Are you looking for something a little different in your avian friends? Check out these 17 stunning black birds with blue heads! These beautiful birds stand out in any flock, and their unique coloring is bound to impress.
Whether you’re a bird lover yourself or appreciate nature’s beauty, these lovely creatures are sure to inspire. So take a look and see why black birds with blue heads are so unique!
1. 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: Breeding occurs from February to April in the Southern Hemisphere. The shiny cowbird is considered a “brood parasite” among the many species within this group. It lays its eggs in nests belonging to other birds and relies on those hosts to raise its young.
2. Purple Martin
Scientific name: Progne subis
Size: The purple martin is one of the largest songbirds in North America, reaching lengths of up to 7.5-7.9 inches (19–20 cm) and weighing about 1.6–2.1 oz (45–60 g).
Appearance: The male has a blue-purple steel body with blackish-grey wings and tail, while the female has grayish-brown upper parts and paler underparts.
It is a common species throughout North America, from southern Canada to Mexico.
Habitat: The purple martin’s preferred habitats are semi-open countries near water, farms, towns, mountain forest, lowland deserts with giant saguaro cacti, and saguaro deserts.
Diet: The purple martin feeds primarily on flying insects such as dragonflies, mosquitoes, beetles, and moths. It also eats other invertebrates, like spiders and caterpillars.
Breeding/Nesting: The purple martins will build a nest together, often in areas with high human activity. They will lay 4-5 eggs which hatch after 26-31 days of incubation. The young fledge from the nest about three weeks later.
3. Tree Swallow
Scientific name: Tachycineta bicolor
The Tree swallow is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It is found throughout much of Europe and Asia. The scientific name translates as “swift-tailed swift.”
Size: The tree swallow measures about 15 cm (6 inches).
Appearance: Tree swallows are small migratory songbirds with long, pointed wings and short, squared, or slightly notched tails.
Not entirely black, these birds still have an almost metallic greenish-blue back and head, together with a white throat, breast, and belly.
Diet: Tree swallows eat flying insects, especially moths, flies, and butterflies.
Swallows are known for their ability to fly upside down. This allows them to catch prey without having to flap their wings. They can even dive underwater to catch aquatic insects.
Habitat: Tree swallows prefer temperate forests and nest in cavities in dead branches or hollows in living trees.
Breeding/Nesting: This species migrates to west Mexico and Central America in July and August. It is a fast flyer, reaching speeds of more than.
During migration, tree swallows spend time resting in trees. They use these sites as staging areas, resting until they have accumulated enough energy to continue their journey.
4. Asian Fairy-bluebird
Scientific name: Irena puella
The Asian Fairy-bluebird is a species of bird in the family Irenidae, native to parts of India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.
Size: These birds measure about 24-27 cm (9.4 to 10.6 inches) in length and weigh about 56-76 g.
Appearance: The Asian fairy bluebird (Irena puella) is a small blue-and-white bird in the Irenidae family. This gorgeous bird has a solid black bill, legs, and bright red eyes.
Males have a brilliant blue back with black wings and tails, while females have a duller turquoise. The head is the same color as the sky – intense blue, azure, and very bright.
Diet: The Asian Fairy-bluebird’s diet includes nectar, fruit, seeds, and insects.
Habitat: Asian fairy bluebirds are found in forests throughout tropical southern Asia, Indochina, and the Greater Sundas.
Breeding/Nesting: Asian Fairy-bluebirds form monogamous pairs for the breeding season and lays two to three eggs in a cup nest on a tree or shrub. The chicks hatch after about 14 days and fledge from the nest after about 13 days. Both parents feed the young for some time after leaving the nest.
5. Blue-black Grassquit
Scientific name: Volatinia jacarina
The Blue-black Grassquit is a small seedeater found in Central and South America.
Size: These birds measure about 10.2 cm (4.0 in) long and weigh 9.3 g (0.33 oz).
Appearance: The blue-black grassquit is a tiny songbird with bright blue-black plumage, black wings, and a black tail. Females have light brown plumage with darker wings.
Diet: Blue-black grassquits eat seeds and small insects on grass, such as spiders, caterpillars, and ants.
Habitat: These birds are found in open areas with tall grasses, such as savannas, swamps, wetlands, rainforests, mountains, and scrubland.
Breeding/Nesting: They nest near the ground in dense vegetation, laying 2-4 eggs which hatch after about 12 days of incubation. The young fledge from the nest about three weeks later. Blue-black grassquits have a variety of calls and songs, which they use to attract mates or defend their territory. These birds are also known to join mixed-species flocks during the winter months.
The blue-black grassquit is a vital seed disperser in its native range, helping to spread plant species that may otherwise be unable to move between habitats. They are also considered a beneficial species by farmers, as they feed on crop pests.
6. Satin Bowerbird
Scientific name: Ptilonorhynchus violaceus
The Satin Bowerbird is a species of passerine bird found in Australia and New Guinea.
Size: These birds measure about 33 cm long and weigh about 173-258 g. Females are larger than males.
Appearance: The Satin Bowerbird is a medium-sized bird. The adult male of this species has glossy blue-black plumage, a pale bluish-white bill, and a violet-blue iris. The younger males and females look similar to each other in coloration and are both referred to as ‘green’ birds. Their body is olive-green, the underbody off-white with dark scalloping, and they have brown wings and tails. The bill is a bit darker in color. Young males may start donning their adult feathers in their fifth year but will not be fully ‘attired’ until seven years old.
Diet: Satin Bowerbirds feed mainly on fruits, insects, seeds, and nectar.
Habitat: These birds inhabit open woodland areas, grasslands, heathland, and suburban gardens in eastern Australia.
Breeding/Nesting: The males build elaborate bowers made of twigs which they decorate with brightly colored objects to attract mates. They also sing complex songs to attract their potential partners. The females lay one to three eggs in a cup nest located in a tree or bush. The chicks hatch after about three weeks and fledge from the nest at around five weeks old.
The Satin Bowerbird is an essential species for seed dispersal and its role as a pollinator of native plants, making it an important part of Australia’s natural ecosystems. Additionally, they are great indicators of changes in their environment due to their sensitivity to human activity. As such, they are important when assessing the health of our natural environments.
7. Blue-black Grosbeak
Scientific name: Cyanocompsa cyanoides
The Blue-black Grosbeak is a species of songbird found in Central and South America.
Size: These birds measure about 17 cm (6.7 in) long and weigh 0.9-1.1 oz (26-31 g) with an 11.0 in (28 cm) wingspan.
Appearance: The Blue-black Grosbeak is a small songbird. The male is deep blue with a thick lighter blue bill and shoulders. The female has chestnut-brown plumage with a blackish bill.
Diet: Blue-black grosbeaks eat insects, caterpillars, fruits, and seeds.
Habitat: The blue-black grosbeak prefers habitats with lots of tall trees and undergrowth because these areas provide more cover. You’re not likely to see them out in the open, but they can sometimes be found at the edges of broadleaf forests.
Breeding/Nesting: Blue-black Grosbeaks lay 3-5 eggs which hatch after about 12 days of incubation. The chicks fledge from the nest after around 17 days.
8. Shining Honeycreeper
Scientific name: Cyanerpes lucidus
The Shining Honeycreeper is a species of the tanager family. It can be found in tropical Central and South America.
Size: These birds measure 10 cm long and weigh around 11 g.
Appearance: The Shining Honeycreeper is a small, spunky bird with a long thin beak and short tail. Males have purplish-blue plumage with black throats, wings, and chest patches. They also have yellow legs with black toenails that really stand out. Females are as beautiful as their male counterparts, with green feathers and a distinct blue malar stripe. They also have blue streaking on the breast and a buffy throat.
Diet: These birds feed on nectar, pollen, fruits, seeds, and insects. They eat arthropods on vines and twigs and fly out to catch flying insects. They also poke around in dead leaves, looking for any hiding insects.
Habitat: The Shining Honeycreeper prefers humid forests, particularly in the tropical lowlands of Central and South America.
Breeding/Nesting: The Shining Honeycreeper lays two eggs that hatch after an incubation period of about 13 days. Both parents take care of the young. The chicks fledge from the nest at around 14 days old.
The Shining Honeycreeper is an essential species for pollinating many plant species.
9. Indigo Bunting
Scientific name: Passerina cyanea
The Indigo bunting is a medium-sized American songbird that lives in North America. It belongs to the family Emberizidae, which includes sparrows, finches, and Old World flycatchers. The Indigo Bunting has five subspecies: the eastern, western, mountain, boreal, and Palearctic.
The Indigo Bunting is one of the most popular backyard birds. It has been bred commercially since the early 1900s. Its popularity stems from its striking appearance and beautiful songs.
Size: The Indigo Bunting measures approximately 12–15 inches (30–38 cm) tall with a wingspan of 18–22 inches (46–56 cm).
Appearance: Adult males have a vibrant blue plumage during summer, with slightly richer blue on their heads. During the winter, they are brown, just like females, only year-round.
Scientists consider indigo buntings blackbirds – because of different light angles hitting their feathers, some birds look blue.
Diet: This bird eats seeds, fruits, and berries.
Habitat: It can be seen in fields, woodlots, parks, gardens, and other open habitats.
Breeding/Nesting: The Indigo Bunting breeds from late March through May. The female lays three to six cream-colored eggs in a shallow cup nest. Both parents feed the chicks. Young birds leave the nest after about 12 days.
The Indigo Bunting is a migratory species. It winters in Central America and South America.
10. Blue-black Kingfisher
Scientific name: Todiramphus nigrocyaneus
Size: The Blue-black Kingfisher measures between 8–10 inches (20–25 cm) long with a wingspan of about 13 inches (33 cm) and weighs about 51–57 g
Appearance: The Blue-black Kingfisher is known for its black face, large black beak, blue crown and tail, and bright white throat. The underparts of males depend on their location; some have rufous or dark bellies with a white crescent, while females generally sport a white belly.
Diet: This bird feeds on small fish and crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp.
Habitat: It is found in mangroves, riverside thickets, and lowland forests. They are mainly found in the lowlands of Indonesia and New Guinea.
Breeding/Nesting: This species builds a cup-shaped nest made of twigs, grasses, mosses, and leaves. The female lays two to five white eggs, which are incubated for 11–15 days before hatching. The chicks fledge in about three weeks.
11. Blue-necked Tanager
Scientific name: Stilpnia cyanicollis
Size: The Blue-necked Tanager measures around 12 cm long with a wingspan of 8–9 inches (20–23 cm) and weighs about 17 g.
Appearance: The Blue-necked Tanager has a black body with a shining blue head, black beak, and straw-colored shoulder. Its wings are black with blueish-green edges. Both sexes look alike. It resembles the Masked Tanager but can be distinguished by its dark (not white) belly and buff shoulder.
Diet: The blue-necked tanager’s diet includes primarily fruits, berries, some flower blossoms, and insects. They will pick insects off leaves or sometimes while in flight.
Habitat: Its natural habitats typically include subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and heavily degraded former forests.
Breeding/Nesting: It builds its nest high up near the canopy of trees. The female lays 2–3 white eggs with brown spots incubated for 13-14 days before hatching. Both parents feed the chicks, who fledge after 15 days.
12. Superb Fairywren
Scientific name: Malurus cyaneus
Size: The Superb Fairywren measures 5.5–6 inches (13–15 cm) long with a wingspan of 7.5–8.7 inches (19–22 cm) and weighs about 8–13 g.
Appearance: The male Superb Fairywren is polygynous, meaning he mates with more than one female. During the breeding season, his plumage is striking blue with a blue forehead, ear coverts, mantle, and tail, a black mask, brownish wings, and black or dark blue throat. Outside of the breeding season, the males return to their grey-brown feathers. The dull coloring led early biologists to believe that all nonbreeding birds were females when in reality, they were just adolescent or adult males who hadn’t yet mated and didn’t need to impress potential mate(s) with vivid colors.
Diet: This species feeds on insects and seeds.
Habitat: Superb fairywrens are found in open woodlands, domestic gardens, scrubland, and heath.
Breeding/Nesting: They build nests of grasses and other materials in dense foliage near the ground or higher up in trees. The female lays two to four white eggs with reddish-brown spots which are incubated for 14–15 days before hatching. Both parents feed the chicks until they fledge after 15–17 days.
13. Southern Cassowary
Scientific name: Casuarius casuarius
Size: The Southern Cassowary is the largest bird in Australia and measures up to 5.6 feet (1.7 m) tall with a wingspan of about 3.3–4.2 ft (1–1.3 m). It can weigh up to 44 kg.
Appearance: This large black bird has a bright blue head and neck, along with long black feathers on its body and red wattles or bare skin folds on its throat and neck. It also has a brown casque on top of its head. Its legs are also feathered down to its feet which have three toes, much like an ostrich’s feet.
Diet: The southern cassowary eats mainly fruits, seeds, carrion, small rodents, fish, and fungi. It will also sometimes eat small invertebrates like insect larvae, spiders, and small birds or their eggs.
Habitat: The southern cassowary resides in tropical rainforests, melaleuca swamps, and mangrove forests in northeast Queensland, Papua New Guinea, and some surrounding areas.
Breeding/Nesting: The female lays four green eggs, which are incubated for around 50 days before hatching. The male is responsible for incubating and taking care of the chicks once they are laid until maturity, while the female moves away to mate again with another male.
14. Black-throated Blue Warbler
Scientific name: Setophaga caerulescens
Size: Black-throated blue warblers measure 4.7–5.9 inches (12–14 cm) long with a wingspan of 8.3–10.2 in (21–26 cm). They typically weigh between 0.3 and 0.4 oz (8 and 11 g).
Appearance: The male bird is midnight blue with a white underside and black on the throat, face, and sides. The female is plain grayish olive but may have blue tints on the wings and tail. Both sexes have a small white square on the wing.
Diet: Black-throated Blue Warblers forage insects and spiders in the foliage of trees, especially during the breeding season. They also consume fruits in winter.
Habitat: Black-throated blue warblers breed in deciduous and mixed deciduous-coniferous woodland, often near water sources like ponds, lakes, or rivers. They are also found in shrubland and scrubby areas with plenty of vegetation cover.
Breeding/Nesting: Black-throated Blue Warblers create cup-shaped nests with strips of bark and spiderwebs, held together by the bird’s saliva, which they place either on low tree branches or on the ground. Female Black-throated Blue Warblers lay 2–5 creamy white eggs with brown spots which are incubated by both adults for 12 to 13 days before hatching. The chicks fledge after 12 to 14 days in the nest.
15. Common Grackle
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 a diet composed mostly of 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 which are incubated by both parents for 11–15 days before hatching. The chicks fledge after 10–17 days.
16. Blue-and-White Flycatchers
Scientific name: Cyanoptila cyanomelana
Size: Blue-and-white flycatchers measure 6.3–6.7 in (16–17 cm) long and have a wingspan of 26 cm. They typically weigh 25 g.
Appearance: The blue-and-white flycatcher is a migrating songbird known for its bright, electric-blue plumage on the cap, back, wings, and tail. The breast is white while the face, eyes, and bill are brown-black. Females have brownish-chestnut plumage with a pale underside.
Diet: This species mainly eats insects, such as beetles, flies, moths, dragonflies, and grasshoppers. Fruits are also eaten occasionally.
Habitat: The blue-and-white flycatcher lives in various areas including lowland forests, taigas, wooded hillsides, and gullies, up to an elevation of 1,200 meters. It can also reside in scrubland, bushes, and plantations.
The bird can be spotted in coastal woodlands, parks, and gardens during its migration or when it is wintering. In Borneo, it has been found at high altitudes up to 2000 meters above ground level.
Breeding/Nesting: The female builds a cup-shaped nest from bark strips lined with moss, some plant fibers, and parts of lichens. She lays 4–6 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 13–14 days before hatching. The chicks fledge after 13–15 days.
17. Purple Sunbird
Scientific name: Cinnyris asiaticus
Size: Purple sunbirds measure 3.1–3.9 in (8-10 cm) long and have a wingspan of 15-25 cm. They typically weigh 70-80 g.
Appearance: The purple sunbird is vibrantly colored with metallic purplish black upper parts, a black throat, and dark brown wings, which contrast with its deep upper parts. The birds have a down-curved beak with bristled, tubular tongues that help them collect nectar. During the breeding season, the male’s neck collar feathers take on a distinctly maroon hue. The female is olive-brown on top, with a yellowish underside. She has a pale supercilium beyond her eyes and a darkish eye stripe. Her throat and breast are yellow, fading to white towards the vent area. The outer tail feathers are tipped in white – both in the male and the female.
Diet: This species mainly eats nectar from flowers like those of hibiscus, lantana, jacaranda, eucalyptus, and flame trees. They also consume small insects, such as moths, beetles, caterpillars, flies, ants, and spiders.
Habitat: The purple sunbird is native to India but can also be found in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and parts of Southeast Asia. It can be found in both rural and urban areas, often occupying thin forest or garden land.
Breeding/Nesting: Breeding usually occurs between April to June in northern India and January to June in Sri Lanka. The female builds a cup-shaped nest from grasses lined with spider webbing which is placed in the fork of a tree up to 15 feet (4 m) off the ground. She lays 2–3 eggs which are incubated for 14–15 days before hatching. The chicks fledge after 13–14 days.
All of these stunning black birds with blue heads are amazing creatures with incredible adaptations that make them perfectly suited for their environments and lifestyles. They all have unique characteristics which help them survive within their respective habitats and provide us with glimpses into the wonders of nature.
Each species brings something unique and special to our world, helping to create a more diverse, vibrant, and healthy planet for future generations. We can all learn how to adapt our approaches to ensure the best possible outcomes for ourselves and the environment around us.
No matter where you live or what type of black birds with blue heads, you might encounter, it is important to learn more about them and appreciate their beauty and their role in the environment. There are still so many mysteries that remain hidden within nature, and they can help us uncover some answers and teach us how to protect our planet for generations to come.
My goal is to provide you with a better understanding of blackbirds with blue heads so that you can gain a greater appreciation for these amazing birds and the world around us all. By learning about them, we can become better stewards of our planet – helping ensure that these incredible species will continue to thrive for years to come! Thank you for reading!