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27 Types of Blackbirds in Florida (With Pictures)

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Yellow-headed Blackbird male (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

Florida is home to many bird species in various shapes, sizes, and colors. More commonly, you’ll find a variety of blackbirds, each owning a unique appearance, wingspan, diet, and lifespan.

Let’s talk about the 27 most common blackbirds you can find in Florida, some of which may even land in your backyard with the right feed.

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The 27 Types of Blackbirds in Florida: 

1. American Coot

american coot in the water

Image Credit: FrankBeckerDE, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Fulica americana
Weight: 1.7 pounds
Wingspan: 28 inches
Lifespan: 22 years
Diet: Insects, berries, and seeds

The American Coot is similar to a duck in many ways, but mostly because it’s a waterbird. They can’t fly well, requiring a run-up every time they take off. In addition, they look a lot like ducks while swimming.

In appearance, they have sloping, bright beaks, rounded heads, and a red patch on their foreheads. Considering their small size, these black birds have a surprisingly long lifespan.


2. Anhinga

Anhinga perched on a tree branch

Image Credit: Ryan Vand, Pexels

Scientific Name: Anhinga anhinga
Weight: 2.7 pounds
Wingspan: 48 inches
Lifespan: 11 years
Diet: Fish and aquatic insects

Anhingas are also waterbirds except they’re slenderer and larger, with majestic wings fanning out like a turkey’s. Interestingly, you’ll often find them swimming with just their head and neck above water, after which they perch on their legs and outstretch their wings to dry.

Their bills are thin, long, and sharp on an S-shaped neck with silvery black feathers. You can differentiate female anhingas from males by noting the tan feathers on their heads, necks, and breasts.


3. Brewer’s Blackbird

Brewers blackbird

Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Euphagus cyanocephalus
Weight: 0.18 pounds
Wingspan: 14.6 inches
Lifespan: 12 years
Diet: Insects, berries, and seeds

The Brewer’s Blackbird feeds on the ground, meadows, grasslands, golf courses, and riversides. Named after the ornithologist Thomas Mayo Brewer, it’s easy to distinguish between male and female species of this bird.

While female Brewer’s Blackbirds have dark brown feathers and dark eyes, males have glossy feathers, yellow eyes, and a bluish shine on their heads.


4. Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

red cockaded woodpecker

Image Credit: feathercollector, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Leuconotopicus Borealis
Weight: 0.12 pounds
Wingspan: 16 inches
Lifespan: 12 years
Diet: Insects

Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers are an endangered species as most of their habitats are lost, including old-growth pine forests, in which they create cavities for their nests. This small woodpecker species has black heads, white cheeks, and a bold black stripe.

The male’s cockade has a slight red streak and black and white feathers on the back.


5. Rusty Blackbird

Rusty blackbird perched on a metal barrier

Image Credit: Pxhere

Scientific Name: Euphagus carolinus
Weight: 0.17 pounds
Wingspan: 14.6 inches
Lifespan: 8 years
Diet: Insects and plant matter

Like most blackbirds, the Rusty Blackbird can be easily distinguished regarding its gender. While female Rusty Blackbirds have gray-brown feathers with rusty edges, the males have glossy black feathers, buff eyebrows, and yellow eyes.

Moreover, Rusty Blackbirds feed on insects and plant matter found under leaves and bark on the ground. Considering their small size, these birds have a pretty wide wingspan.


6. Snail Kite

Snail kite on a tree

Image Credit: Paul Hoekman, Pexels

Scientific Name: Rostrhamus sociabilis
Weight: 1.25 pounds
Wingspan: 47 inches
Lifespan: 9 years
Diet: Large snails

Snail Kites are medium-sized raptors with slim and hooked bills, long tails, and broad wings that can span as wide as 47 inches. Male Snail Kites typically have bright yellow beaks with gray tips, black tails with white edges, and dark gray feathers.

Meanwhile, the females have brown feathers, which are white around their faces. With only 1,000 of these birds left, they’re listed as endangered federally and in Florida.


7. White-crowned Pigeon

Patagioenas leucocephala Paloma Coroniblanca White-crowned Pigeon

Patagioenas leucocephala Paloma Coroniblanca White-crowned Pigeon (Image Credit: Félix Uribe, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0)

Scientific Name: Patagioenas leucocephala
Weight: 0.66 pounds
Wingspan: 23 inches
Lifespan: 14 years
Diet: Fruits and berries

The White-Crowned Pigeon is one of the most unique-looking pigeons you can find, with a white head and iridescent green feathers at the nape of its neck. In addition, they have red beaks, red legs, and bright yellow eyes.

Surprisingly, it weighs just over half a pound but can live up to 14 years, feeding on fruits and berries from trees.


8. American Crow

american crow perched on a log

Image Credit: JackBulmer, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
Weight: 1.3 pounds
Wingspan: 40 inches
Lifespan: 17 years
Diet: Insects, berries, and seeds

Of course, the American Crow is found all over the country, including in Florida. They’re known for their glossy black feathers and jet-black beaks. While their tail is short and squared off, their wings are fairly broad, stretching as wide as 40 inches.

The best thing about these birds is that they’re intelligent enough to have great problem-solving skills, inhabiting crowded urban areas. That’s where they’ll feed on anything they find, including insects, seeds, and berries.


9. Boat-Tailed Grackle

Boat-tailed grackle

Image Credit: Wilfred Marissen, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Quiscalus major
Weight: 0.55 pounds
Wingspan: 20 inches
Lifespan: 12 years
Diet: Grains, crayfish, aquatic insects, and snails

Boat-Tailed Grackles are attractive songbirds whose every inch is covered with glossy black feathers and sparkle in a bluish hue around their back. These birds are found around the seaside but have also been observed living inland far from the coast.

As omnivores, these birds can consume practically anything they find, including leftover human food, seeds, and even crabs near the coast.


10. Common Grackle

Common Grackle

Image Credit: kidmoses, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Quiscalus quiscula
Weight: 0.31 pounds
Wingspan: 18.1 inches
Lifespan: 22 years
Diet: Insects, berries, and seeds

The Common Grackle is a blackbird, and they do indeed look completely black. However, if you take a closer look, their body feathers are a deep bronze color, while their heads have glossy purple feathers. The female birds are similar looking, but they are not as glossy.

They can easily locate food and are common in urban and rural regions. You frequently see these birds sitting on telephone wires because they like to congregate there in flocks.


11. Red-Winged Blackbird

red winged blackbird perching

Image Credit: stephmcblack, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Agelaius phoeniceus
Weight: 0.16 pounds
Wingspan: 15.8 inches
Lifespan: 15 years
Diet: Seeds and suet

Except for extremely noticeable red and yellow spots on their shoulders, these Red-Winged Blackbirds are entirely black. Their female species lack striking colors and have a darker overall coloration, with one of their distinctive features being their white eyebrows.

Offering a combination of grains like millet, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds can easily attract them. They mainly live in marshes and streams that are both freshwater and saltwater.


12. Smooth-Billed Ani

Smooth-billed Ani on a tree branch

Image Credit: Rawpixel

Scientific Name: Crotophaga ani
Weight: 0.15 pounds
Wingspan: 18 inches
Lifespan: 5 years
Diet: Insects, berries, and fruits

The first thing you’ll notice about a Smooth-Billed Ani is its beak, which resembles a parrot in its shape. This bill has a permanently rigid and an arched top. In the sunlight, the bird’s feathers shine a beautiful shade of bronze.

These birds have all-black plumage and long, tapering tails and prey on lizards, insects, and other small animals. They are typically found in dense scrubland.


13. Swallow-Tailed Kite

swallow-tailed kite

Image Credit: Dennis Jacobsen, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Elanoides forficatus
Weight: 1.31 pounds
Wingspan: 53 inches
Lifespan: 6 years
Diet: Lizards, small birds, frogs, and insects

The eye-catching Swallow-Tailed Kite has a mix of black and white feathers. Their heads and bellies are covered in white feathers, but the feathers surrounding their wings, tails, and backs are entirely black. They have small, hooked black beaks and black eyes.

These kites hunt insects and small animals, including frogs and small snakes.


14. European Starling

European Starling bird

Image Credit: Piqsels

Scientific Name: Sturnus vulgaris
Weight: .21 pounds
Wingspan: 15.8 inches
Lifespan: 3 years
Diet: Insects, berries, fruits, and seeds

European Starlings have black, seemingly glossy feathers and a long, thin beak along with a short tail. The adults have a greenish-purple tint and a much deeper shade of black. Starlings lose their shine in the winter, get white scars all over their bodies, and their beaks darken.

They mostly hunt small insects when available, but in fall and winter, they consume berries, fruits, and seeds.


15. Brown-Headed Cowbird

Brown-Headed Cowbird perched

Image Credit: milesmoody, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Molothrus ater
Weight: .11 pounds
Wingspan: 14.2 inches
Lifespan: 17 years
Diet: Seeds and insects

A Brown-Headed Cowbird can be defined as a thick-billed, stocky blackbird with a conical beak. Males have a brown head and an all-black body, while females are a simple shade of brown. Their eyes are deep black and have faint streaks on their bellies.

They mostly consume seeds and insects and can be found in their natural habitat in Florida’s grasslands and woodland margins.


16. Eastern Meadowlark

male Eastern Meadowlark perched

Image Credit: Gualberto Becerra, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Sturnella magna
Weight: .33 pounds
Wingspan: 15.8 inches
Lifespan: 5 years
Diet: Seeds, waste grain, and insects

The Eastern Meadowlark is considered a near-threatened species in Florida. Although these medium-sized songbirds are not entirely black, they’re known for their signature black stripe across their chest.

Otherwise, their feathers are bright yellow, tan, and white. Found in grasslands and prairies, their singing indicates that spring has arrived.


17. Baltimore Oriole

male baltimore oriole perched

Image Credit: Jay Gao, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Icterus galbula
Weight: 0.08 pounds
Wingspan: 11.8 inches
Lifespan: 14 years
Diet: Insects, berries, and nectar

The Baltimore Oriole is a striking orange bird, with the males featuring black feathers on the top half, which is why they made their way into this list. You’ll mostly spot them in the winter while feeding on insects and fruits in parks and backyards.


18. Orchard Oriole

Orchard oriole

Image Credit: JeffCaverly, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Icterus spurius
Weight: 0.06 pounds
Wingspan: 9.8 inches
Lifespan: 10.9 years
Diet: Insects, berries, and nectar

The Orchard Oriole is another bird that’s on our list solely due to its male species featuring black feathers on the top half. The bottom half is copper for the male and lime green for the female.

Surprisingly, the male and female Orchard Orioles have little in common regarding their appearances. However, you can find both in South Florida, feeding on ants, caterpillars, beetles, and grasshoppers.


19. Bobolink

Bobolink sitting on a barbed wire

Image Credit: Picryl

Scientific Name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Weight: 0.12 pounds
Wingspan: 10.6 inches
Lifespan: 6 years
Diet: Insects and seeds

The Bobolink is a unique-looking bird, with the male being almost entirely black and the female being a dull gray. These birds travel from wintering grounds in South America to breeding grounds in Canada.

You’ll typically find them in marshes and coastal areas, making short “peek” and “check” calls.


20. Spot-breasted Oriole

Spot-breasted Oriole

Image Credit: Agami Photo Agency, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Icterus pectoralis
Weight: 0.11 pounds
Wingspan: 4.5 inches
Lifespan: 12 years
Diet: Berries, nectar, and insects

Spot-Breasted Orioles are the perfect combination of jet-black and orange with white-edged wings. Typically, you’ll find them along the Gulf Coast, but they’re rare in the US. In Florida, these birds live in dry scrub and open woodlands.

They build their nests with the help of fibers and plants, weaving them into a hanging pouch. If you want to attract a Spot-Breasted Oriole, just place some sugar water and fruit in your backyard.


21. Bronzed Cowbird

Bronzed Cowbird on a broken tree branch

Image Credit: AndrewPatrick, Pexels

Scientific Name: Molothrus aeneus
Weight: 0.16 pounds
Wingspan: 13 inches
Lifespan: 8 years
Diet: Seeds and insects

You can easily spot Bronzed Cowbirds in Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, as they are bigger than other cowbirds. While female Bronzed Cowbirds have brown feathers and black eyes, males have black feathers, glossy blue wings, and red eyes.

These birds are mostly found in open fields, wooded areas, and pastures, feeding on any seeds and insects they find.


22. Shiny Cowbird

Shiny_Cowbird

Shiny_Cowbird (Image Credit: DickDaniels, via Wikimedia Commons  CC BY-SA 3.0)

Scientific Name: Molothrus bonariensis
Weight: 0.08 pounds
Wingspan: 11.8 inches
Lifespan: Unknown
Diet: Insects, arthropods, and seeds

The beautifully dark Shiny Cowbirds are mostly found in open and semi-open areas, including farm fields, parks, gardens, and roadside ditches. From a distance, the males look almost black, but up close, they are velvety purple.

Females have brown skin with white necks and brows. They hunt in groups, mostly with different blackbird species, and browse on the ground, looking for seeds, grains, and insects.


23. Bullock’s Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole

Image Credit: PublicDomainImages, Pixabay

Scientific Name: Icterus bullockii
Weight: 0.09 pounds
Wingspan: 12.2 inches
Lifespan: 14 years
Diet: Insects, fruit, and nectar

Bullock’s Orioles consume fruit, nectar, and, sometimes, insects. The females are washed in grey and orange, while the adults are flame-orange with a clean line through the eye and a white wing patch.

One of the specialties of Bullock’s Orioles is that they sing. The males do it more sweetly and frequently than the female.


24. Scott’s Oriole

Scott's oriole perched

Image Credit: AZ Outdoor Photography, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Icterus parisorum
Weight: 0.08 pounds
Wingspan: 12.6 inches
Lifespan: 5 years
Diet: Insects, berries, and nectar

The foothills and valleys are where the Scott’s Oriole spends the summer while spreading their rich, beautiful whistles around and feeding on insects and nectar.

Males are lemon yellow and have a black back, head, and breast while being large and slender with a thin, pointed beak that is slightly curled. Meanwhile, female Scott’s Orioles have beautiful pastel colors and lack a black hood and back.


25. Hooded Oriole

Hooded Oriole

Image Credit: PACO COMO, Shutterstock,

Scientific Name: Icterus cucullatus
Weight: 0.05 pounds
Wingspan: 11 inches
Lifespan: 5 years
Diet: Fruit and nectar

In comparison to other orioles, the Hooded Orioles are longer and more delicately built. Adult males have a black neck and extend up around the eye, ranging in color from bright yellow to blazing orange.

The overall color of females is olive-yellow, with grayer backs and narrow white wing bars and the back’s unspotted gray color. These beautiful songbirds feed on nectars and insects.


26. Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark Perched on a Fence Post

Image Credit: Kerry Hargrove, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Sturnella neglecta
Weight: 0.25 pounds
Wingspan: 16.1 inches
Lifespan: 6 years
Diet: Insects and seeds

Though Western Meadowlarks are quite pleasant to look at, they are classified as “accidental species.” They share a similarity with robins in terms of size. With black, brown, and white colors taking over their bodies, these birds look like they fit the summer season well, which is why they move to warmer areas when winter arrives.


27. Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-Headed Blackbird

Image Credit: Kenneth Rush, Shutterstock

Scientific Name: Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
Weight: 0.21 pounds
Wingspan: 17.3 inches
Lifespan: 11 years
Diet: Insects and seeds

As the name suggests, these birds have marvelous, black-colored bodies, with yellow color taking over their chest and head area. However, the difference between males and females is that the former has a touch of white in their wings, and the latter have brown bodies instead of black.

They enjoy seeds and insects as meals and prefer warmer areas in the winter.

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Conclusion

Blackbirds are found all over the US, but most commonly in Florida’s wooded areas where they migrate to their breeding grounds.

Most of Florida’s blackbird population consists of songbirds, but you’ll also find raptors and waterbirds. With the right feed, you can attract most of these birds to your backyard.


Featured Image Credit: Don Mammoser, Shutterstock

About the Author Jeff Weishaupt

Jeff is a tech professional by day, writer, and amateur photographer by night. He's had the privilege of leading software teams for startups to the Fortune 100 over the past two decades. He currently works in the data privacy space. Jeff's amateur photography interests started in 2008 when he got his first DSLR camera, the Canon Rebel. Since then, he's taken tens of thousands of photos. His favorite handheld camera these days is his Google Pixel 6 XL. He loves taking photos of nature and his kids. In 2016, he bought his first drone, the Mavic Pro. Taking photos from the air is an amazing perspective, and he loves to take his drone while traveling.

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