22 Black and White Birds Found in Florida

Florida is well known for its stunning natural surroundings, a variety of animal species, and beautiful birds. Numerous distinctive black and white species among the diverse population of birds that make Florida home catch the interest of both birdwatchers and nature lovers. They are beautiful to see because of their striking plumage and distinctive features.

We shall delve into the fascinating world of 22 black and white birds found in Florida in this article. These avian marvels enhance the state’s abundant biodiversity from the inland forests to the seaside coastlines.

 Join us as we explore these feathery creatures’ mesmerizing beauty and learn about the secrets hidden behind their ebony and ivory feathers.

22 Black and White Birds Found in Florida

Black and white birds play a crucial role in Florida’s ecosystem. They contribute to seed dispersal, insect control, and pollination, helping maintain the delicate balance of the region’s biodiversity.

Additionally, their presence indicates the overall health of the environment and serves as an indicator species for conservation efforts.

Let’s discuss some important black and white birds found in Florida

American Oystercatcher

Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger) are visually distinctive birds with white underparts, an extended lower jaw, and black upperparts. Their short, red legs are accompanied by dark eyes.

Habitat:

American Oystercatchers are commonly found along Florida’s coastal areas, including sandy beaches, mudflats, and saltmarshes.

Diet:

Their diet primarily consists of oysters, clams, mussels, and other bivalves, which they feed on by using their powerful bills to pry open shells.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameHaematopus palliatus
SizeAround 17-21 inches (43-53 cm) in length
WingspanApproximately 35-40 inches (89-102 cm)
Conservation StatusNear Threatened
Special FeaturesVibrant reddish-orange bill and yellow eyes

Black Skimmer

With black upperparts, a white underside, and a distinctively extended lower mandible, Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger) have a distinctive appearance. They have short red legs and black eyes.

Habitat:

Black Skimmers can be found along the sandy beaches, sandbars, and estuaries of Florida’s coastal areas.

Diet:

These birds have incredible fishing skills. When they spot fish, they close their open bills, which they use to skim the water’s surface. They mostly eat invertebrates, tiny fish, and crustaceans.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameRynchops niger
SizeApproximately 15-19 inches (38-48 cm) in length
WingspanAround 44-50 inches (112-127 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesUnique elongated lower mandible

Black Tern

Small migratory birds called Black Terns (Chlidonias niger) have black plumage and a striking white underside. Their bodies are thin, and they have black beaks and forked tails.

Habitat:

Black Terns can be found near freshwater habitats such as marshes, ponds, and lakes throughout Florida during their breeding season.

Diet:

Their diet mainly consists of small fish, aquatic insects, crustaceans, and invertebrates, which they catch by skimming the water’s surface or performing aerial dives.

CharacteristicsDetails
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-and-white Warbler

Small songbirds known as Black-and-White Warblers (Mniotilta varia) have striking black-and-white striped plumage. Their body is thin, and they have white wing bars and a black crown.

Habitat:

These warblers can be found in Florida’s forests, woodlands, and mixed habitats with dense understory vegetation.

Diet:

Black-and-white Warblers primarily feed on insects and arthropods. They forage by climbing tree trunks and branches in search of prey.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameMniotilta varia
SizeApproximately 4.7-5.1 inches (12-13 cm) in length
WingspanAround 7.5-8.7 inches (19-22 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesDistinctive black-and-white striped plumage

Black-capped Petrel

Rare seabirds with black plumage, a white underside, and a recognizable black cap on their heads are known as black-capped petrels (Pterodroma hasitata). They have a sleek body and long wings.

Habitat:

Black-capped Petrels are highly adapted to life at sea and spend most of their time soaring over the open ocean. They can occasionally be spotted in Florida’s coastal waters.

Diet:

Their diet primarily consists of fish, squid, and other marine organisms.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NamePterodroma hasitata
SizeApproximately 15-18 inches (38-46 cm) in length
WingspanAround 38-43 inches (97-109 cm)
Conservation StatusCritically Endangered
Special FeaturesUnique black cap on the head

Blackpoll Warbler

The stunning black and white plumage of Blackpoll Warblers (Setophaga striata) is topped with a black hat. They feature white wing bars, tiny, pointed beaks, and a lean physique.

Habitat:

During migration, Blackpoll Warblers can be found in various habitats, including forests, woodlands, and shrubby areas throughout Florida.

Diet:

Their diet mainly consists of insects, spiders, and other arthropods, which they glean from tree branches and foliage.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameSetophaga striata
SizeApproximately 5.1-5.5 inches (13-14 cm) in length
WingspanAround 7.9-9.1 inches (20-23 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesRemarkable long-distance migratory abilities

Black-throated Gray Warbler

The gray-colored Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) has a black throat and white facial markings. They have small, sharp beaks, white wing patches, and slim bodies.

Habitat:

Black-throated Gray Warblers can be found in various habitats, including coniferous forests, mixed woodlands, and shrubby areas in Florida.

Diet:

They primarily feed on insects, spiders, and small invertebrates, which they catch by hopping along branches and foliage.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameSetophaga nigrescens
SizeApproximately 4.7-5.1 inches (12-13 cm) in length
WingspanAround 7.5-8.3 inches (19-21 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesWhite markings on face and black throat

Black-throated Sparrow

The bright black throat patch, startling white face, and distinctive grayish-brown body give Black-throated Sparrows (Amphispiza bilineata) a distinctive appearance. They have short wings and a robust beak.

Habitat:

Black-throated Sparrows are primarily found in Florida’s arid regions, such as scrublands, desert-like habitats, and open grasslands.

Diet:

Their diet consists of seeds, grasses, and insects. They forage on the ground or low vegetation.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameAmphispiza bilineata
SizeApproximately 5.9-6.3 inches (15-16 cm) in length
WingspanAround 8.7-9.4 inches (22-24 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesDistinctive black throat patch and white face

Eastern Meadowlark

Sturnella magna, often known as the Eastern Meadowlark, is a bird with a brownish body and a unique black V-shaped bib on its yellow chest. They have a long tail, a thick beak, and white tail feathers on the outside.

Habitat:

Eastern Meadowlarks are commonly found in grasslands, open fields, and agricultural areas throughout Florida.

Diet:

Their diet mainly consists of insects, spiders, seeds, and berries. They forage on the ground, searching for food in grassy areas.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameSturnella magna
SizeApproximately 9.1-10.2 inches (23-26 cm) in length
WingspanAround 15.7-17.7 inches (40-45 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesBeautiful flute-like song

Great Crested Tern

The Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) has a white body and a black crest on its head. They feature large wings, a forked tail, and a long, narrow beak.

Habitat:

Great Crested Terns can be found along Florida’s coastlines, including sandy beaches, rocky shores, and barrier islands.

Diet:

Their diet primarily consists of fish, which they catch by plunge diving from the air into the water.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameThalasseus bergii
SizeApproximately 20-23 inches (51-58 cm) in length
WingspanAround 45-49 inches (114-124 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesGraceful aerial acrobatics

Great Skua

Great Skuas (Stercorarius skua) feature white wing patches and black overall coloration. They are large in size, with long wings, and a strong hooked beak.

Habitat:

Great Skuas visit Florida’s coastal waters during migration and can be found in open ocean habitats.

Diet:

They are opportunistic predators, feeding on fish, seabirds, and carrion. They often engage in kleptoparasitism, stealing food from other seabirds.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameStercorarius skua
SizeApproximately 21-26 inches (53-66 cm) in length
WingspanAround 51-61 inches (130-155 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesAggressive behavior and kleptoparasitism

Laughing Gull

Leucophaeus atricilla, a species of laughing gull, with a black head, a white body, and gray wings. They have red legs, a crimson bill, and a powerful body.

Habitat:

Laughing Gulls can be found in a variety of coastal habitats, including beaches, estuaries, piers, and parking lots.

Diet:

Their diet consists of fish, crustaceans, insects, and scraps from human activities. They are opportunistic feeders.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameLeucophaeus atricilla
SizeApproximately 16-17 inches (41-43 cm) in length
WingspanAround 39-43 inches (98-110 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesDistinctive laughing-like call

Northern Gannet

The Morus bassanus (Northern Gannet) has a white body and black wingtips. They are large-winged, have a pointed beak, and have a head that is pale yellow.

Habitat:

Northern Gannets visit Florida’s coastal waters during the winter months, primarily offshore.

Diet:

They are expert divers, feeding on fish. They plunge into the water from great heights, using their keen eyesight to spot prey.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameMorus bassanus
SizeApproximately 35-39 inches (89-99 cm) in length
WingspanAround 67-71 inches (170-180 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesImpressive diving abilities

Osprey

The head and underbelly of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are white, and their overall color is primarily brown. They have broad wings, angular, pointed talons, and a recognizable dark eye mask.

Osprey

Habitat:

Ospreys are commonly found near bodies of water, including lakes, rivers, and coastal areas throughout Florida.

Diet:

They are expert fishermen and eat mostly fish. They hover over the water before diving and jumping in feet-first to capture their prey.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NamePandion haliaetus
SizeApproximately 21-24 inches (53-61 cm) in length
WingspanAround 59-70 inches (150-178 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesExceptional fishing abilities

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebes (Podilymbus podiceps) have a thick neck, a bill with a white patch, and a brownish body. They have a small tail, lobed toes, and a compact body.

Habitat:

Pied-billed Grebes can be found in freshwater habitats such as marshes, ponds, and lakes throughout Florida.

Diet:

They primarily feed on small fish, crustaceans, insects, and aquatic invertebrates. They dive and swim underwater to catch their prey.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NamePodilymbus podiceps
SizeApproximately 12-15 inches (30-38 cm) in length
WingspanAround 18-21 inches (46-53 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesExcellent diving and swimming abilities

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

The male Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis) has a little red cap, a white underside, and a back that is striped in black and white. They are built solidly, with a powerful bill, and a long tail.

Habitat:

Red-cockaded Woodpeckers primarily inhabit mature pine forests and can be found in parts of Florida.

Diet:

Their diet consists of insects, spiders, and tree sap. They forage on the trunks and branches of pine trees.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameLeuconotopicus borealis
SizeApproximately 7.1-9.1 inches (18-23 cm) in length
WingspanAround 14-16 inches (36-41 cm)
Conservation StatusNear Threatened
Special FeaturesCooperative breeding and cavity nesting

Royal Tern

The Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) has a vivid orange bill, a black crest on its head, and a white body. They have long legs, a tail with a deep fork, and huge wings.

Habitat:

Sand beaches, estuaries, and barrier islands in Florida are all frequent locations for Royal Terns.

Diet:

They primarily feed on fish, which they catch by plunge diving into the water from the air.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameThalasseus maximus
SizeApproximately 19-23 inches (48-58 cm) in length
WingspanAround 45-50 inches (114-127 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesStriking black crest and bright orange bill

Sooty Tern

The blackish-brown Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscatus) has a white underbelly and a sharply forked tail. They have a long, wing-like body, a black beak, and a lean build.

Habitat:

Sooty Terns breed on remote islands and atolls, and they visit Florida’s coastal waters during migration.

Diet:

They primarily feed on fish and squid, which they catch by plunge diving from the air into the water.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameOnychoprion fuscatus
SizeApproximately 16-18 inches (41-46 cm) in length
WingspanAround 37-39 inches (94-99 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesLong-distance migratory abilities

Swallow-tailed Kite

The body color of Swallow-tailed Kites (Elanoides forficatus) is mostly white, and they have black wings and a sharply forked tail. They are little, bent birds with long wings and a lean body.

Habitat:

Swallow-tailed Kites can be found in various habitats, including open woodlands, wetlands, and forests throughout Florida.

Diet:

They primarily feed on insects, especially flying insects, which they catch in mid-air during acrobatic flights.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameElanoides forficatus
SizeApproximately 19-24 inches (48-61 cm) in length
WingspanAround 45-50 inches (114-127 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesGraceful flight and impressive aerial acrobatics

White Ibis

White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) are long-legged birds with a white body and a long, curved beak. During the breeding season, their face and legs are a reddish-pink color.

Habitat:

White Ibises can be found in various wetland habitats, including marshes, swamps, and coastal areas throughout Florida.

Diet:

They primarily forage in shallow water or on muddy substrates for aquatic invertebrates, small fish, frogs, and crabs.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameEudocimus albus
SizeApproximately 22-27 inches (56-69 cm) in length
WingspanAround 36-41 inches (91-104 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesSociable and often seen in large flocks

White-faced Ibis

The white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi) has a large, downcurved beak and a chestnut body. Their plumage has a glossy, greenish shine, and they have dark wings.

Habitat:

White-faced Ibises can be found in freshwater wetlands, marshes, and flooded fields throughout Florida.

white face ibis

Diet:

They primarily feed on aquatic invertebrates, insects, small fish, and amphibians, which they probe for in shallow water or muddy substrate.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NamePlegadis chihi
SizeApproximately 21-27 inches (53-69 cm) in length
WingspanAround 36-41 inches (91-104 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesGlossy plumage and distinctive white face

White-winged Scoter

White-winged Scoters (Melanitta deglandi) have wings with prominent white patches and a primarily black body. They have a big head, a muscular body, and an orange beaks.

Habitat:

White-winged Scoters can be found in coastal waters, including bays, estuaries, and nearshore areas in Florida.

Diet:

Their diet primarily consists of mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic insects, which they dive underwater to catch.

CharacteristicsDetails
Scientific NameMelanitta deglandi
SizeApproximately 19-23 inches (48-58 cm) in length
WingspanAround 33-37 inches (84-94 cm)
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Special FeaturesStriking white wing patches

Conclusion

Black and white birds come in a wide variety in Florida, each with distinctive traits and habitats. These species, which range from the elegant black skimmer to the secretive black rail, enhance Florida’s unique avian fauna with their beauty and mystique.

Discovering the world of black and white birds in Florida is a mesmerizing experience that shouldn’t be missed, regardless of your level of familiarity with birdwatching.

You can improve your chances of seeing these magnificent birds in the wild by learning about their habitats and behaviors. Keep a watch out for these feathery critters’ beautiful plumage whether you visit coastal regions, marshes, or woodlands. To minimize disruption, keep in mind to respect their ecosystems and observe from a distance.

Also Read: 15 Types of Black and White Birds Found in Michigan

20 Types of White Birds in Florida

10 Fastest Disappearing Grassland Bird Species

Are black and white birds common in Florida?

Yes, black and white birds are relatively common in Florida. With its diverse ecosystems and favorable climate, Florida attracts a wide range of avian species, including those with black and white plumage.

What is the size range of these black and white birds?

The size range of black and white birds in Florida varies significantly. From small songbirds like the blackpoll warbler to larger birds of prey like the black vulture, you can find black and white birds in various sizes.

Where can I spot these birds in Florida?

Black and white birds can be found in different habitats across Florida. Coastal areas, wetlands, marshes, forests, and even urban parks are some of the places where you can spot these birds. Consider visiting wildlife refuges, state parks, and nature preserves known for their diverse bird populations.

Do black and white birds migrate?

Yes, some black and white birds found in Florida are migratory. They may spend the breeding season in Florida before embarking on long-distance migrations to their wintering grounds. The timing of migrations varies among species, so it’s worth researching the specific bird you’re interested in observing.

How can I attract black and white birds to my backyard?

To attract black and white birds to your backyard, create a bird-friendly environment. Provide food sources such as bird feeders with appropriate seeds, suet, or nectar. Plant native trees, shrubs, and flowers to offer natural food sources and shelter. Install bird baths or water features for drinking and bathing.

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