28 Black Birds With Yellow Beaks

Black birds with yellow beaks

It is normal for bird enthusiasts to admire birds with colorful plumage, but black birds, accentuated by their yellow beaks, prove that beauty can also be found in non-colorful species. These birds are so stunning, especially as they are seen in flight.

However, some of these birds are so rare and almost extinct that it may be very challenging for you to see them personally. So if you want to meet each of them, here’s your chance.

In this article, we will be talking about 28 birds that sport black plumage and a yellow beak, ranging from the most famous to the lesser-known ones. If you’re ready, let’s begin!

28 Black Birds With Yellow Beaks

1. Western Koel

Western Koel
Scientific Name:Eudynamys scolopaceus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:14–16 in (35–40 cm)
Weight:6.8–11.5 oz (180–327 g)
Wingspan:20–24 in (50–60 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 10 years

The Western Koel, also known as the Asian Koel, is a large and long-tailed cuckoo that breeds mostly in tropical southern Asia. These birds are timid and are typically heard rather than seen.

Male Asian Koels, however, initiate playful chases with female Koels on large branches and among trees during their courting phase.

These black birds with yellow beaks are brood parasites; they only lay one egg and prefer to put it in other bird species’ nests rather than building their own.

Further, Asian Koels are omnivores. They primarily eat insects, caterpillars, eggs, and slightly smaller animals.

2. Andean Coot

Andean Coot
Scientific Name:Fulica ardesiaca
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:15.4–16.5 in (39–42 cm)
Weight:20.8–38.4 oz (600–1100 g)
Wingspan:26.8–28.3 in (68–72 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 10 years

The Andean Coot, commonly referred to as the Slate-Colored Coot, is a type of bird in the Rallidae family. They can be found in the Andes between far-western Colombia and northwest Argentina.

Unlike most birds on this list of black birds with yellow beaks, Andean Coots are herbivores rather than omnivores. These birds rely mainly on the nutrients found in aquatic vegetation for sustenance.

Also, the breeding season of Andean Coots varies widely. While they can reproduce at any time of the year, the majority of egg-laying occurs from July to August during the dry season.

3. American Robin

American Robin perched on a tree branch
Scientific Name:Turdus migratorius
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:9–11 in (23–28 cm)
Weight:2.7–3 oz (77–85 g)
Wingspan:12–16 in (31–41 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 3 years

The American Robin is the largest thrush in North America, measuring 9 to 11 inches. They are mostly active during the day and spend much time hopping around grasses, trying to find earthworms to eat.

These birds with yellow beaks are particularly popular in parts of Central America and Mexico with their broad, spherical body, long tail feathers, orange breast, upbeat songs, and early arrival at the end of winter.

In addition, American Robins are among the first birds to start laying eggs in the spring. After building their mud nest, the eggs are produced in batches of three to five. Two weeks after their chicks hatch, they teach them to fly.

4. Common Black Hawk

Common Black Hawk looking sideways
Scientific Name:Buteogallus anthracinus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:20–24 in (50–61 cm)
Weight:23–49 oz (650–1400 g)
Wingspan:39.6–50.4 in (100–130 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

The common Black Hawk is a medium-sized raptor that is commonly found in the warmer regions of America, from the Southwestern United States through Central America to Venezuela, Peru, and the Lesser Antilles.

These black birds with yellow beaks and white stripes on their wings are carnivores. Their diet consists mostly of crabs, although they can also eat small vertebrates as well as fish eggs.

The breeding period of Common Black Hawks usually runs from late February to late May. They lay one to three eggs, each of which has a few little dots and a grayish-white hue.

5. Double-crested Cormorant

Double crested Cormorant on a tree stump
Scientific Name:Nannopterum auritus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:28–35 in (71–89 cm)
Weight:41.6–88 oz (1179–2495 g)
Wingspan:45–48 in (114–122 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 17 years

The Double-crested Cormorant is a large water bird that is frequently seen around bays, lakes, ponds, canals, and marshes in North America.

These birds with yellow bills can be identified by their small heads, long necks, and narrow, sharply hooked beaks. As their name suggests, they are also popular for their double crests that show during the mating season.

Further, Double-crested Cormorants have great swimming abilities. They can dive to depths of over 24 feet and remain there for over a minute.

Despite being water birds, Double-crested Cormorants do not have fully waterproof feathers. They are often seen on the shore, standing with their wings spread to dry.

6. Common Blackbird

Common Blackbird perched on a tree
Scientific Name:Turdus merula
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:9.3–11.4 in (23.5–29 cm)
Weight:2.8–4.4 oz (80–125 g)
Wingspan:12.6–16.1 in (32–41 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 18 years

The Common Blackbird is a popular bird mainly for its pleasant song. According to some estimates, between 160 and 500 million of these birds live today.

These yellow-beaked black birds are often observed in woodland settings, parks, gardens, and agricultural areas with hedges in Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa.

In North America, people prefer to refer to Common Blackbirds as Eurasian Blackbirds to set them apart from the aesthetically similar but unrelated New World Blackbirds.

Common blackbirds become very territorial during the breeding season. Typically, a male Common Blackbird uses aggressive behaviors such as singing, chasing, and physical confrontation to protect their territory and mates.

7. European Starling

European Starling with yellow beak
Scientific Name:Sturnus vulgaris
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:7.5–9.1 in (19–23 cm)
Weight:2.1–3.4 oz (60–97 g)
Wingspan:12–16 in (30–40 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 3 years

The European Starling is often referred to as the Common Starling. It originated in Europe and was then transported to other continents, such as North America, where it is now considered invasive.

In the summer, European Starlings have a pointed yellow beak and black iridescent plumage. When winter arrives, their beak turns a darker shade of yellow.

Moreover, European Starlings are loud and social birds that live in vast flocks. They are also known for making various noises, such as warbles, whistles, chatters, trills, rattles, and even imitating other birds.

8. Spotless Starling

Spotless Starling
Scientific Name:Sturnus unicolor
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:8.4–9.4 in (21–24 cm)
Weight:2.1–3.2 oz (60–90 g)
Wingspan:13.4–15.4 in (34–39 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 4 years

The Spotless Starling is a shiny black bird with a bright yellow bill that is frequently mistaken for the Eurasian Blackbird.

These birds with yellow beaks are typically found in warm parts of Europe like Sicily, Sardinia, southern France, and Corsica, as well as in Northwest Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.

Moreover, Spotted Starlings are omnivores. During spring and summer, their diet consists of spiders, bee larvae, and ants. Meanwhile, in the fall and winter, they eat cultivated fruits, seeds, elm, and poplar buds and blooms.

These Starlings are vocal, just like European Starlings. Typically heard producing at least 15 different bird species’ worth of warbling and loud, beautiful whistles.

9. Golden-headed Manakin

Golden headed Manakin
Scientific Name:Ceratopipra erythrocephala
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:3.5–4 in (9–10 cm)
Weight:0.5–0.7 oz (15–20 g)
Wingspan:5–6 in (12–15 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 7 years

The Golden-headed Manakin is a small, plump bird with short bills and tail feathers. They are commonly found in plantations, secondary growth, and dry and wet lowland forests in Central and South America.

Adult male Manakins are distinguished by their jet-black plumage, gleaming golden-yellow napes, and short bright yellow beaks. In contrast, females and juveniles have olive-green bodies and pink legs.

​​Moreover, Golden-headed Manakins are fascinating black birds with yellow beaks with amazing courtship behaviors.

Normally, they gather in communal leks of 6 to 15 birds, each occupying a horizontal perch and making various displays to attract females.

Then, males would leap, slide, and dart from perch to perch while frequently flapping their wings and uttering buzzing “zit-zit” calls.

Following mating, females will create a cup nest in a tree, lay two brown-yellow eggs, and incubate them.

10. Yellow-billed Chough

Yellow billed Chough perched on a rock
Scientific Name:Pyrrhocorax graculus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:14–15 in (36–38 cm)
Weight:7.5–10.6 oz (210–300 g)
Wingspan:29–33 in (74–84 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 16 years

The Yellow-billed Chough, also known as the Alpine Chough, is a member of the crow family. It is commonly found in the high mountains of Southern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa, and Nepal.

Yellow-billed Choughs are well-known for their glossy black plumage, bright yellow beak, red legs, and acrobatic flying.

The vocals of Yellow-billed Choughs are also a well-known trait of this bird. They make odd warbles and squeaks at random, including “preep” trills, whistling “sweeoo” sounds, “churr” alarm calls, and other noises.

Furthermore, these birds are a monogamous species that breed at elevations between 4,000 and 16,000 feet. Typically, females lay three to five eggs in glossy, white-green color with brown markings.

During one of my visits to a relative’s valley-top residence in Spain, I had the privilege of observing a group of Yellow-billed Choughs quickly gathering at the round table on the veranda shortly after we left the area.

They feasted on the leftovers of the fruits and pastries we had just eaten. As they approached, I noticed their swift and acrobatic flight movement, which was really impressive. They also tend to form deep wing beats whenever they flap their wings.

11. Common Hill Myna

Common Hill Myna
Scientific Name:Gracula religiosa
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:10–12 in (25–30 cm)
Weight:4–6 oz (110–170 g)
Wingspan:17–20 in (43–50 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 25 years

The Common Hill Myna is one of the four species of Hill Myna. This Hill Myna originally came from South Asia and Australia but has successfully developed in Florida, Hawaii, Japan, and Puerto Rico.

This bird doesn’t have an original song, but it is one of the most famous songbird impersonators. It can imitate human speech, bird calls, and many other noises, making this bird more in demand than the parrot.

During my younger years, our family had a Common Hill Myna for a pet, and we named her Olga. The entire family was very impressed by her trainability and intelligence. We did not even have to focus on making Olga learn sounds since she could catch up on these on her own.

Soon enough, Olga learned to imitate sounds like “Phone call!”, “Good morning!” and “I’m hungry!” She also quickly learned to sing to the tunes and mimic the advertisements she consistently heard on television. This clearly shows the learning ability of these birds.

Fun Fact: Common Hill Mynas can produce turquoise-colored eggs that can sometimes come in a greenish-blue hue with brown spots.

12. Yellow-throated Toucan

Yellow throated Toucan
Scientific Name:Ramphastos ambiguus
Conservation Status:Near Threatened
Length:19–24 in (47–61 cm)
Weight:17.6–27.2 oz (500–750 g)
Wingspan:24–28 in (60–70 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The Yellow-throated Toucan, also known as the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, is a vast toucan that is native to Central and South America. 

Their habitat ranges from plains to forests in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. These black birds with yellow beaks are omnivores whose diet consists primarily of fruits. Only on rare occasions do they eat insects, small animals, lizards, and rodents.

The yelping call of these toucans, commonly referred to as “Dios-te-de” or “God grant you,” allows one to recognize these birds effortlessly.

Yellow-throated Toucans breed from March to June. They construct their nests in tree cavities above the ground and lay two to four white eggs.

13. Yellow-knobbed Curassow

Yellow knobbed Curassow
Scientific Name:Crax daubentoni
Conservation Status:Near Threatened
Length:33–36 in (85–92 cm)
Weight:96–140.8 oz (2721.6–3976.2 g)
Wingspan:39.6–46.8 in (100.6–118.8 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The Yellow-knobbed Curassow is commonly found in the jungles of Colombia and Venezuela. During the dry season, they are near river valleys, water sources, or grassy plains known as Llanos.

These birds get their name from the “cere,” or the yellow flesh surrounding some birds’ upper black beaks.

Like many other gamebirds, Yellow-knobbed Curassows are in danger because they are pursued in both sports and food. Estimates suggest that only 10,000 to 40,000 of these birds are thought to be in existence.

14. Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Southern Yellow billed Hornbill
Scientific Name:Tockus leucomelas
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:19–24 in (48–60 cm)
Weight:60–95 oz (1700–2700 g)
Wingspan:71.7–84.6 in (182–215 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill is a medium-sized songbird that can typically be found in all areas of Southern Africa. They are known as the “flying banana” because of their enormous, downwardly curving yellow beak.

​​Unlike most birds on this list, these birds’ plumage is not entirely black; the belly and neck are white, while the back and wings are black and white.

The breeding practices of Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills are also quite fascinating. For the first month or so of their courtship, males will feed the female by putting little pieces of food in her mouth.

After mating, the pair will search for a hole in a tree that faces northeast and build their nest.

15. Steller’s Sea-eagle

Stellers Sea eagle
Scientific Name:Haliaeetus pelagicus
Conservation Status:Vulnerable
Length:36–41 in (91–104 cm)
Weight:176–320 oz (4989–9072 g)
Wingspan:72–96.5 in (183–245 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 30 years

The Steller’s Sea-eagle is one of the world’s most magnificent birds of prey. Its striking appearance, particularly its yellow eye ring and bill, makes it look like a Bald Eagle.

Yet, unlike Bald Eagles, they sport an entire dark brown body and white feathers on their shoulders, tail, and thighs.

Steller’s Sea-eagles are also known to hunt while flying. With their talons, they can catch fish and other small mammals easily.

During the breeding season, Steller’s Sea-eagles produce calls that sound like very loud seagulls. It usually consists of the following phrases: ra-ra-ra-raurau.

16. Indian Blackbird

Indian Blackbird
Scientific Name:Turdus simillimus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:8–9 in (20–23 cm)
Weight:1.8–2.5 oz (50–70 g)
Wingspan:12–13 in (30–33 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 3 years

The Indian Blackbird is another type of true thrush that is closely related to the Eurasian Blackbird. They mostly appear in India and Sri Lanka and are noted for their tiny teardrop-shaped patch of bare orange skin around their eyes.

These blackbirds with bright yellow bills spend the winter at lower elevations, frequently closer to people, though usually not in outright urban areas.

Indian Blackbirds have a beautiful fluting song that can be heard from foothill forests, forest edges, and orchards.

17. Yellow-legged Thrush

Yellow legged Thrush
Scientific Name:Turdus flavipes
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:8.7–9.1 in (22–23 cm)
Weight:1.9–2.5 oz (55–70 g)
Wingspan:13–14 in (33–35 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 10 years

The Yellow-legged Thrush is a small songbird of northern and eastern South America. They primarily live in secondary woodlands, overgrown plantations, and rainforests.

Both sexes of the Yellow-legged Thrush are black with gray underparts and backs. They also have yellow beaks, though the females are duller and more brownish.

In addition, these tiny Yellow-legged Thrushes have a song comparable to that of Eurasian Blackbirds and have the syllabic pattern “sree-sree-sree.”

Check out this video to witness the Yellow-legged Thrush singing in the rainforest of the Atlantic:

Yellow-legged Thrush singing in the Atlantic rainforest (Turdus flavipes) by Antonio Silveira

18. Golden-crested Myna

Golden crested Myna
Scientific Name:Ampeliceps coronatus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:7.5–8.3 in (19–21 cm)
Weight:2.5–3.5 oz (70–100 g)
Wingspan:12–14 in (30–35 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 10 years

The Golden-crested Myna is easily recognizable — thanks to their glossy black plumage, pale yellow-orange beaks, and vivid yellow heads and wings.

These birds live mainly in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, but they can also be found in heavily degraded former forest habitats.

Some places where they have a significant population include Cambodia, China, India, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Like Common Mynas, Golden-crested Mynas produce a range of gurgles, croaks, and high-pitched, flowing notes. They also occasionally mimic the calls of other birds and animals, giving them the ability to blend into their environment.

19. Yellow-billed Loon

Yellow billed Loon
Scientific Name:Gavia adamsii
Conservation Status:Near Threatened
Length:30–38 in (76–97 cm)
Weight:98.8–190.5 oz (2800–5400 g)
Wingspan:53–63 in (135–160 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The Yellow-billed Loon, also known as the White-billed Diver, is the largest and heaviest member of the five loon species that exist today. Both males and females weigh about 141 to 226 ounces and are 53 to 63 inches tall.

Like many birds on this list, these birds have pale yellowish beaks. Their plumage, however, is not entirely black. Instead, they have gorgeous green-black heads and glossy underparts of black and white feathers.

Meanwhile, their survival is threatened for several reasons. One of the most relevant ones is the unsustainable harvesting of birds by indigenous people.

20. Ross’s Turaco

Rosss Turaco
Scientific Name:Musophaga rossae
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:15–18 in (37.5–45 cm)
Weight:13.9–15.7 oz (395–444 g)
Wingspan:20–24 in (50–60 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

The Ross’s Turaco, also referred to as the Lady Ross’s Turaco, is a huge African bird that lives in riparian regions, open forests, and woodlands.

These Turacos exhibit very minimal sexual dimorphism. Adult males are known always to have a brilliant yellow beak, while females can have somewhat brighter yellow-green beaks.

Nonetheless, both sexes have the same rich blueish-black coloration with redhead crowns and flight feathers. They feature a forehead shield as well, which flares out to medium orange color.

21. Yellow-rumped Cacique

Yellow rumped Cacique
Scientific Name:Cacicus cela
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:9.8–11.8 in (25–30 cm)
Weight:2.5–3.5 oz (70–100 g)
Wingspan:14.2–16.9 in (36–43 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 10 years

The Yellow-rumped Cacique is a long and slender perching bird that lives in open woodlands, mangrove forests, and farmed areas with open fields.

They are mainly found in the northern regions of South America, which include Southern Brazil and Peru, as well as Panama and Trinidad.

In addition to having glossy black feathers and yellow beaks, these birds also have brilliant yellow rumps, bellies, and tail bases.

Yellow-rumped Caciques have intriguing courtship customs as well. The flapping of wings and display of yellow feathers is the male’s way of attracting a mate.

Upon mating, females construct nests in lofty trees, often incorporating a wasp nest to ensure a safe environment for their one to three bluish-white eggs.

22. Black Scoter

Black Scoter
Scientific Name:Melanitta americana
Conservation Status:Near Threatened
Length:17–19 in (43–49 cm)
Weight:30.4–38.8 oz (862–1100 g)
Wingspan:27.6–28.4 in (70–72 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

The Black Scotter or American Scoter is a large sea duck that is frequently spotted in groups along the shore. These sea ducks breed on ponds in the Arctic tundra and migrate to the northeastern United States.

Further, Black Scoters are extremely social creatures that gather in sizable groups in the winter.

They have a variety of vocalizations, including low, growling “tooo-it” flight calls, rattling “tuka-tuka” calls, and descending “wheeoo” whistles during courtship.

23. Yellow-billed Duck

Yellow billed Duck
Scientific Name:Anas undulata
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:18.9–22.8 in (48–58 cm)
Weight:11–18 oz (316–502 g)
Wingspan:29.9–33.5 in (76–85 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 10 years

The Yellow-billed Duck is a long-dabbling duck that is abundant in southern and eastern Africa. These ducks are not known to migrate, although they wander in the dry season to find sufficient water.

These birds’ preferred habitat is watery areas in somewhat open terrain. They are incredibly rare to find in the suburbs, near golf courses, parks, lakes, or dams.

Like most other waterfowl, Yellow-billed Ducks go through a molting process. During this process, they lose all of their flight feathers at once, making them unable to fly for three to four weeks.

24. Yellow-billed Magpie

Yellow billed Magpie
Scientific Name:Pica nutalli
Conservation Status:Vulnerable
Length:17–21 in (43–53 cm)
Weight:5.3–6 oz (150–170 g)
Wingspan:22–24 in (56–61 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 7 years

The Yellow-billed Magpie, also known as the California Magpie, is a large member of the crow family. This species is unique to the Central Valley and the nearby chaparral foothills and mountains in the United States.

Many people mistake these birds for Black-billed Magpies because of how similar their appearances are.

The most noticeable difference between them is the Yellow-billed Magpies’ bright yellow bills, which starkly contrast with their inky black feathers, plus a yellow streak around their eyes.

Similar to crows, the Yellow-billed Magpie has a funeral-like behavior. It summons others and assembles them around the dead Magpie, demonstrating their intelligence and social awareness.

25. Javan Myna

Javan Myna
Scientific Name:Acridotheres javanicus
Conservation Status:Vulnerable 
Length:8.3–9.1 in (21–23 cm)
Weight:2.8–5.6 oz (80–160 g)
Wingspan:15.4–16.9 in (39–43 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

A Javan Myna, also known as a White-vented Myna, is a small bird native to Java and Bali in Indonesia. They are bold and sociable and can roost close to human settlements.

Similar to the Common Myna, these birds are mostly black with a yellow-orange beak and grayish-black wings. Moreover, they possess bright yellow ring eyes and yellow legs and feet.

Javan Mynas are also omnivores that mostly eat seeds, fruit, nectar, small insects, and human waste.

26. Verreaux’s Eagle

Verreauxs Eagle
Scientific Name:Aquila verreauxii
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:29–37 in (74–94 cm)
Weight:52.9–105.8 oz (1500–3000 g)
Wingspan:78.7–90.6 in (200–230 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 35 years

The Verreaux’s Eagle is a rare bird that is exclusively found in eastern Africa. Their appearance is comparable to the Asian species called the Indian Black Eagle.

Yet, only Verreaux’s Eagles are completely black; their Indian counterpart has dark brown plumage.

In contrast to other eagle species, Verreaux’s Eagles often construct their nests on cliff ledges. The nest is composed of sticks with an inner lining of green leaves and is quite enormous, reaching up to six feet across.

27. Bateleur

Scientific Name:Terathopius ecaudatus
Conservation Status:Endangered
Length:22–27 in (55–68 cm)
Weight:70.4–123.2 oz (2000–3480 g)
Wingspan:59.1–70.9 in (150–180 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 27 years

The Bateleur is a French term that means “tight-rope walker.” These birds with bright yellow beaks were given this name due to their unstable way of flying.

Bateleurs are medium-sized eagles that inhabit open forests and savannas all over sub-Saharan Africa. They typically go hunting for nine hours daily, eating antelope, mice, birds, snakes, carrion, and lizards.

Additionally, these eagles have peculiar behaviors regarding hygiene. Among these is that they allow ants to crawl on their white and black feathers to remove food scraps and dead skins.

28. Black Thrush

Black Thrush side profile
Scientific Name:Turdus infuscatus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Length:9.8–10.6 in (25–27 cm)
Weight:2.8–3.5 oz (80–100 g)
Wingspan:13–14 in (33–36 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 11 years

The Black Thrush, formerly known as the Black Robin, is a species of bird in the Turdidae family. They resemble other blackbirds, but they only occur in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

Moreover, Black Thrushes exhibits a significant gender difference. Female Black Thrushes are all brown, with gray eyes and a black beak and legs.

On the other hand, male Black Thrushes are all black with brown eyes and orange-yellow feathers on their legs, bill, and orbits.

Please share your thoughts, comments, questions, and feedback about these black birds with yellow beaks! We’d love to hear from you!

Leave a Comment

You may also like