27 Types of Black and White Birds Found in Colorado

There are many different bird species in Colorado, but the black and white birds are particularly fascinating. They are a mesmerizing sight in the state’s scenic surroundings due to their brilliant plumage and distinctive features.

This article will look at 27 Types of Black and White Birds Found in Colorado, from common locals to unusual visits.

This piece of content will give you information about these amazing avian creatures and their habitats, whether you’re a bird enthusiast or you just admire the beauty of nature.

Join us as we go to Colorado to explore the fascinating world of black and white birds.

The Importance of Birds in Colorado

In Colorado, birds are essential to preserving the natural balance. They facilitate flower pollination, seed dispersal, and pest population control.

Additionally, birds are crucial for monitoring the state’s ecosystems because they are great indicators of environmental health. We can better appreciate the complex web of life that exists in this area by learning the various bird species that may be found in Colorado.

27 Types of Black and White Birds Found in Colorado

Here is a list of Black and White birds that call Colorado home.

American Avocet

The American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) is a graceful bird with long, thin legs and a slender, upturned bill. Its striking black and white plumage features a white body with black wings and a black cap on its head. During breeding season, its head and neck turn rusty orange.

Scientific NameRecurvirostra americana
Average length16-20 inches (40-51 cm)
Wingspan16-20 inches (40-51 cm)
HabitatWetlands, marshes, shallow lakes
DietInvertebrates, insects, small fish
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black Skimmer

The Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) is a unique bird with an intriguing appearance. It has long, slender wings and a distinctive black and white coloration.

Its body is mostly white, while the wings are black. The lower bill is longer than the upper bill, allowing it to skim the water’s surface to catch fish and invertebrates.

Scientific NameRynchops niger
Average length16-20 inches (40-51 cm)
Wingspan44-49 inches (112-125 cm)
HabitatCoastal areas, reservoirs
DietFish, invertebrates
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Pied-billed Grebe

The Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) is a small waterbird known for its unique appearance. It has a brownish-black body with a distinctive black band around its bill, which gives it its name.

During breeding season, its bill becomes pale with a dark stripe. It has a short tail and lobed toes, enabling it to swim and dive with ease.

Scientific NamePodilymbus podiceps
Average length12-15 inches (30-38 cm)
Wingspan18-22 inches (46-56 cm)
HabitatLakes, ponds, marshes
DietFish, invertebrates, aquatic insects
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black-crowned Night-Heron

The Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) is a medium-sized heron with a stocky build. It has a black crown and back, contrasting with its white underparts.

During breeding season, it develops long plumes on its head, neck, and back. It is primarily nocturnal, feeding on fish, insects, and small mammals.

Scientific NameNycticorax nycticorax
Average length23-28 inches (58-71 cm)
Wingspan44-46 inches (112-117 cm)
HabitatWetlands, riparian areas
DietFish, insects, small mammals
Conservation statusLeast Concern

American White Pelican

The American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) is a magnificent bird with a massive body and a wingspan of over 9 feet.

It has white plumage, contrasting with black flight feathers visible during flight. During the breeding season, it develops a fibrous plate on its bill and a pinkish hue on its face. It is primarily a fish-eater and can often be seen soaring in groups.

Scientific NamePelecanus erythrorhynchos
Average length50-70 inches (127-178 cm)
Wing span9-10 feet (2.7-3 meters)
HabitatLakes, reservoirs, rivers
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black-bellied Plover

The Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) is a migratory shorebird that visits Colorado during its breeding season.

In its breeding plumage, it displays a black belly and face, contrasting with a white underbody and a brownish back. It has a stout bill and short legs, allowing it to forage for insects, worms, and small crustaceans on the shores.

Scientific NamePluvialis squatarola
Average length11-12 inches (28-30 cm)
Wingspan26-29 inches (66-74 cm)
HabitatCoastal areas, wetlands
DietInsects, worms, small crustaceans
Conservation statusLeast Concern


The Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is a charming bird known for its distinct call and unique courtship displays.

It has a brownish-black back and head, with a white belly. The neck and head feature bold black bands. It can be found near water bodies, open fields, and pastures, where it feeds on insects, worms, and small invertebrates.

Scientific NameCharadrius vociferus
Average length9-11 inches (23-28 cm)
Wingspan23-25 inches (58-64 cm)
HabitatFields, pastures, water edges
DietInsects, worms, small invertebrates
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black-throated Sparrow

The Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) is a small desert-dwelling bird with a distinctive black and white face pattern. It has a grayish-brown body with white underparts and a black bib on its throat. It thrives in arid landscapes, such as the sagebrush steppe and desert scrub, where it feeds on seeds and insects.

Scientific NameAmphispiza bilineata
Average length5-6 inches (13-15 cm)
Wingspan7-9 inches (18-23 cm)
HabitatDeserts, arid landscapes
DietSeeds, insects
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Mountain Bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is a beautiful bird known for its vibrant blue plumage. The male displays bright blue feathers on its head, back, and wings, while the female has a more muted blue-gray coloration. It has a white belly and underparts.

These birds inhabit open areas, including mountain meadows, grasslands, and sagebrush habitats throughout Colorado.

Scientific NameSialia currucoides
Average length6.5-7.5 inches (17-19 cm)
Wingspan12-16 inches (30-41 cm)
HabitatMountain meadows, grasslands
DietInsects, berries
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black-billed Magpie

The Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) is a large and intelligent bird that stands out with its black and white plumage.

It has a black head, back, and tail, contrasting with white shoulders and belly. Known for their remarkable vocalizations and nest-building skills, these magpies can be found in woodlands, parks, and urban areas across Colorado.

Scientific NamePica hudsonia
Average length18-24 inches (46-61 cm)
Wingspan22-24 inches (56-61 cm)
HabitatWoodlands, parks, urban areas
DietInsects, small mammals, carrion
Conservation statusLeast Concern

White-throated Swift

The White-throated Swift (Aeronautes saxatalis) is a small, swift and agile flyer known for its distinctive white throat and belly. It has a dark brown body and long, slender wings.

These birds nest on rocky cliffs and canyons, often near water sources. Their incredible aerial acrobatics can be observed in Colorado’s rugged landscapes.

Scientific NameAeronautes saxatalis
Average length6.5-7.5 inches (17-19 cm)
Wingspan13-15 inches (33-38 cm)
HabitatRocky cliffs, canyons
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black-chinned Hummingbird

The Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) is a small and enchanting bird with iridescent green feathers. The male has a black throat, which gives it its name. These hummingbirds are prevalent in Colorado’s mountainous and foothill regions, where they feed on nectar from flowers and small insects.

Scientific NameArchilochus alexandri
Average length3.5 inches (9 cm)
Wingspan4.5 inches (11 cm)
HabitatMountainous regions, foothills
DietNectar, insects
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black Rosy-Finch

The Black Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte atrata) is a high-altitude bird that thrives in Colorado’s alpine tundra and mountain slopes. It has a mostly black plumage that blends with snowy surroundings, providing excellent camouflage. These finches are remarkable survivors in harsh weather conditions.

Scientific NameLeucosticte atrata
Average length6-7 inches (15-18 cm)
Wingspan12-14 inches (30-36 cm)
HabitatAlpine tundra, mountain slopes
DietSeeds, insects
Conservation statusLeast Concern

American Crow

The American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a familiar and intelligent bird found throughout North America, including Colorado. It has glossy black feathers and a sturdy build. Crows are known for their adaptability and diverse vocalizations. They can be found in a variety of habitats, from woodlands to urban areas.

Scientific NameCorvus brachyrhynchos
Average length16-21 inches (40-53 cm)
Wingspan33-39 inches (84-99 cm)
HabitatWoodlands, parks, urban areas
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black-headed Grosbeak

The Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) is a striking songbird with a black head, orange-brown body, and white underparts.

The male displays vibrant colors, while the female has more subdued plumage. These grosbeaks inhabit woodlands, gardens, and shrubby areas, where they feed on seeds, fruits, and insects.

Scientific NamePheucticus melanocephalus
Average length7.5 inches (19 cm)
Wingspan12-13 inches (30-33 cm)
HabitatWoodlands, gardens, shrubby areas
DietSeeds, fruits, insects
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Ivory Gull

The Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea) is a beautiful and rare bird that occasionally visits the Arctic coast of Colorado. It has pure white plumage, black legs, and a black bill. These gulls are superb fliers and expert swimmers, feeding on fish, invertebrates, and carrion.

Scientific NamePagophila eburnea
Average length16-18 inches (40-46 cm)
Wingspan39-43 inches (99-109 cm)
HabitatArctic coast, sea ice
DietFish, invertebrates, carrion
Conservation statusNear Threatened

Snowy Owl

The Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a majestic Arctic bird that occasionally visits Colorado during winter migrations. It is known for its stunning white plumage, large size, and piercing yellow eyes. Snowy Owls are highly adapted to cold climates and can be observed in open habitats, such as tundra and grasslands.

Scientific NameBubo scandiacus
Average length20-27 inches (52-68 cm)
Wingspan4.2-4.8 feet (130-150 cm)
HabitatArctic tundra, grasslands
DietSmall mammals, birds, lemmings
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black Swift

The Black Swift (Cypseloides niger) is a mysterious bird with a dark plumage and a distinctive shape. It has long, slender wings and a deeply forked tail. These swifts are known for their exceptional flying abilities, often soaring high in the sky. They breed in mountainous regions and can be seen flying near cliffs and waterfalls.

Scientific NameCypseloides niger
Average length6-7 inches (15-18 cm)
Wingspan15-16 inches (38-41 cm)
HabitatMountainous regions, cliffs
DietInsects, aerial plankton
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black Rail

The Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) is a small and secretive marsh bird with black plumage. It is elusive and rarely seen due to its reclusive nature.

These birds inhabit dense marshes and wetlands with thick vegetation. Their distinctive calls can sometimes be heard during the breeding season.

Scientific NameLaterallus jamaicensis
Average length5-6 inches (13-15 cm)
Wingspan8-9 inches (20-23 cm)
HabitatMarshes, wetlands
DietInsects, small invertebrates
Conservation statusNear Threatened

White-winged Dove

The White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) is a medium-sized dove with a grayish-brown body and distinctive white patches on its wings. It has a long, squared tail and a pale blue eye ring. These doves prefer arid and semi-arid habitats, and their melodic cooing calls are often heard in residential areas.

Scientific NameZenaida asiatica
Average length10-12 inches (25-30 cm)
Wingspan17-19 inches (43-48 cm)
HabitatArid and semi-arid habitats
DietSeeds, fruits, insects
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black Tern

The Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) is a small and graceful bird with dark plumage. During the breeding season, its body turns mostly black, while in non-breeding plumage, it becomes mottled gray and white. These terns are skilled aerial hunters, catching insects and small fish by hovering and diving over marshes, lakes, and rivers.

Scientific NameChlidonias niger
SizeApproximately 9-10 inches (23-26 cm) in length
WingspanAround 24 inches (61 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesForked tail and graceful flight

Black-backed Woodpecker

The Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) is a medium-sized woodpecker with black plumage and white markings.

The male has a black back, while the female has a black crown. These woodpeckers are adapted to live in burned forests and can be found foraging on dead trees, extracting insects from the wood.

Scientific NamePicoides arcticus
Average length8-9 inches (20-23 cm)
Wingspan14-17 inches (36-43 cm)
HabitatBurned forests, dead trees
DietInsects, larvae, tree sap
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black-necked Stilt

The Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) is an elegant wading bird with a black-and-white coloration. It has long pink legs, a long thin black bill, and a black head with a white stripe above the eye. These stilts are commonly found in shallow wetlands, marshes, and salt flats, where they forage for insects, small crustaceans, and seeds.

Scientific NameHimantopus mexicanus
Average length14-16 inches (36-41 cm)
Wing span24-27 inches (61-69 cm)
HabitatWetlands, marshes, salt flats
DietInsects, small crustaceans, seeds
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Blackpoll Warbler

The Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata) is a small migratory bird with black and white plumage. During breeding season, the male develops a black cap, while the female has a grayish crown. These warblers breed in the northern forests of North America and migrate long distances to their wintering grounds in South America.

Scientific NameSetophaga striata
Average length5-6 inches (13-15 cm)
Wing span8-9 inches (20-23 cm)
HabitatBoreal forests, mixed woodlands
DietInsects, berries
Conservation statusNear Threatened

Black Guillemot

The Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle) is a seabird with black plumage, distinctive white wing patches, and bright red feet.

During the breeding season, it develops a white patch behind each eye. These guillemots inhabit coastal regions, where they dive into the water to feed on small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks.

Scientific NameCepphus grylle
Average length12-14 inches (30-36 cm)
Wing span21-23 inches (54-59 cm)
HabitatCoastal regions, cliffs
DietFish, crustaceans, mollusks
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black Scoter

The Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) is a sea duck with a striking black plumage. The male has a distinctive yellow knob at the base of its bill. These ducks are commonly found in coastal areas, where they dive to feed on mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish.

Scientific NameMelanitta americana
Average length19-23 inches (48-58 cm)
Wing span32-35 inches (81-89 cm)
HabitatCoastal areas, nearshore waters
DietMollusks, crustaceans, small fish
Conservation statusLeast Concern

Black Turnstone

The Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala) is a shorebird with black and white plumage. During breeding season, it develops a black head and chestnut-brown back. These turnstones are known for their habit of flipping stones and seaweed to uncover insects and small invertebrates along rocky shores.

Scientific NameArenaria melanocephala
Average length9-10 inches (23-25 cm)
Wing span17-19 inches (43-48 cm)
HabitatRocky shores, coastal areas
DietInsects, small invertebrates
Conservation statusLeast Concern


A great variety of black and white birds can be found in Colorado. These avian animals, from the magnificent Snowy Owl to the swift Black Swift, enthrall with their distinctive characteristics and activities. Each bird, whether it is soaring through the air or grazing in wetlands, is essential to Colorado’s environment.

Birdwatchers and environment lovers can discover the varied ecosystems of Colorado and take in the wonder and beauty of these black-and-white birds.

Also Read: 22 Black and White Birds Found in Florida

15 Types of Black and White Birds Found in Michigan

20 Types of White Birds in Florida

Are black and white birds common in Colorado?

Yes, Colorado is home to a diverse array of black and white bird species.

Where can I spot these black and white birds in Colorado?

Depending on the species, you can find them in various habitats such as wetlands, marshes, mountain meadows, woodlands, and coastal areas.

What do black and white birds eat?

Black and white birds have varied diets, including insects, fish, small mammals, seeds, berries, and invertebrates.

Are these birds migratory?

Yes, some of the black and white birds found in Colorado are migratory and may visit the state during specific seasons.

Are black and white birds endangered?

Most of the black and white bird species mentioned in this article are categorized as “Least Concern” in terms of conservation status. However, some may have specific conservation concerns due to habitat loss or other factors.

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