20 Black Birds With White Bellies

Black birds with white bellies

The contrasting colors of black birds with white bellies are truly fascinating to see. Some of these birds are a rare sight, while others are easy to spot in the right places.

Despite sharing the physical characteristic of having black-and-white plumage, each of these birds is unique in its own way. Their feeding behaviors, diet, nesting preferences, and other features make them all unique.

However, these differences are subtle enough that they can be hard to spot, especially for first-time birdwatchers. Fortunately, this article is here to help you learn more about these black birds with white bellies. Keep reading!

20 Black Birds With White Bellies

1. Black Phoebe

Black Phoebe perched on the edge of a branch
Scientific Name:Sayornis nigricans
Conservation Status:Least Concern 
Length:6.3 in (16 cm)
Weight:0.5–0.8 oz (15–22 g)
Wingspan:11 in (27.9 cm)
Lifespan:3–8 years

The Black Phoebe is a little chunky bird that likes to stay close to bodies of water. If there’s a lake, stream, or river nearby, you’ll have more chances of getting a glimpse of them. 

They are one of the most popular birds that are predominantly black on the back, head, and chest and white on their bellies. Hence, they are also categorized in our list of black and white birds.

Usually, the black on the feathers of adult Black Pheobes can appear to be dark gray. Meanwhile, younger ones have a more brownish appearance.

Black Phoebes like to perch low near water surfaces, where they also forage for food and nest in mud cups. As flycatchers, they dart out of their position or fly mid-air to catch insects like dragonflies, mosquitoes, and mayflies.

These white-bellied birds usually reside across the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America. After the breeding season, some of those in the northern parts might migrate south.

Pro Tip: To attract Black Phoebes to your backyard, you can supplement your area with water elements and native shrubs to draw in insects. They might even build a nest there if a mud source is close.

2. Dark-eyed Junco

Dark eyed Junco up close
Scientific Name:Junco hyemalis
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:5.5–6.3 in (14–16 cm)
Weight:0.6–1.1 oz (18–30 g)
Wingspan:7.1–9.8 in (18–25 cm)
Lifespan:3–11 years

The Dark-eyed Junco is an elegant, medium-sized sparrow that is among the most plentiful forest birds in North America. 

Generally, Dark-eyed Juncos have different colors that are based on their subspecies or the state where they breed. 

Those found in the east are usually slate or grayish-blue and may be classified under types of gray birds, while those found in the west have black, white, and brown colors.

That said, all Dark-eyed Juncos share the physical characteristics of having darker upper areas and lighter bellies. They also have round heads, short, pinkish, stout bills, and distinct white tails that flash open when in flight. 

These avian species breed in woodlands all over North America, and they are usually found in coniferous forests such as pine, spruce, and fir but can also be found in deciduous forests.

During the winter season and while migrating, those Dark-eyed Juncos that breed in Canada and Alaska fly south to the United States and utilize different habitats such as open forests, fields, and parks.

Throughout the year, Dark-eyed Juncos mainly feed on seeds such as chickweed, buckwheat, and sorrel, but they also consume insects when breeding. They visit feeders and prefer millet seeds.

3. Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike perched on barbed wire
Scientific Name:Lanius ludovicianus
Conservation Status:Near Threatened
Length:7.9–9.1 in (20–23 cm)
Weight:1.2–1.8 oz (35–50 g)
Wingspan:11.0–12.6 in (28–32 cm)
Lifespan:7–8 years

The Loggerhead Shrike is an interesting bird known by its nickname, “Butcher Bird.” This is because they impale larger prey onto barbed wires or thorns to be eaten later.

However, this behavior is not unique among shrikes as they are known for using savage strategies in executing their kills. In this sense, these birds are comparable to raptors but without talons.

Curious as to how these sweet-looking birds are able to strike larger and more formidable prey, I came across a study that explains how this is done.

With the help of video footage, it was revealed that Loggerhead Shrikes struck the necks of mice using their sharp beaks.

This rapid attack targets the spinal cord, leading to paralysis. It doesn’t end there, though — they also shake their prey hard enough to break their necks. This shows how precise and strong these small birds are.

Loggerhead Shrikes have a blocky head that is larger than their body, which is why they are called “loggerheads.”

They have a gray head with a black mask and bill, a white throat, and a white belly. Their wings and tail are black and white.

They typically inhabit open meadows or grasslands with high perching and nesting areas in scattered plants and trees. Sadly, their numbers have been on a steep decline and are considered near threatened.

4. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker looking upwards
Scientific Name:Dryobates pubescens
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:5.5–6.7 in (14–17 cm)
Weight:0.7–1.0 oz (21–28 g)
Wingspan:9.8–11.8 in (25–30 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 11 years

Like other woodpeckers, a Downy Woodpecker has black feathers on its back and white feathers on its belly.

Due to this distinct look, they are aptly included in our list of black birds with white wing stripes. Usually, males also sport a red patch on their heads, which females lack. 

Moreover, these birds have a straight, chisel-like beak that looks smaller for their size compared to other woodpeckers. They also have white stripes in the eye and wide shoulders.

Downy Woodpeckers are the smallest woodpeckers in North America. They are found in many habitats because they’re quite common and widespread. You can spot them in open forests, river groves, along streams, or parks.

Their range is also quite extensive, so they can be seen in almost all of the United States and Canada except the northern areas. 

When it comes to their diet, these black birds with white bellies scour for food on tree branches, twigs, and trunks. They mostly eat invertebrates like insects, spiders, caterpillars, beetles, and ants.

However, they also frequent backyard feeders, mingling with other birds like nuthatches and chickadees. Downy Woodpeckers love their suet, but they won’t say no to black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, or millet.

5. Black-capped Chickadee

Black capped Chickadee while singing
Scientific Name:Poecile atricapillus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:4.7–5.9 in (12–15 cm)
Weight:0.3–0.5 oz (9–14 g)
Wingspan:6.3–8.3 in (16–21 cm)
Lifespan:2–3 years

The Black-capped Chickadee is a tiny bird that has a large head and short neck, making its body look spherical. The top of their heads are black, hence their name. Black feathers are also seen around their eyes and neck. 

The bill of Black-capped Chickadees is short and especially darker than their white cheeks. Meanwhile, their back is light gray, while their wings are gray with white on the edges. The belly has a brownish color on the sides and white below.

As one of the most common and widespread birds in North America, you can spot these birds in many environments ranging from woody plants to trees and forests. They avoid residing in purely coniferous forests, though.

These small, perching songbirds are cordial with humans, so they also frequent residential areas or parks. They also boast of good geographical memory, which helps them find food that they hide in various places. 

Speaking of food, Black-capped Chickadees eat mostly insects, spiders, and other animal food. These black birds with white bellies visit feeders and also eat seeds, berries, and other plant matter in winter.

Fun Fact: Black-capped Chickadees have a unique behavior of storing food in the fall and winter and hiding them in multiple areas. However, they rely on their memory to retrieve them later.

6. Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler perched on a tree branch
Scientific Name:Setophaga striata
Conservation Status:Near Threatened
Length:5.5 in (14 cm)
Weight:0.4–0.5 oz (12–13 g)
Wingspan:8.3–9.1 in (21–23 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 8 years

Blackpoll Warblers have black caps with white cheeks, black-striped mustaches, and thin beaks.

These birds also have two white wing bars and orange-yellow legs; however, black caps and white cheeks are only seen in males, making them part of the group of birds with black and white heads.

As late summer comes, these charming little songbirds molt to a plumage of greenish-yellow above, streaked with darker hues on the back. Meanwhile, the white undersides develop mild streaking, and the face turns pale yellow.

Interestingly, Blackpoll Warblers are high-pitched songbirds, which means many people have trouble hearing their songs. While most birds sing at a frequency of 1,000 to 8,000 Hz, Blackpoll Warblers can reach 10,000 Hz.

Blackpoll Warblers forage at eye level and above for primarily spiders and insects like caterpillars, ants, gnats, and more. While migrating, they also consume fruits.

Sadly, their population has decreased dramatically in the last 40 years.

Fun Fact: Blackpoll Warblers hold the record for the longest migration for any North American warbler, flying nonstop for three days over the Atlantic Ocean to reach their Amazon wintering grounds — an impressive 2,000 miles.

7. Black-billed Magpie

Black billed Magpie standing on a plant
Scientific Name:Pica hudsonia
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:17.7–23.6 in (45–60 cm)
Weight:5.1–7.4 oz (145–210 g)
Wingspan:22–24 in (56–61 cm)
Lifespan:4–6 years

Another black bird with a white belly is the Black-billed Magpie. At first, they might appear to be entirely black-and-white, but a closer look would reveal their wings and tails to have a luminous blue-green color.

Also called the American Magpie or simply Magpie, Black-billed Magpies do not migrate and reside only in the northwestern United States, western Canada, the coast of Alaska, and Asia. 

They frequently live in open areas instead of deep in the forests, but ideally close to the edge of the woods for protection from raptors. They don’t shy away from humans and can be seen perched on fence posts or road signs.

When it comes to the diet of Black-billed Magpies, they have comprehensive food choices. They eat fruits and grains, insects, and small mammals like voles and squirrels. 

They’re also nest predators, although eggs and nestlings make up a little portion of their overall diet. Carrion (the decaying flesh of deceased animals), as well as the maggots in carrion, are also their main food sources.

During one of my exploratory trips to New Mexico, I had the chance to spot Black-billed Magpies in their natural habitat. One of their characteristics that captured my attention is how they practically use mud to reinforce their nest structures.

This stabilizes their nests, which are usually made of normal materials like grasses, twigs, and leaves. This shows the creativity and craftsmanship of these birds.

If you are interested in learning more about other birds that build nests out of mud, check out this article.

8. White-breasted Nuthatch

White breasted Nuthatch on a tree trunk
Scientific Name:Sitta carolinensis
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:5.1–5.5 in (13–14 cm)
Weight:0.6–1.1 oz (18–30 g)
Wingspan:7.9–10.6 in (20–27 cm)
Lifespan:2 years

The White-breasted Nuthatch is the largest nuthatch in North America. Identified as a type of blue bird, their physical attributes include a black cap, blue-gray back, white face and belly, and rusty markings on the lower belly and under the tail.

These species are residents of the United States and southern Canada year-round. They usually dwell in deciduous forests that have maple, hickory, basswood, and oak trees, as well as woodland edges. 

However, you’ll likely see them in open areas with large trees like parks, forested suburbs, yards, and feeders too. Despite living in trees, they also forage for food on the ground.

Speaking of feeding, White-breasted Nuthatches often inch along tree trunks and branches, usually eating upside-down. They feast primarily on insects but also eat nuts and seeds like acorns, hawthorns, and more.

Like other nuthatches, white-breasted nuthatches employ an uncommon feeding method. They quash their food, whether nut, seed, or insect, into tree bark, then strike or “hack” it with their bills to tear it open.

Here’s a video of a White-breasted Nuthatch feeding on a tree bark:

White Breasted Nuthatch

9. Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird perched on a plant
Scientific Name:Tyrannus tyrannus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:7.5–9.1 in (19–23 cm)
Weight:1.2–1.9 oz (33–55 g)
Wingspan:13.0–15.0 in (33–38 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 11 years

The Eastern Kingbird is a common kingbird in the eastern United States. The ‘king’ in their name pertains to the boldness and hostility they display among each other and other birds when in defense of their nests.

These medium-sized flycatchers have black, large heads with short, black bills and dark eyes. Their undersides are white, while the upper parts are blackish, and they have a white marking on the tip of their tails.

Eastern Kingbirds spend their breeding season in North America, then migrate south into Central and South America for the winter. 

They typically breed in fields, orchards, and along woodland edges and nest near water. Interestingly, they are also fairly common and conspicuous birds.

Diet-wise, these species mainly eat large insects like dragonflies, bees, wasps, beetles, and moths during the breeding season. Sometimes, Eastern Kingbirds will eat bigger prey like rodents and frogs. 

While migrating and as winter sets in, their diets greatly change. From being insectivores, Eastern Kingbirds become fruit-eaters or frugivores — just in time for the peak fruiting season of Central American trees.

10. Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee with visible white belly
Scientific Name:Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:6.8–8.2 in (17.3–20.8 cm)
Weight:1.1–1.8 oz (32–52 g)
Wingspan:7.9–11.0 in (20–28 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 12 years

The Eastern Towhee is a type of large sparrow with a long tail and thick, triangular beak. These birds remain all year in the southeastern United States, but those who live further north travel to the south as winter looms.

Eastern Towhees also have a combination of black and white in their bodies, supplemented by a striking reddish-brown color. They have jet-black heads, throats, and upper parts, with rufous undersides and white bellies.

These color combinations make them part of an even bigger family of black and orange birds. Further, both male and female Eastern Towhees have the same pattern, except that the black in males is brown in females. 

Meanwhile, their eye color varies, with those in the southeastern United States having white eyes and those further north having dark red eyes.

These species prefer to feed on the ground, especially in brushes, thickets, scrubby areas, and woodland edges. They rummage through leaf litter by scratching on the ground with both their feet like a backward hop. 

However, Eastern Towhees normally hide deep in the underbrushes while on the ground. Hence, you are more likely to spot them whenever they go atop shrubs or little trees to sing.

11. Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow looking backwards
Scientific Name:Tachycineta bicolor
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:4.7–5.9 in (12–15 cm)
Weight:0.6–0.9 oz (16–25 g)
Wingspan:11.8–13.8 in (30–35 cm)
Lifespan:2.7–12 years

Unlike others on this list, the Tree Swallow has blue-green in its upper parts. Males have black or dark gray wings, while females have more brown on their backs. Bellies of both males and females are white, though.

Tree Swallows are small birds that breed in many parts of the United States and in Canada and Alaska in the summer. 

They move to the Gulf Coast, Florida, Mexico, and along the southern border for winter. While migrating, they fly over the southern states and come in huge flocks totaling hundreds of thousands. 

Tree Swallows got their name from inhabiting tree cavities. They are usually found in many open habitats like wooded swamps, grassy fields, and marshes that are close to water, where they can feed on flying insects.

Despite mainly eating flying insects, they eat more seeds and berries than other swallows do.

They also nest in human-made nest boxes, which have aided researchers in making significant progress in several branches of ecology. For this reason, Tree Swallows are one of the best-studied birth species in North America.

12. Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker with white belly
Scientific Name:Leuconotopicus villosus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:7.1–10.2 in (18–26 cm)
Weight:1.4–3.4 oz (40–95 g)
Wingspan:13.0–16.1 in (33–41 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

Compared to the earlier described Downy Woodpecker, a Hairy Woodpecker is larger and has a longer bill. However, they are visually similar and are usually found within the same areas, so telling them apart is a bit tricky.

That said, Hairy Woodpeckers also have a black-and-white coloration. Their head has two white stripes, with the males possessing a flash of red near the back of their heads. 

Moreover, their backs have a huge white patch, their black wings are patterned with white, and their outer tail feathers are white.

Hairy Woodpeckers live across the United States and Canada, save for the far north of the latter. They do not migrate.

These species are commonly found in mature forests that have medium to large trees. It’s also usual to see them in coniferous, deciduous, or mixed forests. Their diet is about 75% insects.

Having varied habitats, Hairy Woodpeckers can also be spotted in woodland edges, beaver ponds, open pine, oak, or birch woodlands, or southern swamps. They can also dwell in woodlots, parks, and cemeteries.

13. Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird perched on a plant
Scientific Name:Mimus polyglottos
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:8.3–10.2 in (21–26 cm)
Weight:1.6–2.0 oz (45–58 g)
Wingspan:12.2–13.8 in (31–35 cm)
Lifespan:8 years

The Northern Mockingbird has the scientific name “Mimus polyglottos,” which translates to “many-tongued mimic,” a fitting name for a bird that’s known for its remarkable mimicking ability.

This cultural icon mimics not only other birds’ songs and calls but also musical instruments, car alarms, slamming doors, sirens, crickets, and many other sounds. And it does so almost endlessly, even occasionally at night!

Northern Mockingbirds are gray-brown with whitish breasts and bellies. They possess two white wing bars on each wing, often seen on perched birds, which become large white flashes in flight. They also have long tails.

Dubbed the “American Nightingale,” these species are conspicuous and can be seen in open areas with high foliage. In suburban or urban areas, they can be spotted atop fences, telephone wires, eaves, or in parks and gardens.

Northern Mockingbirds are omnivores, feeding primarily on insects like wasps, beetles, caterpillars, ants, grasshoppers, and sometimes lizards during spring and summer, and fruits and berries by fall and winter.

They also visit feeders and eat fruits, suet, and occasionally, seeds.

14. Black-and-white Warbler

Black and white Warbler scaling the branch
Scientific Name:Mniotilta varia
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:4.3–5.1 in (11–13 cm)
Weight:0.3–0.5 oz (8–15 g)
Wingspan:7.1–8.7 in (18–22 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 11 years

The Black-and-white Warbler has distinct and striking black-and-white stripes on their bodies. Their wings are black and accentuated by two wide, white wing bars. Their chins, throats, and bellies are white-colored.

The difference among the genders is that adult males possess bolder black streaking, especially on the underparts and cheeks, while females have less streaking and are paler, with a hint of light brownish-yellow on the flanks.

Despite being warblers, Black-and-white Warblers behave more like nuthatches by creeping up, down, and around tree branches and trunks when foraging for insects, spiders, other arthropods, and lepidopteran larvae. 

In the summer, Black-and-white Warblers dwell in deciduous or mixed forests. Their wintering grounds are usually wooded habitats or forest edges from Florida to northern South America, like Colombia.

During migration, especially early on, you can try looking for a Black-and-white Warbler in forests or woodlots. Usually, you’ll find one or two within a group of migrant warblers.

You can also listen to a Black-and-white Warbler’s song, which is high-pitched and piercing in sound.

15. Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose breasted Grosbeak perched on iron
Scientific Name:Pheucticus ludovicianus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:7.1–8.3 in (18–21 cm)
Weight:1.4–1.7 oz (39–49 g)
Wingspan:11.4–13.0 in (29–33 cm)
Lifespan:6–7.5 years

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is among the bird species that exhibit strong sexual dimorphism, which is why males and females of these birds have different plumages.

Specifically, adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are black-and-white with a bold, triangular red marking on their breasts. Females and juveniles are brown-colored and have streaking, with a whitish stripe above their eyes.

Under the wings, males flash pink-red while females flash a yellowish color. Both genders have white markings on their wings and tail, as well as extremely thick, large, and pale pinkish bills. 

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are quite common and widespread in eastern North America, but they migrate to northern South America for winter. They frequent deciduous forests and conifers.

While migrating, these species tend to gather in flocks and hang around fruit trees to fuel their flights. However, they like to stay elevated wherever they seek shelter and also prefer to be hidden in heavy-leafed canopies.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are omnivores. As much as 50% of their diet is composed of insects, small snails, spiders, and other invertebrates, but they also eat seasonal plant offerings.

16. Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee with white belly
Scientific Name:Pipilo maculatus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:6.7–8.3 in (17–21 cm)
Weight:1.2–1.7 oz (33–49 g)
Wingspan:11.0 in (28 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 11 years

The Spotted Towhee is a large and eye-catching sparrow that resides in the western United States. However, those from the remote north travel down south post-breeding season to Texas and nearby areas.

Male and female Spotted Towhees are also sexually dimorphic. Males have sooty black backs and throats, white-spotted wings and backs, and mildly rufous flanks and white bellies. Females are paler and browner.

Spotted Towhees are comparable to Eastern Towhees but have broader white markings on their wings. Another difference is that Spotted Towhees don’t have the white patch on an Eastern Towhee’s folded wing.

These species usually make noisy scratching noises in dense thickets when foraging for food. As ground-feeding birds, they make forward-backward hops with their feet to scrape the ground and find insects and seeds to eat.

Spotted Towhees usually live in open greeneries with underbrushes. They also frequent woodland edges, overgrown fields, and even backyards.

You can try drawing Spotted Towhees to your yard with a platform or ground feeder that has sunflower seeds, millet, cracked corn, or milo seeds.

17. Carolina Chickadee

Carolina Chickadee on a tree
Scientific Name:Poecile carolinensis
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:3.9–4.7 in (10–12 cm)
Weight:0.3–0.4 oz (8–12 g)
Wingspan:5.9–7.9 in (15–20 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 11 years

A Carolina Chickadee is a small, pudgy bird that has a large head, black cap and bib, soft gray back, wing, and tail, and white cheeks and belly. They look like Black-capped Chickadees, but the latter is larger and has a longer tail.

Carolina and Black-capped Chickadees actually hybridize or interbreed in the areas where their ranges overlap, but they don’t overlap a lot. However, it is believed these two species diverged over 2.5 million years ago.

Meanwhile, Carolina Chickadees are residents of the eastern and southeastern United States year-round. They are the only chickadees in almost the entirety of their range.

These bird species prefer forested areas, parks, and backyards. Their primary source of food during the summer are insects and spiders but come winter, around half of their diet includes plant offerings. 

Carolina Chickadees are frequent visitors of backyard feeders. They actually feed on most types of feeders, like tube or platform feeders and suet cages. They like black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer seeds, peanuts, or suet. 

18. Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting standing on the snow
Scientific Name:Plectrophenax nivalis
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:5.9 in (15 cm)
Weight:1.1–1.6 oz (31–46 g)
Wingspan:11.8 in (30 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 9 years

The Snow Bunting displays several plumages, which is a way to adapt to their extreme environment. Their mostly white coloration is used to effectively help them camouflage in their open, snow-abundant habitats.

These species share the snow-white color in their inner wings and black wingtips, as well as their black-and-white tail. Their non-breeding plumage is entirely white under, with brown and orange hues on the back and head.

However, their breeding plumage is not due to molting but rather a result of males rubbing their heads and bellies on the snow. This wears down their brown feather tips and shows their pristine white features.

Snow Buntings are the most northerly recorded passerine or perching bird. They breed on very cold and rocky tundra at northern latitudes in sub-zero temperatures.

To avoid the worst of the Arctic cold, Snow Buntings winter in open grassy fields, farms, and lake and ocean shores, but they’re never that far away from cold temperatures.

They’re ground-dwelling birds that eat fallen fruit and seeds, but they also consume spiders and insects.

19. Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder backed Woodpecker perched on a tree trunk
Scientific Name:Dryobates scalaris
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:6.3–7.1 in (16–18 cm)
Weight:0.7–1.7 oz (21–48 g)
Wingspan:13.0 in (33 cm)
Lifespan:4.5 years

The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is a small woodpecker with a unique color pattern. Their backs are black and white, which appear like ladder rungs, while a checkered pattern can be seen on the wings. 

Their bellies are buffy white or grayish, along with their faces, which have black lines extending from the bill and eye down to the neck. A red cap can be seen on males, while females have blackish crowns.

Ladder-backed Woodpeckers also possess square heads, short necks, and inflexible tails that they use for support. They have bills that are small, straight, and chisel-like. 

Visually, Ladder-backed Woodpeckers are comparable to Downy Woodpeckers, but the latter do not have bars on their backs and also have clean sides. 

Meanwhile, these species prefer arid habitats like deserts, thorn forests, desert scrubs, and pinyon pine or pinyon-juniper forests. 

When foraging for food, they tether to branches, pecking at the bark of trees that might have insect larvae or insects. They are agile, so they are excellent foragers in the thorns and spines of plants like cholla. 

20. Black-throated Gray Warbler

Black throated Gray Warbler in the forest
Scientific Name:Setophaga nigrescens
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:4.3–5.1 in (11–13 cm)
Weight:0.2–0.4 oz (7–10 g)
Wingspan:7.5–7.8 in (19–19.7 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 10 years

The Black-throated Gray Warbler is a small warbler that bears the colors black, gray, and white, as well as a striking yellow spot on its lore — the area between a bird’s eye and its beak. They have the same plumage color all year.

Male Black-throated Gray Warblers have gray upper parts, with black-streaked backs and two white wing bars. Their bellies and undertails are white, while their flanks also have black streaks. 

Their faces are also remarkably striped with black and white. In comparison, females are a bit paler than males and sport patchy black throats. 

Black-throated Gray Warblers are comparable to the Blackpoll and Black-and-white Warblers. However, the latter two have different patterns on their heads and bodies.

These species breed in the western United States, from southern British Columbia, Idaho, and Wyoming, then southward to northern Mexico. Winter is spent in western Mexico.

Black-throated Gray Warblers are often found in coniferous or mixed forests that have scrubby undergrowth like open pine, pine-oak, and pinyon-juniper forests. 

Compared to other warblers, these small, insectivorous, migratory birds move slower, hopping among branches with calculated motion. 

So, after reading this article, which bird were you most fascinated with? Share your thoughts about black birds with white bellies in the comments below! You can also ask any questions you may have about these birds.

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