10 Best Black and White Birds Found In Canada

Canada’s breathtaking scenery isn’t just a treat for the eyes. But it is also a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers. In the vast wilderness, you’ll find a remarkable array of avian wonders, each with its own unique story to tell. Most interesting are the black and white birds that call Canada home. The striking plumage and diverse habitats of these birds, make them a source of fascination and a symbol of the country’s rich natural heritage.

In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the top 10 black and white birds found in Canada, unveiling the beauty and intrigue of these feathered residents.

Black and White Birds Found In Canada

Here is a list of birds found in Canada

Common Loon (Gavia immer):

The Common Loon is a symbol of Canada’s wilderness because of its stunning black and white plumage. These are expert divers, that can submerge below the water’s surface for extended periods of time in search of fish. They are mostly found in freshwater lakes. Their creepy calls have become a well-known sound in the north, adding to the allure of Canada’s lakeshores.

common loon
Scientific NameGavia immer
DietFish, aquatic invertebrates
HabitatFreshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers
Unique FeatureStriking black and white plumage; haunting calls; skilled divers

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus):

The pileated Woodpecker has a Zebra-like look. It is a great carpenter in the avian kingdom. In the search for insects, you will find them hammering away at tree trunks in Canada’s forests. They stand out in the forest due to their unique black-and-white plumage and resonant drumming sounds.

Pileated Woodpecker
Scientific NameDryocopus pileatus
HabitatMature forests and woodlands
Unique FeatureZebra-like appearance; large size; resonating drumming sounds while foraging for insects

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon):

In Canada, the Belted Kingfisher, distinguished by its blue belt and black and white plumage, is frequently spotted close to sources of water. They are a frequent and captivating sight near rivers because to their rattling sounds and stunning acrobatic dives when hunting for fish.

Belted Kingfisher
Scientific NameMegaceryle alcyon
DietFish, aquatic prey
HabitatRivers, streams, lakeshores, coastlines
Unique FeatureBlue belt across the chest; rattling calls; skilled aerial dives for fish hunting

Black-Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus):

Black-Capped Chickadees are tiny birds with enormous personalities. They are distinguished by their white cheeks and black bib and cap, and are renowned for their friendliness and curiosities. These endearing birds are a treat for birdwatchers since they frequently approach people in search of food.

Black and White Birds Found in canada
Scientific NamePoecile atricapillus
DietSeeds, insects, berries
HabitatForests, woodlands, parks, backyards
Unique FeatureBlack cap and bib with white cheeks; small, friendly, and curious nature; often approaches humans for food

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus):

The Osprey is a strong and elegant raptor with a black eye stripe and a white head. They are typically located close to water and use their remarkable talons to dive for fish. The aquatic landscapes of Canada are made more majestic by their presence.

Scientific NamePandion haliaetus
HabitatCoastal areas, lakeshores, rivers
Unique FeatureBlack eye stripe and white head; powerful raptor near water; impressive dives for fish with talons

Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus):

The Northern Gannet is a seabird renowned for its breathtaking aerial gymnastics. It has a snow-white body and jet-black wingtips. As they catch their food by diving into the water from enormous heights, these highly adept divers are a sight to behold along Canada’s beaches.

Scientific NameMorus bassanus
HabitatCoastal cliffs, islands, open sea
Unique FeatureSnow-white body with jet-black wingtips; spectacular aerial acrobatics over water

Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus):

Harlequin Ducks, so named because of their eye-catching black and white colors, inhabit swiftly moving streams and rivers. They stick out from the rushing water due to their bold appearance, bringing some life to Canada’s waterways.

Scientific NameHistrionicus histrionicus
DietInsects, crustaceans, mollusks
HabitatFast-flowing rivers, streams, coastal areas
Unique FeatureStriking black and white patterns resembling jesters; found in swift-flowing waters

Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle):

The Black Guillemot, also referred to as the “tystie,” has remarkable black plumage and vivid white wing patches. Their characteristic, high-pitched calls, which add to the seaside ambience, are frequently heard in Canada’s northern coastal areas.

Scientific NameCepphus grille
DietFish, invertebrates
HabitatCoastal cliffs, rocky shorelines, islands
Unique FeatureBlack plumage with bright white wing patches; distinctive high-pitched calls; commonly seen in coastal regions

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus):

The magnificent and elusive Snowy Owl is a bird of the Arctic that has become well-known thanks to literature and movies like Harry Potter. Spotting a Snowy Owl in the wild is a unique and unforgettable experience because of its immaculate white plumage that fits in perfectly with snowy landscapes and its intensely golden eyes.

Scientific NameBubo scandiacus
DietLemmings, small mammals
HabitatArctic tundra, open fields, marshes
Unique FeaturePure white plumage for excellent camouflage in snowy landscapes; intense yellow eyes; majestic Arctic resident

White-Winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera):

White-winged crossbills exhibit striking black and white wing markings while being mostly red. These birds can be found in coniferous woods all over Canada, and they are perfect for those environments because to their special beaks, which are made to remove seeds from pine cones.

Scientific NameLoxia leucoptera
DietConifer seeds
HabitatConiferous forests, pine stands
Unique FeaturePrimarily red with bold black and white wing markings; specialized beak for extracting seeds from pine cones


Black and white birds adorn Canada’s vast wilderness, bringing a sense of contrast and refinement to the natural beauty of the region. These birds are representative of Canada’s tremendous biodiversity, from the Common Loon’s eerie sounds on tranquil lakeshores to the Pileated Woodpecker’s stunning zebra-like appearance in the forests.

Also Read: 11 Types of Black and White Birds Found in Cancun


Where is the best place to spot Common Loons in Canada?

Common loons are frequently seen in freshwater lakes all around Canada, but some of the finest places to see them are Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba and Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario.

Do Pileated Woodpeckers migrate during the winter?

The Pileated Woodpecker does not migrate. All year long, they remain in their home range.

What is the significance of the Belted Kingfisher’s blue belt?

The blue belt on the Belted Kingfisher is a distinguishing characteristic, although its function is unclear. It is said to aid in luring mates and alerting other kingfishers to their presence.

Are Black-Capped Chickadees friendly towards humans?

Indeed, Black-Capped Chickadees are renowned for being kind. They frequently approach people, especially if food is supplied, and are fascinating to observe for birdwatchers.

Where can I see Snowy Owls in Canada?

During the winter, Snowy Owls are frequently seen in Canada’s Arctic areas. They can also be spotted in the south, especially in regions of northern America, during occasional irruptions.

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