20 Types of Black and White Birds Found in Texas

Bird watchers and environment lovers alike will find paradise in Texas, which is recognized for its vast and varied landscapes. Black and white birds stand out among the many bird species that inhabit this amazing state thanks to their distinctive plumage and alluring appearance.

We shall delve into the realm of 20 intriguing Black and White Birds Found in Texas.

Each of these avian marvels—from the well-known American Robin to the elusive Snowy Owl—contributes to the rich biodiversity of the Lone Star State.

Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or simply curious about the natural wonders of Texas, this article is your gateway to exploring the diverse and enchanting world of black and white birds in this captivating state.

Importance of Bird Diversity in Texas

Bird diversity plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance in Texas.

Birds contribute to seed dispersal, insect control, and pollination, making them vital to the ecosystem’s health. Additionally, birdwatching is a popular recreational activity, attracting visitors and supporting local tourism.

Types of Black and White Birds Found in Texas

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata):

The Black-throated Sparrow is a cute and stealthy bird that inhabits Texas’ harsh landscapes and desert scrub environments. It mixes in perfectly with its sandy surroundings thanks to its black throat, which contrasts with a white belly and grayish-brown back.

It is a delight for birdwatchers to hear its enchanting and melodic song resonating over the desert. Foraging for seeds and insects, this sparrow hops on the ground or perches on low shrubs in search of its next meal.

Scientific NameAmphispiza bilineata
AppearanceBlack throat patch, gray and white plumage
SizeApproximately 5 – 6 inches (13 – 15 cm) in length
WingspanAround 7 – 8 inches (18 – 20 cm)
HabitatArid deserts, shrublands, and grasslands
DietSeeds, insects, and berries
VocalizationSweet, musical trilling song
Nesting HabitsNests are cup-shaped and hidden in shrubbery
BehaviorGround foragers, agile climbers
Interesting FactBlack-throated Sparrows are well-adapted to arid environments, where they can survive without drinking water, obtaining moisture from their diet.

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax):

The Black-crowned Night-Heron is an interesting bird to watch because it is a nocturnal heron that is active at dusk.

It stands out in marshes and swamps where it hunts for fish and aquatic prey thanks to its black cap and back which contrast with its white face and underparts.

This heron is frequently observed wading through shallow waters while calmly waiting to use its keen bill to attack unwary prey.

Scientific NameNycticorax nycticorax
AppearanceBlack crown and back, white underparts
SizeApproximately 23 – 28 inches (58 – 71 cm) in length
WingspanAround 44 – 46 inches (112 – 117 cm)
HabitatFreshwater and saltwater marshes, wetlands
DietFish, crustaceans, insects, and small mammals
VocalizationDeep “quok” or “woc” calls
Nesting HabitsNests are built in trees near water
BehaviorNocturnal, excellent hunter
Interesting FactBlack-crowned Night-Heron is a skilled hunter that forages at night, using its keen eyesight to detect prey in dimly lit environments.

Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri):

A beautiful jewel of a bird, the Black-chinned Hummingbird has a vivid purple neck patch and an iridescent black throat.

 It flies gracefully close to flowers and feeders that are rich in nectar in gardens and woodlands. It’s fascinating to watch this quick-flying, agile hummingbird drink nectar with its unique tongue and defend its territory with amazing aerial displays.

Scientific NameArchilochus alexandri
AppearanceMetallic green upperparts, black chin, and white underparts
SizeApproximately 3.5 inches (9 cm) in length
WingspanAround 4.3 inches (11 cm)
HabitatGardens, woodlands, and open areas
DietFeeds on nectar from flowers and small insects
VocalizationHigh-pitched calls and chirps
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests in trees or shrubs
BehaviorAgile and quick flyers, hovering near nectar-rich flowers
Interesting FactThe Black-chinned Hummingbird is known for its remarkable aerial acrobatics and stunning courtship displays

White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi):

With its unique facial pattern, the White-faced Ibis displays a black crown and facial markings, standing out against its glossy maroon plumage.

It frequents wetlands and marshes, probing for aquatic invertebrates with its long, curved bill. This elegant wading bird adds a touch of sophistication to Texas’ marshy landscapes.

white face ibis
Scientific NamePlegadis chihi
AppearanceGlossy maroon plumage with a black crown and facial markings
SizeApproximately 21 – 27 inches (53 – 69 cm) in length
WingspanAround 3.3 – 3.7 feet (100 – 112 cm)
HabitatWetlands, marshes, and shallow waters
RangeFound in parts of Texas and across the Americas
DietProbes for aquatic invertebrates with its long, curved bill
VocalizationGenerally silent, communicates with croaking and guttural sounds
Nesting HabitsColonially nests in trees and shrubs near water
BehaviorSocial birds, often seen in flocks during migration
Interesting FactThe White-faced Ibis is known for its distinctive facial markings and elegant flight

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys):

The White-crowned Sparrow stands out from other sparrows thanks to the unusual white crown on its head.

It is a frequent winter visitor to Texas and forages in fields and brushy regions for seeds and insects. It elevates the winter environment with its distinctive black and white face features.

Scientific NameZonotrichia leucophrys
AppearanceDistinctive white and black striped crown
SizeApproximately 6.5 – 7.9 inches (16.5 – 20 cm) in length
WingspanAround 14 – 26 inches
HabitatBrushy areas, fields, and woodland edges
DietFeeds on seeds, insects, and fruits on the ground
VocalizationMelodic song with clear whistles
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests on or near the ground
BehaviorShy and elusive, frequently seen scratching the ground for food
Interesting FactThe White-crowned Sparrow has different color morphs, varying in the color and pattern of their striped crowns

Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata):

A little songbird with black streaks on its white underparts, the Blackpoll Warbler is called. It sets off on an amazing voyage during migration, across the Gulf of Mexico to go to its breeding sites in northern North America.

It is a favorite of birdwatchers, who eagerly await its arrival in spring due to its incredible feat of endurance.

Scientific NameSetophaga striata
Appearancesmall, plain-looking warbler during its non-breeding season, with grayish plumage and a hint of black streaking
SizeApproximately 12-14 centimeters (5-5.5 inches)
WingspanAround 20-22 centimeters (8-9 inches)
HabitatMixed woodlands, spruce forests, and occasionally found in coastal areas during migration
RangeBreeds in northern regions of North America and migrates through Pennsylvania during fall
DietInsectivorous, consuming a variety of insects and spiders
VocalizationProduces a high-pitched, thin “wee-see” or “sleeve-sleeve-sleeve” song
Nesting HabitsNests are built in conifer trees, constructed with twigs, grass, and other plant materials
BehaviorRemarkable long-distance migrant, flying thousands of miles from its breeding grounds
Interesting Factknown for its incredible migratory journey

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger):

With a distinctive black head that contrasts with its white plumage, the Black Tern is a beautiful and quick bird.

It can be found close to freshwater lakes and marshes, where it hovers over the water before diving in to catch insects and tiny fish. It’s fun to watch it skim the water’s surface because of its buoyant flying.

Scientific NameChlidonias niger
AppearanceBlack head and underparts, gray wings and back
SizeApproximately 9 – 10 inches (23 – 26 cm) in length
WingspanAround 24 – 26 inches (61 – 66 cm)
HabitatFreshwater marshes, ponds, and lakes
DietInsects, small fish, and aquatic invertebrates
VocalizationHigh-pitched “kit” or “kip” calls
Nesting HabitsNests are floating structures anchored to vegetation
BehaviorAgile fliers, plunge-divers, migratory
Interesting FactBlack Terns are one of the few tern species that nest and forage exclusively in freshwater habitats.

Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus):

Rarely seen in Texas, the Black-backed Woodpecker has stunning black plumage with a dramatic white stripe running down its back.

Its powerful bill is used to dig for insects and sap in mature coniferous woods. For birdwatchers and environment lovers, its presence in Texas is a special pleasure because it allows them to catch a glimpse of this secretive and attractive woodpecker.

Scientific NamePicoides arcticus
AppearanceStriking black plumage with a bold white stripe down its back
SizeApproximately 8.5 – 9.4 inches (21.5 – 24 cm) in length
WingspanAround 3.3 – 3.7 feet (100 – 112 cm)
HabitatMature coniferous forests
RangeOccasional visitor to Texas, primarily found in northern regions of North America
DietFeeds on insects and sap from trees
VocalizationDrumming on trees to establish territory
Nesting HabitsExcavates nesting cavities in dead trees
BehaviorElusive and well-adapted to forest environments
Interesting FactThe Black-backed Woodpecker is rarely seen in Texas, making sightings a special treat

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis):

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a cute and acrobatic bird that frequents gardens and woodlands around Texas. It adds flair to the trees it frequents with its stunning white face and breast and black hat.

This bird stands out for its distinctive foraging style, which involves deftly moving headfirst down tree trunks and branches while looking for insects and seeds that may be concealed in cracks.

Birdwatchers can hear its characteristic nasal “yank-yank” call resonating through the woodland, signaling its presence.

Scientific NameSitta carolinensis
Appearancefeatures a clean white face and breast, contrasting with its slate-blue back and wings. It also sports a striking black cap on its head.
SizeApproximately 13-14 centimeters (5-6 inches) in length
WingspanAround 20-29 centimeters (8-11 inches)
HabitatDeciduous and mixed forests
RangeYear-round resident in Pennsylvania and widespread across North America
DietInsectivorous, feeding on insects, nuts, and seeds
VocalizationKnown for its distinctive nasal “yank-yank” call
Nesting HabitsBuilds its nests in tree cavities, often using bark and other materials to create a cozy lining
BehaviorClimbs tree trunks and branches headfirst while foraging for food
Interesting Factknown to cache food by hiding seeds and nuts under loose tree bark, creating a stash to rely on during harsh winter months

Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapilla):

Small and elusive, the Texas Black-capped Vireo is a songbird that prefers open woodlands and shrubby habitats.

It is easily recognized by its white face and black cap, which give it a distinctive appearance. Its jovial and enchanting voice, which enlivens the springtime air throughout the breeding season, may delight birdwatchers.

Due to its vulnerable status, conservation and protection activities are necessary to ensure the survival of this adorable vireo.

Scientific NameVireo atricapilla
AppearanceBlack cap and white face, grayish upperparts
SizeApproximately 4.5 – 5 inches (11 – 13 cm) in length
WingspanAround 10 – 14 inches (30 – 36 cm)
HabitatOak woodlands and shrubby areas
DietFeeds on insects, especially caterpillars
VocalizationSong with a series of short, melodious phrases
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests in low shrubs or trees
BehaviorElusive and secretive, spends much of its time high in tree canopies
Interesting FactThe Black-capped Vireo is listed as an endangered species due to habitat loss

Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus):

A lovely bird that brings some color to Texas’ woodlands and gardens is the Black-headed Grosbeak. It is beautiful to see, with a dramatic black head that contrasts with a white belly.

The male’s lovely song, which is typically accompanied by vivid orange and black plumage, fills the air with musical notes throughout the breeding season. It frequently frequents backyard feeders due to its strong bill’s suitability for cracking seeds and insects.

Scientific NamePheucticus melanocephalus
AppearanceBlack head and throat, orange breast and underparts
SizeApproximately 7.5 – 8 inches (19 – 20 cm) in length
WingspanAround 12 – 14 inches (30 – 36 cm)
HabitatWoodlands, forests, and gardens
DietSeeds, insects, fruits, and berries
VocalizationMelodious, flute-like song
Nesting HabitsNests are cup-shaped and built in trees
BehaviorExcellent singers, agile climbers
Interesting FactBlack-headed Grosbeaks are talented singers and produce a wide range of melodious songs, adding a musical touch to their forest habitats

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis):

A distinctive and eye-catching bird, the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck is frequently seen in wetlands and marshes throughout Texas. It has a distinctive color pattern with a white face and a black belly.

Its high-pitched whistling call, which echoes across the air as its name implies, adds to its allure. Large groups of these sociable ducks are frequently spotted hunting for watery vegetation and crustaceans.

Scientific NameDendrocygna autumnalis
AppearanceBlack belly and face, white crown and neck, reddish legs
SizeApproximately 19 – 24 inches (48 – 61 cm) in length
WingspanAround 33 – 39 inches (84 – 99 cm)
HabitatWetlands, marshes, and freshwater lakes
DietSeeds, grains, aquatic plants, insects, and small fish
VocalizationHigh-pitched whistling calls
Nesting HabitsNests are built in tree cavities or on the ground
BehaviorNoisy fliers, strong flyers, primarily diurnal
Interesting FactBlack-bellied Whistling-Ducks are known for their distinctive whistling calls, which sound like “whoo-eet.”

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus):

The Black-necked Stilt is a graceful and eye-catching wading bird that is typically spotted in marshes and small wetlands throughout Texas.

As it hunts for aquatic crustaceans and small fish, it makes a striking spectacle with its long, delicate pink legs and black-and-white plumage. Its thin, long beak is skillfully crafted for dipping into the water.

These sociable birds often engage in courtship displays and vocalizations throughout the breeding season as they create and guard their territories.

Scientific NameHimantopus mexicanus
AppearanceLong, thin black legs, black and white plumage
SizeApproximately 13 – 15 inches (33 – 38 cm) in length
WingspanAround 24 – 27 inches (61 – 69 cm)
HabitatShallow wetlands, mudflats, and saline lakes
DietInsects, small fish, crustaceans
VocalizationHigh-pitched “keek” or “kleep” calls
Nesting HabitsNests are shallow scrapes on the ground
BehaviorWades in shallow water, long-legged waders
Interesting FactBlack-necked Stilts are known for their strikingly long and slender legs, which allow them to easily navigate through shallow waters in search of food.

Black and White Warbler (Mniotilta varia):

A lovely songbird with eye-catching black and white stripes on its wings and body is the Black and White Warbler.

Its name is appropriate, as it expertly flies between tree trunks and branches like a nimble acrobat in search of insects that may be lurking in bark fissures. It leaps from one tree to another, emitting a loud “wee-see” call.

The monochromatic splendor this warbler brings to Texas’ forests during migration makes it a pleasant sight for birdwatchers.

Scientific NameMniotilta varia
AppearanceThe Black and White Warbler is a small and striking bird with bold black and white stripes on its body, resembling a tiny referee
SizeApproximately 12-14 centimeters (5-5.5 inches) in length
WingspanAround 20-23 centimeters (8-9 inches)
HabitatMixed woodlands, deciduous forests, and sometimes coniferous forests
RangeDuring migration, they pass through Pennsylvania, but they breed primarily in northern regions of North America
DietInsectivorous, feeding on insects, spiders, and other small arthropods
VocalizationProduces a high-pitched, wiry song, often described as “wee-see, wee-see, wee-see”
Nesting HabitsNests are built on the ground or in low shrubs, constructed from leaves, bark, and grass
BehaviorAgile and acrobatic forager, frequently hitching along tree trunks and branches
Interesting Factunique feeding behavior allows it to access insects that other warblers cannot, making it a fascinating addition to Pennsylvania’s avian diversity during migration.

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) – Occasional winter visitor:

In the winter, the beautiful Snowy Owl, a species native to the Arctic, occasionally graces Texas. It captivates the hearts of birdwatchers who are fortunate enough to see it with its gorgeous white plumage and distinctive black patterns.

This daytime owl has excellent hunting prowess by catching tiny animals and birds. Its unusual and stunning appearance in Texas attracts bird enthusiasts from all over the world to see this lovely visitor from the far north.

Scientific NameBubo scandiacus
AppearanceStriking white plumage with black markings
SizeApproximately 20 – 28 inches (50 – 71 cm) in length
HabitatArctic regions during breeding, occasional winter visitor to Texas
RangeBreeds in the Arctic and migrates south during winter
DietPredominantly feeds on small mammals and birds
VocalizationGenerally silent, communicates with calls and hoots
Nesting HabitsNests on the ground, building shallow scrapes
BehaviorSolitary hunters, highly adapted to cold environments
Interesting FactSnowy Owls are known for their silent flight, making them efficient hunters

American Robin (Turdus migratorius):

In North America, especially Texas, the American Robin is a well-known and iconic bird. It stands out against the green of gardens and lawns with its vivid orange-red breast and dazzling white belly.

It is well-known for its upbeat song and marks the start of spring in Texas, which is a wonderful sound after the long winter. This adaptive bird uses its sharp vision to locate possible prey while foraging on the ground for earthworms and insects.

Scientific NameTurdus migratorius
AppearanceVibrant orange-red breast, white belly, and grayish-brown back
SizeApproximately 10 inches (25 cm) in length
HabitatWoodlands, gardens, and open areas
RangeFound across North America, including Texas
DietForages for earthworms, insects, and berries on the ground
VocalizationMelodious song often heard during the spring
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests in trees and shrubs
BehaviorMigratory in some regions, forming large flocks during winter
Interesting FactThe American Robin is considered a symbol of hope and renewal

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos):

The Northern Mockingbird has a particular place in Texans’ hearts because it is the state bird of that state.

It is a quiet yet attractive bird with gray plumage and white wing patches. Its genuine magic resides in its capacity to imitate a wide range of sounds, including human voices, mechanical noises, and other bird songs.

The lovely singing of this vocal prodigy delights birdwatchers and nature lovers while bringing life and music to Texas’ metropolitan environs.

Scientific NameMimus polyglottos
AppearanceGray plumage with white wing patches
SizeApproximately 9 – 10 inches (23 – 26 cm) in length
HabitatUrban areas, gardens, woodlands, and parks
RangeCommon throughout Texas and across North America
DietOmnivorous, feeding on insects, berries, and fruits
VocalizationExceptional mimicry skills, imitating various sounds and songs
Nesting HabitsBuilds cup-shaped nests in trees and shrubs
BehaviorActive during the day, defending territory with elaborate displays
Interesting FactThe Northern Mockingbird is known for mimicking mechanical sounds and human voices

Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger):

The Black Skimmer has a stunning appearance and a distinctive hunting style. It skims the surface of the water with an open beak while its lower mandible, which is longer than its upper one, catches fish with amazing accuracy.

This sociable bird, which may be seen in Texas in sandy beaches and coastal locations, eggs in flocks and develops colonies, providing viewers with fascinating spectacles.

Scientific NameRynchops niger
AppearanceBlack upper body, white underside
SizeApproximately 16 – 21 inches (40 – 53 cm) in length
WingspanAround 44 – 49 inches (112 – 124 cm)
HabitatForests, woodlands, parks, and urban areas
RangeDuring migration, they pass through Pennsylvania, primarily breeding in northeastern North America
DietFish, caught by skimming the water surface with its lower mandible
VocalizationHarsh “yip” or “kark” calls
Nesting HabitsNests are simple scrapes on sandy or gravel beaches
BehaviorExcellent fliers, fishing at dawn and dusk, colonial nesting
Interesting FactBlack Skimmers have a unique feeding technique where they fly low over the water, lower their lower mandible into the water, and “skim” the surface to catch fish.

Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus):

In thickets and woodlands all around Texas, the Eastern Towhee is a lovely bird with stunning black upperparts, a white belly, and rufous flanks.

It signals its presence to birdwatchers by singing its characteristic “drink your tea” song. With the help of its powerful bill, this ground-dwelling bird forages for seeds, insects, and fruits on the forest floor.

Scientific NamePipilo erythrophthalmus
AppearanceStriking black upperparts, white belly, and rufous sides
SizeApproximately 7 – 9 inches (18 – 23 cm) in length
WingspanAround 46-61 centimeters (18-24 inches
HabitatThickets, woodlands, and shrubby areas
RangeFound in eastern and central parts of North America, including Texas
DietForages on the ground for seeds, insects, and fruits
VocalizationCharacteristic song with a musical “drink your tea” refrain
Nesting HabitsBuilds well-hidden nests on the ground or low in shrubs
BehaviorOften seen hopping on the ground with tail raised
Interesting FactThe Eastern Towhee’s song can vary regionally, leading to distinct dialects

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps):

a Pied-billed A black band surrounds the bill of the little diving waterbird known as the grebe. It can be found in freshwater settings all over Texas and exhibits impressive diving and swimming abilities.

It vanishes beneath the water’s surface and feeds on fish and aquatic invertebrates. It gets its name from the graceful way its flattened body and pied beak allow it to float.

Scientific NamePodilymbus podiceps
Appearancecompact water bird with a distinctive black vertical stripe on its bill, which is bordered with pale blue. Its plumage ranges from brownish-gray on the upperparts to white on the underparts.
SizeApproximately 28-38 centimeters (11-15 inches) in length
WingspanAround 46-61 centimeters (18-24 inches
HabitatFreshwater lakes, ponds, marshes, and slow-moving rivers
RangeYear-round resident in Pennsylvania and widespread across North America
DietCarnivorous, feeding on aquatic insects, fish, crustaceans, and amphibians
VocalizationKnown for a variety of calls, including yelps, whistles, and growls
Nesting HabitsConstruct floating nests among emergent vegetation
BehaviorExcellent divers and swimmers, using their lobed toes to propel themselves underwater
Interesting FactPied-billed Grebes are exceptional in their ability to sink their bodies in the water, leaving only their head exposed, earning them the nickname “water witches.”


Texas’s abundant and diversified bird population provides an amazing window into the wonders of nature. Each bird adds its own fascination to the Lone Star State, from the American Robin’s vivid orange-red breast to the Northern Mockingbird’s beautiful mimicry, from the Black Skimmer’s unusual hunting strategy to the Eastern Towhee’s endearing melodies.

Texas offers unrivaled prospects for birdwatching, attracting enthusiasts and wildlife lovers from all over the world. There is always a potential to run into these fascinating species in their native environments, whether you are exploring woodlands, marshes, coastal regions, or urban settings.

As we marvel at the beauty and intricacy of these black and white birds, let us also recognize the importance of preserving their habitats. Conservation efforts and responsible birdwatching practices are essential to ensuring their continued presence and the well-being of the entire ecosystem.

Also Read: Black and White Birds in Barcelona (ID Guide, Pictures)

Black and White Birds Found in Pennsylvania

Can I spot Snowy Owls in Texas year-round?

No, Snowy Owls are occasional winter visitors to Texas. They primarily breed in the Arctic and migrate south during harsh winters to find food. Their presence in Texas is sporadic and dependent on weather conditions up north.

What is the significance of the Northern Mockingbird in Texas?

The Northern Mockingbird holds the honor of being the state bird of Texas. Its widespread presence, melodious songs, and remarkable mimicry abilities make it an iconic and cherished symbol of Texas’ diverse avian life.

Where can I find Black Skimmers in Texas?

Black Skimmers are commonly found along the coastal areas of Texas, particularly on sandy beaches and estuaries. They nest in colonies and can be seen skimming the water’s surface with their unique bills during their foraging expeditions.

Are Pied-billed Grebes good swimmers?

Yes, Pied-billed Grebes are excellent divers and swimmers. Their flattened bodies, lobed toes, and pied bill help them navigate and catch prey beneath the water’s surface. They are often observed floating gracefully on lakes, ponds, and other freshwater habitats.

How can I attract American Robins to my garden?

American Robins are attracted to gardens that offer a variety of food sources. Planting berry-producing shrubs and providing water sources can entice these beautiful birds to visit your garden, especially during their migration and breeding seasons.

Are the Black and White Warblers migratory birds?

Yes, Black and White Warblers are migratory birds. They spend their breeding season in North America, including parts of Texas, and migrate to Central and South America during the winter months.

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