If you love birds, then Florida is the place for you! There are 22 different species of black birds that call the Sunshine State home. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at these fascinating creatures and what makes them so unique. There’s something for everyone in Florida’s avian population. So read on to learn more about the common black birds in Florida!
What is the most common black bird in Florida?
Although considered near threatened, Common Grackles have become one of Florida’s most commonly seen birds. In fact, they are the third most common bird in the state during the winter months and they are found throughout the Southeast and East Coast states during the summer months.
Scientific name: Quiscalus quiscula
Size: Common grackles measure 11.0-13.4 inches (28-34 cm) long and have a wingspan of 14.2-18.1 in (36-46 cm). They typically weigh up to 2.6-5.0 oz (74-142 g).
Appearance: The common grackle may look black from a distance, but upon closer inspection, you’ll see that its glossy purplish-blue head is in stark contrast to its bronzy-iridescent body. With bright golden eyes and an intense expression. Females are slightly less glossy than males, and young birds sport dark brown feathers with dark eyes.
Diet: Grackles typically eat mostly seeds, like agricultural grains such as corn and rice. Additionally, they’ll consume other types of seeds, including sunflower seeds, acorns, tree seeds from sweetgum trees, wild and cultivated fruits, and garbage. During the summer months when animal populations are higher, up to 25% percent of a grackle’s diet may be made up of animal items like grasshoppers, spiders, beetles, caterpillars, mollusks, crustaceans, fish, frogs, salamanders, mice, other birds.
Habitat: Common Grackles nest in trees and forage on the ground, often near human settlements such as suburbs, city parks, cemeteries, agricultural fields, and feedlots. They also frequent natural habitats like open woodlands, grasslands, meadows, swamps, marshes., and palmetto hammocks. The only places you are unlikely to find them are in unbroken tracts of forest.
Breeding/Nesting: The female builds a cup-shaped nest from twigs and grass lined with rootlets and animal hair placed in a tree or shrub up to 30 feet (9 m) off the ground. She lays 1–7 eggs incubated by both parents for 11–15 days before hatching. The chicks fledge after 10–17 days.
21 Other common black birds in Florida
1. Boat-tailed Grackle
Scientific name: Quiscalus major
Size: Boat-tailed grackles measure 15.7-17.3 in (40-44 cm) long and have a wingspan of 15.3-19.7 in (39-50 cm). They typically weigh 15.3-19.7 in (39-50 cm).
Appearance: The boat-tailed grackle is a lengthy, thin songbird recognized by its long V-shaped tail, extended legs, and sharp beak. Adult males are constantly black with glossy purple heads. Those living in Florida or near the Gulf Coast have eyes that are darker than average. Females are brown above and reddish-brown below, with a subtle face pattern consisting of a pale eyebrow, dark cheek, and pale “mustache” stripe. Their eye colors vary from a dull brown near the western Gulf Coast to a bright yellow by the Atlantic Coast.
Diet: Boat-tailed grackles feed on a variety of foods. Their diet consists of arthropods, crustaceans, mollusks, frogs, turtles, lizards, grain seeds, fruit, and tubers. They’re also known to take food from humans and other birds or animals.
Habitat: Boat-tailed grackles are found throughout Florida’s coastal areas. They typically inhabit salt marshes and areas of open water near the coast. They can also be found near ponds, lakes, and rivers in wooded areas.
Breeding/Nesting: The female builds a bulky cup-shaped nest made of grass stems, leaves, or Spanish moss. She lays 1–5 eggs incubated by both parents for 13 days before hatching. The chicks fledge after 13 days.
2. Red-winged Blackbird
Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
Red-winged Blackbirds are small songbirds found throughout North America. They are members of the family Icteridae, subfamily Icterinae, and tribe Melanocharitini. Their species name derives from Ancient Greek, meaning “red wing.” In English, they are commonly known simply as redwings or bills.
The genus name Agelaius derives from the Latin Angela, meaning “fire,” and Asus, the ancient Roman god of war. The specific phoeniceus refers to the Phoenician city of Tyre, where the species was initially described.
Size: Red-winged blackbirds measure 6.7- 9.4 in (17-24 cm) long and have a wingspan of 12.2-15.7 in (31-40 cm). They typically weigh 1.1-2.7 oz (32-77 g).
Appearance: Red-winged blackbirds are medium-sized songbirds with bright red shoulder patches on their wings. Adult males are glossy black with a yellow band around the shoulder patch, while adult females are streaked or mottled brownish all over with yellowish feathers around their bills.
Diet: This species feeds primarily on insects, especially grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, caterpillars, spiders, ants, and snails. It also eats small amounts of seeds. It uses its long and thin bill to pry open aquatic plants and access the insects hiding inside them.
Habitat: Red-winged blackbirds can be found in many habitats, such as wet meadows, marshes, grasslands, and open woodlands. They are also commonly seen near agricultural fields, ponds, and lakes.
Breeding/Nesting: The female builds a large, bulky nest close to the ground among vertical shoots of marshy vegetation, shrubs, or trees.
A clutch of 2–4 eggs is laid, incubated for 11–13 days, and is tended by both sexes. The female alone broods the chicks. Both parents feed the fledglings.
3. European Starling
Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris
European starlings are small, iridescent black birds native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. They have been introduced into North America, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the world. Their common name is derived from the Latin “sturno,” meaning “starling.”
Size: European starlings measure 8.7 in (22 cm) long and weigh 2.0–3.6 oz (58–100 g). They have a wingspan of 12–17 in (31–44 cm).
Appearance: The plumage of European starlings is iridescent black at a distance. They have purplish-green iridescent feathers with yellow beaks in summer, and their winter coat is brown and covered in white spots.
Diet: European starlings eat seeds, fruits, berries, insects, earthworms, spiders, mollusks, and other invertebrates. They are also known to scavenge for food in urban areas.
Habitat: European starlings inhabit a wide range of habitats with low tree and shrub cover, such as grasslands, pastures, agricultural land, and forests. They can also be found in urban areas.
Breeding/Nesting: The nest is typically built in trees and shrubs. A clutch of 3–6 eggs is laid and incubated for 12 days before hatching. Both parents feed the young after they hatch. The chicks fledge after 17–21 days.
4. Brown-headed Cowbird
Scientific name: Molothrus ater
The brown-headed cowbird is a medium-sized blackbird found in North America. Its common name comes from its habit of following cows and other animals, feeding on the insects they disturb. The genus name Molothrus is derived from Ancient Greek and refers to a species of bird that was considered a “harbinger of war.”
Size: The brown-headed cowbird measures 6.3–8.7 in (16–22 cm) long and has a wingspan of 14 in (36 cm). It typically weighs 1.5 oz (44 g).
Appearance: Adult males are glossy blueish-black with a chocolate-brown head and neck, while adult females are grayish-brown with paler underparts.
Diet: The brown-headed cowbird is omnivorous, feeding on insects, seeds, berries, grains, and other plant material.
Habitat: Brown-headed cowbirds can be found in open habitats such as grasslands, pastures, agricultural fields, woodland edges, prairies, orchards, and residential areas.
Breeding/Nesting: The female brown-headed cowbird will lay its eggs in the nests of other birds. A clutch of up to 1-7 eggs is laid and incubated for 10-12 days before hatching. The chicks are then cared for and fed by the host parents; however, cowbirds typically outcompete the nestlings of their hosts for food. The nestling fledges after 12–14 days.
5. Baltimore Oriole
Scientific name: Icterus galbula
The Baltimore oriole is a small blackbird found in North America. It was named after George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore and founder of Maryland, who had a family crest with an orange and black shield.
Size: The Baltimore oriole measures 6–7 in (15–18 cm) long and has a wingspan of 9.1-11.8 in (23-30 cm). It typically weighs 1.1-1.4 oz (30-40 g).
Appearance: Adult males have black heads, backs, wings, and tails with bright orange underparts. Females are yellow-olive with an olive-brown head and wings, and their undersides are yellow-buff.
Diet: While the Baltimore oriole typically dines on helpful insects, such as beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, moths, and flies – they can also consume spiders, snails, and other small invertebrates. They will also eat many harmful pest species, like tent caterpillars, gypsy moth caterpillars, fall webworms, spiny elm caterpillars, and larvae residing within plant galls. Though sometimes, fruit growers consider these birds a nuisance because they might damage crops, including raspberries, mulberries, cherries, oranges, or bananas. They also eat nectar and flower petals.
Habitat: Baltimore orioles are found in deciduous forests near the edges of woods, on river banks, and in small groups of trees. They also like to eat insects and fruits that they find in brushy areas.
Breeding/Nesting: American elms are the preferred tree for nests, but other trees like maples and cottonwoods will do in a pinch. Usually, these nests dangle below a branch, but occasionally you’ll see one attached vertically to a trunk. A clutch of 3–7 eggs is laid and incubated for 11-14 days before hatching. Both parents feed the young after they hatch. The chicks fledge after 13-17 days.
6. Orchard Oriole
Scientific name: Icterus spurius
The orchard oriole is a small blackbird found in parts of North and Central America. Its name comes from its preference for wooded habitats, including orchards. It was once considered the same species as the Baltimore oriole but has since been classified as a distinct species due to differences in its song and appearance.
Size: The orchard oriole measures 5.9-7.1 in (15-18 cm) long and has a wingspan of 9.8 in (25 cm). It typically weighs 0.6-1.0 oz (16-28 g).
Appearance: Adult males have dark blackish-brown heads and backs with reddish-chestnut underparts. Females are greenish-yellow overall, with grey wings and narrow wing bars.
Diet: Orchard orioles eat various insects such as caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, moths, and flies. They will sometimes eat berries in fall and winter. They often eat nectar and flower petals.
Habitat: Orchard orioles are found in deciduous forests near the edges of woods, open woodlands, areas of scattered trees, parks, and orchards. They also like to eat insects and fruits that they find in brushy areas.
The orchard oriole is a famous bird with backyard birdwatchers and is often attracted to bird feeders.
Breeding/Nesting: Orchard orioles build pendulous nests made of grasses, bark strips, feathers, rootlets, and other materials suspended from the tips of branches. A clutch of 4–6 eggs is laid and incubated for 12-14 days before hatching. Both parents feed the young after they hatch. The chicks fledge after 13-17 days.
Scientific name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus
The bobolink is a small songbird found in North America. It was once called the “Ricebird” because it frequented rice fields and could be seen feasting on grain. It has since been renamed in honor of its distinctive bubbling song, which resembles the bobo or bobwhite quail.
Size: The bobolink measures 5.9-8.3 in (15-21 cm) long and has a wingspan of 10.6 in (27 cm). It typically weighs 1.0-2.0 oz (29-56 g).
Appearance: Adult males are black and white, with a yellow nape, short necks,s and short tails. The female and non-breeding male goldfinches are warm buffy brown, with dark brown streaks on their back and flanks. They have bold brown stripes on the crown but no streaks on the nape of the neck. The bill is pinkish.
Diet: Bobolinks feed on insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, moths, ants, wasps, flies, spiders, and caterpillars. They also eat seeds and grains from grasses, sedges, and grains such as wheat and oats during migration and winter.
Habitat: Bobolinks are found in open meadows, grasslands, marshes, agricultural fields, pastures, and sorghum fields.
Breeding/Nesting: Bobolinks build their nests by gathering coarse, dead grasses and weed stems, then line the inside of the nest with finer grasses and sedges placed directly on the soil. A clutch of 3–7 eggs is laid and incubated for 12-14 days before hatching. Both parents feed the young after they hatch. The chicks fledge after 11-14 days.
8. Spot-breasted Oriole
Scientific name: Icterus pectoralis
Size: The spot-breasted oriole measures 8.3–9.4 in (21–24 cm) long and has a wingspan of 11.8 -13.4 in (30-34 cm). It typically weighs 1.6 oz (45 g).
Appearance: The spot-breasted oriole is a brightly colored songbird found in Central and South America. It has an orangish-yellow plumage with black wings, throat, tail, and back. It also has distinctive black spots on its breasts.
Diet: The spot-breasted oriole is a voracious eater, consuming many berries, small fruits, and even some cultivated fruit. They are also known to drink nectar from flowers–sometimes taking the flower itself! Insects make up a good portion of their diet as well.
Habitat: The spot-breasted oriole is commonly found in suburbs of southern Florida near many different types of exotic trees and shrubs. These areas usually offer an abundance of berries and flowers throughout the year. In its natural range, which typically consists of tropical climates, it can mostly be found in dry woods or thorn scrub and trees in towns.
Breeding/Nesting: Spot-breasted orioles build their nests from grasses, palm fibers, and twigs suspended from the tips of branches. A clutch of 2–4 eggs is laid and incubated for 11-13 days before hatching. Both parents feed the young after they hatch. The chicks fledge after 13-15 days.
9. Bronzed Cowbird
Scientific name: Molothrus aeneus
Size: The bronzed cowbird measures 7.9 in (20 cm) long and has a wingspan of 13.0 in (33 cm). It typically weighs 2.3-2.6 oz (64.9-73.9 g).
Appearance: The bronzed cowbird is a small songbird found in North and South America. It was once named the “cowbird” because it followed cattle herds, feeding on insects stirred up by their feet as they grazed.
The bronzed cowbird has black plumage with bluish wings and tail, a short, conical bill, red eyes, and long legs. Females are brownish.
Diet: Bronzed cowbirds primarily feed on seeds of forbs and grasses, along with some insects and other arthropods. They also eat grains such as milo, oats, corn, and rice.
Habitat: Bronzed cowbirds are found in open areas such as pastures, native coastal prairie (Texas), mesquite woodlands, shrublands, golf courses, prairies, marshes, and agricultural land.
Breeding/Nesting: Bronzed cowbirds are brood parasites; they build no nest but lay eggs in nests of other birds. Only one egg is laid and incubated for 11-13 days before hatching.
10. Shiny Cowbird
Scientific name: Molothrus bonariensis
Size: It is about 18 cm long and weighs around 31-40 g.
Appearance: The male Shiny Cowbird has a blueish-purple body, while the female has brown plumage.
It is a small, medium-sized insectivorous songbird native to southern Central America and parts of South America. It is one of several species commonly referred to as “cowbirds” because of their habit of mimicking cattle’s calls.
This bird belongs to the family Icteridae, which includes familiar species such as orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks, and warblers.
Habitat: This species is found mainly in open habitats such as wooded streams, mangrove forests, scrubby fields, and savannas, but it may also occur in more urbanized areas, including parks, orchards, gardens, and pastures.
Diet: It mainly feeds on insects, larvae, and other invertebrates. It may also eat seeds and fruit.
Breeding/nesting: The Shiny Cowbird is a brood parasite, which means that it never raises its own young. Instead, the host parents take care of the young Cowbirds, and they develop very quickly, leaving the nest in just 10-12 days.
11. Yellow-headed black bird
Scientific name: Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
Size: The yellow-headed blackbird grows to an average length of 8.3 in (21 cm) with a wingspan of 13–14.2 in (33–36 cm). It typically weighs 1.5-2.8 oz (43-79 g).
Appearance: The yellow-headed blackbird is a large, primarily black songbird found in North and Central America. It has a distinctive yellow head and neck, a white patch on its wings, and black eyes. The female has brownish plumage and pale yellow or buffy streaking on the head and neck.
Diet: Yellow-headed blackbirds feed mostly on insects and seeds. In the summer, beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other insects make up most of their diet. However, they will also eat spiders, snails, wasps, and ants.
Habitat: The yellow-headed blackbird is usually found in wetlands such as fresh marshes, lakeshores, and flooded fields.
Breeding/Nesting: Yellow-headed blackbirds build their nests in cattails or other tall marsh vegetation, typically above the water line. The nest is a cup made of marsh plants lined with finer materials. Females lay 3-5 eggs, which are incubated for 12-13 days before hatching. Both parents feed the young after they hatch. The chicks fledge after 9-12 days.
12. Rusty Blackbird
Scientific name: Euphagus carolinus
Size: The Rusty Blackbird is about 8.3-9.8 in (21-25 cm) long and has a wingspan of 14.6 in (37 cm). It typically weighs 1.7-2.8 oz (47-80 g).
Appearance: The Rusty Blackbird is a medium-sized blackbird. The male has dark, glossy black plumage with a greenish sheen, while the female is rusty brown overall with pale eyes. They both have slender, slightly, curved bills.
Diet: Rusty Blackbirds feed mostly on insects during the summer months and switch to grains, acorns, fruits, and seeds in winter.
Habitat: The Rusty Blackbird is found in freshwater wetlands such as marshes, ponds, lakeshores, flooded fields, and bogs. It may also be found in woodlands near water.
Breeding/Nesting: Rusty Blackbirds build their nests in shrubs or trees near water, usually 3-10 ft (1-3 m) above the ground. The nest is a shallow cup made of twigs and grasses lined with finer materials. Females lay 3-6 eggs, which are incubated for 10-12 days before hatching. Both parents feed the young after they hatch, and the chicks fledge after 12-14 days.
13. Brewer’s Blackbird
Scientific name: Euphagus cyanocephalus
Size: The Brewer’s Blackbird is about 8.3-9.8 in (21-25 cm) long and has a wingspan of 14.6 in (37 cm). It typically weighs 2.1-3.0 oz (60-86 g).
Appearance: The male Brewer’s Blackbird is a beautiful bird that can be seen in the sun. Its colors are a combination of black, midnight blue, and metallic green. Females are typically browner, with the darkest colors on their wings and tail. Juveniles look like lighter versions of the females that have been washed out.
Diet: Brewer’s Blackbirds have a diet that is mainly composed of seeds and grains. However, similar to other small birds, they also consume many insects during the summer months when they are most available.
Habitat: The Brewer’s Blackbirds are found in natural habitats spanning from grasslands and marshes to meadows, chaparral, and sagebrush. They also appear in many human-created habitats like golf courses, parks, city streets, and agricultural fields.
Breeding/Nesting: Female Brewer’s Blackbirds weave the nest cup from plant stems, a few twigs, and fine dried grasses then they line it with rootlets and hair. The materials are sometimes cemented using mud or manure. She lays 3-7 eggs, incubated for 11-17 days before hatching. Both parents feed the young after they hatch, and the chicks fledge after 12-16 days.
14. Bullock’s Oriole
Scientific name: Icterus bullockii
Size: The Bullock’s Oriole is about 6.7-7.5 in (17-19 cm) long and has a wingspan of 12.2 in (31 cm). It typically weighs 1.0-1.5 oz (29-43 g).
Appearance: The Bullock’s Oriole is a brightly colored bird. Adult males are flame-orange, with a line going horizontally through the eye. They also have a white wing patch; in contrast, adult females look like they’ve been splashed with gray and orange paint.
Diet: Bullock’s Orioles feed on insects, spiders, fruit, and nectar. They forage by picking insects off of leaves or branches; they also pluck them from spiderwebs or midair and pick ripe fruit from bushes and trees.
Habitat: The Bullock’s Oriole is most often seen in oaks, pecans, and other types of orchard trees. They will also settle for salt cedar bushes and the occasional conifer if necessary. These birds prefer taller trees to those that the Orchard Oriole uses. You can find them in similar areas of open woodland during migration and winter. Sometimes they venture into fir or pine forests too.”
Breeding/Nesting: Female Bullock’s Orioles build a cup-shaped nest out of grasses, bark strips, plant fibers, and feathers firmly secured to a branch or twig. It is usually located 8-25 ft (2.5-7.6 m) above the ground in a tree near the water. The female lays 3-7 eggs incubated for 11-14 days before hatching, and both parents feed the chicks until they fledge after 12-17 days.
15. Scott’s Oriole
Scientific name: Icterus parisorum
Size: The Scott’s Oriole is about 9.1 in (23 cm) long and has a wingspan of 12.6 in (32 cm). It typically weighs 1.1-1.4 oz (32-41 g).
Appearance: The Scott’s Oriole is a brightly colored bird with yellow plumage, a black head, black wings with white stripes, and a black chest. Females are duller than males and have more grayish tones in their plumage.
Diet: Scott’s Orioles eat various foods including insects, fruit, and nectar. They hunt for insects both on the ground and in places like dead-leaf clusters, dense foliage, bark, sap wells made by woodpeckers, and inside flowers.
Habitat: Scott’s Orioles typically reside in dry foothills and mountains, although they avoid nesting in cactus-heavy lowlands of deserts. They prefer places with plenty of yucca, agave, pinyon pine, juniper, and live oak trees between 980 to 8200 feet above sea level.
Breeding/Nesting: Female Scott’s Orioles usually build their nests in trees or tall plants within the landscape, but typically lower than other oriole nests (usually 5–7 feet above the ground). She lays 1-5 eggs incubated for 11-14 days before hatching. Both parents feed the chicks until they fledge after 12-17 days.
16. Hooded Oriole
Scientific name: Icterus cucullatus
Size: The Hooded Oriole is about 7.1-7.9 in (18-20 cm) long and has a wingspan of 9.1-11.0 in (23-28 cm). It typically weighs 0.8 oz (24 g).
Appearance: The Hooded Oriole is an effortlessly gorgeous bird with striking yellowish-orange feathers, a black tail, and wings with two white bars. It has a black throat and face which contrast beautifully with its long, thin, curved bill. The female is classically colored greenish-gray on top with yellow on her underside.
Diet: Hooded Orioles eat many different kinds of insects, especially caterpillars. They also eat beetles, wasps, ants, and other types of bugs. In addition to eating wild berries, they sometimes nibble on cultivated fruit as well.
Habitat: Hooded Orioles are found in open, dry areas in the Southwest. They prefer areas with plenty of tall trees (such as palms) on which they can perch while foraging.
Breeding/Nesting: The female builds a cup-shaped nest from plant fibers and other materials, usually attached to a branch or twig 4 feet above the ground. She lays 3-7 eggs incubated for 12-14 days before hatching.
17. Western Meadowlark
Scientific name: Sturnella neglecta
Size: The Western Meadowlark is about 6.3-10.2 in (16-26 cm) long and has a wingspan of 116.1 in (41 cm). It typically weighs 3.1-4.1 oz (89-115 g).
Appearance: The Western Meadowlark has intricately patterned brown, black, and buff upper parts with a black “V” on its chest and yellow underparts.
Diet: The Western Meadowlark’s diet consists mainly of insects and seeds. Most of their diet comes from insects, which they eat more often during the summertime. This includes beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, ants, true bugs, and others, as well as spiders and snails. Seeds and waste grains make up about one-third of their annual diet, but they consume these items more frequently in fall and winter.
Habitat: Western Meadowlarks are found in open grasslands, pastures, cultivated fields, and meadows across much of the western United States.
Breeding/Nesting: The female lays 3-7 eggs incubated for 13-15 days before hatching. Both parents feed the chicks until they fledge after 10-12 days.
18. Smooth-Billed Ani
Scientific name: Crotophaga ani
Size: The Smooth-billed Ani is about 14 in (35 cm) long and has a wingspan of 43-45 cm. It typically weighs 4.1 oz (115g).
Appearance: The Smooth-billed Ani is a large bird with a long tail and parrot-like bill. Its plumage is all black, and the top of its bill has a prominent ridge or bump but otherwise lacks grooves.
Diet: The Smooth-billed Ani preys on small insects and lizards but will also consume fruits and berries when other food becomes scarce. These birds hunt by making quick pounces or short flights to capture their prey. They hop into bushes and trees, looking for insects or lizards. Sometimes they pluck fruit from trees. They also will jump into the air to try and catch flying insects.
Habitat: Smooth-billed Anis are often found in savannas, pastures, overgrown fields, and other similar habitats that aren’t too densely vegetated. They don’t typically live in rainforests or mangroves. They are pretty versatile and can live in a variety of places, both rural and urban. These include parks, nurseries, fields where crops like sugarcane are grown, and even some suburban areas.
Breeding/Nesting: Both parents build a cup-shaped nest from twigs and green leaves, which is typically placed 2–50 feet above the ground. They lay 3-36 eggs incubated for about 15 days before hatching.
19. Snail Kite
Scientific name: Rostrhamus sociabilis
Size: The Snail Kite is about 14.2-15.3 in (36-39 cm) long and has a wingspan of 42.9-45.7 in (109-116 cm). It typically weighs 12.7-15.5 oz (360-440 g). Males are larger than females.
Appearance: The Snail Kite is a raptor of medium size. It has broad, rounded wings and a short, wide tail. The male kites have dark gray or black plumage and very thin curved hooked bills. Adult females are grayish brown, while juveniles have a warm brown to buff coloration. Red eyes, cere, bare facial skin, and yellow feet are also characteristics of these birds. The eye color of females and juveniles can go from red-brown to brown, while their care, facial skin, and feet usually remain a consistent yellow.
Diet: The Snail Kite subsists mainly on apple snails which it searches for in shallow water bodies such as marshes, ponds, canals, streams, rivers, and lakes.
Habitat: Snail Kites dwell in various types of freshwater wetlands, including marshes, lakes, retention ponds, sloughs, wet prairies, borrow pits, and canals. In southern Florida specifically, they often reside among typical aquatic vegetation. They are usually found near shallow water bodies where apple snails, their primary food source, can be found.
Breeding/Nesting: The female builds a platform nest from sticks, green leaves, grass, and twigs. They lay 1-5 eggs which are incubated for about 30 days before hatching.
20. Double-Crested Cormorant
Scientific name: Phalacrocorax auritus
Size: The Double-crested Cormorant is about 27.6-35.4 in (70-90 cm) long and has a wingspan of 44.9-48.4 in (114-123 cm). It typically weighs 42.3-88.2 oz (1200-2500 g).
Appearance: The Double-crested Cormorant is a large, black bird. It has a long neck and tail, an orange chin patch that is squared with no feathers, and greenish-blue eyes. The small hook on the end of its bill allows it to tilt its head upward when swimming.
Diet: The Double-crested Cormorant feeds mainly on fish, but will also consume crustaceans, mollusks, amphibians, and other aquatic animals. They hunt by diving down into the water and swimming underwater to capture their prey.
Habitat: These cormorants are found near coastal areas and inland bodies of water such as rivers, bays, lakes, and ponds.
Breeding/Nesting: The breeding season for Double-crested Cormorants begins in March/April and can last until August/September. They build their nests from sticks and debris lined with finer materials, usually located in a tree or on the ground near water. They lay 3-4 eggs incubated for about 25-33 days before hatching. The young leave after about 21-28 days.
21. American Coot
Scientific name: Fulica Americana
Size: The American Coot is about 15.5-16.9 in (39.4-42.9 cm) long and has a wingspan of 23.0-25.0 in (58.4-63.5 cm). It typically weighs around 21.2-24.7 oz (600-700 g).
Appearance: The American Coot is a black and white waterbird. It has a white bill, red eyes, dark gray legs and feet, a round head, and a short neck.
Diet: The American Coot’s diet consists mainly of plants, such as pondweed stems and leaves, various types of grass and sedges, and many types of algae. They will also consume insects, tadpoles, fish, worms, snails, crayfish, prawns, and other birds’ eggs.
Habitat: American Coots are typically found near open water bodies such as lakes, ponds, salt bays, and marshes.
Breeding/Nesting: The breeding season for the American Coot begins in May and can last until June. They build their nests from materials like dead cattails, bulrushes, and sedges, lined with finer materials. Their nests are anchored to standing plants for stability, usually located among vegetation near the shore of water bodies. They lay 6-12 eggs incubated for about 21-25 days before hatching.
Florida is a magical state that brims with a spectacular variety of bird species to see. Whether you are an avid Birder or a newly proclaimed Bird Lover, visiting this sunny state has to be on the list of your birding itinerary.
This was all about the commonest species of Black-colored birds in Florida and we hope you are now geared up and well-prepared to explore some of the amazing black birds in Florida. Enjoy!