eat insects and other pests. Most of this bird’s body is black, but white markings are typically found on the underbelly and tail. These birds are also known to damage fruit that grows on trees, so they can be considered pests themselves to food producers throughout the state.


9. The White-Rumped Shama

White rumped Shama

Image Credit: Supriya, Pixahive

Species: Copsychus Malabaricus
Size: 9 – 11 inches long
Lifespan: 10 – 15 years

White-Rumped Shamas are not completely black, but they are considered black birds all the same, as only their underbellies are colorful while the rest of their bodies are black. These small birds prefer dense vegetation and forested habitats. They not only live in Hawaii but also have a strong presence in India and Southeast Asia.


10. The Red-Whiskered Bulbul

Red-whiskered Bulbul on a tree

Image Credit: Pxhere

Species: Pycnonotus Jocosus
Size: 7 – 9 inches long
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years

These birds are mostly black but have vibrant red-and-white markings. They like to live in developed areas, like community parks. Native to Southern Asia, the Red-Whiskered Bulbul can be found living in tropical locations throughout Hawaii and Australia nowadays. They are not considered endangered and can be easily spotted while visiting zoos, parks, and water attractions in Hawaii, especially on Oahu.

hummingbird divider

Conclusion

With so many black birds in Hawaii to discover, you could spend days tracking them down, along with the wide variety of other types of Hawaiian birds. If you plan to go bird hunting in Hawaii, have this list handy to refer to during your hunt.


Featured Image Credit: Pxhere

About the Author Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Since 2000, Rachael has been a freelance writer, and has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens, so it's no surprise that animals happen to be her favorite topic to write about!

Rachael Gerkensmeyer Profile Picture