We’re sure that if you’re a bird enthusiast, the birds we’ll share today will end up on your must-see species! All the species we’ve chosen for our list of black birds with yellow beaks are stunningly beautiful, and each has an interesting trait that makes them unique!
As such, keep reading to discover more about these birds gifted by nature with distinctive plumage and yellow bills!
12 Types of Black Birds with Yellow Beaks
Although there are many other black birds with yellow beaks flying around the world, we’re certain that the ones we’ve selected are among the most notable species!
Today you’ll learn about their appearance and whether they’re sexually dimorphic. We’ll also share some important details about their distribution, diet, breeding, and migratory behavior.
Without further ado, let’s reveal these species’ beauty!
1. Common Blackbirds
- Scientific name: Turdus merula
- Size: 23.5-29 cm (9.3-11.4 in)
- Weight: 80-125 g (2.8-4.4 oz)
- Wingspan: 34-38 cm (13.4-15 in)
Common blackbirds are sexually dimorphic. Male birds are fully black and have a glossy appearance. Their bills are yellow, as is the eye ring. Females, on the other hand, are primarily dark brown, their bills are yellowish-brown, and their throats are brownish-white.
The common blackbird has quite a wide distribution, being native to North Africa, South Asia, Eurasia, and the Canary Islands. However, it is now an introduced species in New Zealand and Australia.
The populations living in the south and west are residents, while those living in the north travel long distances to reach their wintering grounds.
Within their range, common blackbirds live in woodlands, preferring deciduous trees. During the breeding season, which starts in March-April, they’re common in gardens, where males actively defend their territories. The cup-shaped nest is built by the female.
These blackbirds are omnivorous and forage for any type of insect available. However, it is known to feed on seeds, berries, and occasionally small amphibians and lizards.
2. Alpine Chough
- Scientific name: Pyrrhocorax graculus
- Size: 37-39 cm (14.5-15.3 inches)
- Weight: 191-252 g (6.7-8.9 oz)
- Wingspan: 75-85 cm (30-33 in)
The alpine chough’s plumage is glossy black, and its most distinctive characteristics are the short yellow bill, the red legs, and the dark brown irises.
Males and females look identical, except for the fact that males are slightly larger. Juveniles don’t yet have the black plumage, as they’re much duller in color.
These birds are part of the crow family and are distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa. They are year-round residents within their range.
Alpine choughs are primarily found at high altitudes, especially during the breeding season. They build their nests in cavities that cannot be easily accessed and forage in open areas like alpine meadows.
During the summer, these black birds feed primarily on invertebrates. When the temperatures drop, the alpine chough switches to a fruit-based diet and delights in apple, grape, and pear meals. It has also been observed eating the flowers of certain plants.
3. Black Thrush
- Scientific name: Turdus infuscatus
- Size: 24 cm (9.5 in)
- Weight: 71-81 g (2.5-2.8 oz)
Like most birds, the black thrush is sexually dimorphic. Males have yellow bills, legs, and eye rings. Apart from this, the plumage is completely black. The females are brownish and have a black bill and yellow legs. The juveniles are similar to the females.
Black thrushes are endemic to El Salvator, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, living at altitudes of 1,200 and 3,500 meters. They are considered a non-migratory species, residing in tropical and subtropical montane forests.
However, some have been observed in Nicaragua, possibly during some kind of migratory pattern. As such, it remains unknown whether the species is indeed fully non-migratory.
This gorgeous black bird feeds on fruiting trees and bushes. It rarely looks for food on the ground. It’s almost always seen foraging with other thrushes.
4. Ross’s Turaco
- Scientific name: Tauraco rossae
- Size: 38-45.7 cm (15-18 in)
- Weight: 454 g (1 lb)
Now’s that quite a sight – the unique Ross’s turaco! This black-bluish-purple bird is part of the Musophagidae family, whose members are known as loeries.
Unlike other species on our list, there’s little sexual dimorphism in Ross’s turaco individuals. All birds have a similar black-bluish body, a red head, and red flight feathers. The beaks are usually yellow, although those belonging to females might have greenish shades.
These birds are endemic to Africa, where they live in heavily forested areas. They do not migrate, not even short distances. During the breeding season, Ross’s turacos form monogamous pairs, and both parents participate in incubation and feeding.
They feed almost exclusively on fruits, flowers, and seeds. In fact, they have an important ecological role within their range, as specialists consider them an essential seed spreader species! If the opportunity arises, Ross’s turaco will also eat small insects.
5. Black Scoter
- Scientific name: Melanitta americana
- Size: 43-49 cm (17-19 in)
- Weight: 980-1,100 g (2.16-2.4 lb)
- Wingspan: 71 cm (28 in)
Black scoters are sea ducks in the Anatidae family. They are large birds with a bulky build and bulbous bills. Males are completely black and have distinctive yellow bills, while females are brown and have pale cheeks.
These large ducks are migratory. They breed in the northern part of North America and Asia and spend their winters in the temperate zones of the south. Some populations are known to migrate to the Great Lakes for the winter.
The breeding season starts in February-March, when pairs are formed and lined nests are built. During this time, black scoters are found close to water sources like the sea, rivers, or lakes. Some are found in woodlands and tundra.
While nesting, black scoters feed on insects, fish eggs, and occasionally vegetation like duckweed. During the winter, they look for crustaceans and mollusks.
6. Andean Coot
- Scientific name: Fulica ardesiaca
- Size: 40-43 cm (16-17 in)
The Andean coot is often called a slate-colored coot. The two subspecies (F. a. ardesiaca and F. a. atrura) can be distinguished by their color morphs. Although both are slaty gray with black heads and necks, one has a yellow bill with a green tip and green legs and feet and the other has a white bill and grayish legs and feet.
These interesting creatures are found within a small range in South America, extending from Peru to Bolivia and Chile. They live in heavily vegetated areas but are often spotted close to lakes, ponds, rivers, and marshes.
Andean coots live at high altitudes and are thus adapted to surviving in low-oxygen environments. They are considered non-migratory, but are known to occasionally engage in some seasonal movements.
The beginning of the breeding season depends on where the birds are located. During this time, they build nests on floating vegetation.
Naturally, since they reside close to water sources, Andean coots feed primarily on aquatic vegetation by either diving or walking on it.
7. European Starling
- Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris
- Size: 19023 cm (7.5-9.1 in)
- Weight: 58-101 g (2-3.6 oz)
- Wingspan: 31-44 cm (12-17 in)
The European starling might be the most beautiful bird on our list! It has iridescent black plumage with shades of glossy purple and green, interspersed with white spots. Its bill is narrow, conical, and features a sharp tip.
In this regard, European starlings are obviously sexually dimorphic, as females have yellow bills with a pink base, while males have yellow bills with a bluish-gray base.
These starlings are found worldwide, being most common in North America and Europe. Some populations are year-round residents, while others are migratory. Did you know that the global European starling population reaches roughly 310 million individuals?!
European starlings are found in urban and suburban areas, relying on artificial structures for nesting and roosting sites. The breeding season occurs in spring and summer when males build nests to attract females.
The species feeds primarily on insects but may occasionally supplement the diet with snails, amphibians, and lizards. Sometimes they also rely on grains, seeds, and fruits.
8. Yellow-rumped Cacique
- Scientific name: Cacicus cela
- Size: 23-28 cm (9.1-11 in)
- Weight: 60-104 g (2.1-3.7 oz)
The yellow-rumped cacique is part of the Icteridae family of passerine birds. Without a doubt, they’re quite a sight thanks to their gorgeous plumage and overall appearance!
Both males and females are predominantly black, although the latter are slightly duller. They have notable yellow-pointed bills and blue eyes. Additionally, the yellow-rumped cacique has yellow epaulets, a tail base, lower belly, and rump. You’ll probably never see a more beautiful black-and-yellow bird than this one!
These brightly colored creatures are found only in South America, where they live in woodlands or cultivated areas with large trees. During the breeding season, yellow-rumped caciques engage in colonial behavior and build around 100 nests in the same tree.
They feed on insects like caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, fruits, and nectar.
9. Great Hornbill
- Scientific name: Buceros bicornis
- Size: 95-130 cm (37-51 in)
- Weight: 2-4 kg (4.4-8.8 lb)
- Wingspan: 152 cm (60 in)
The great hornbill is undoubtedly the bird with the longest, most noticeable bill on our list! These birds are sexually dimorphic in the fact that males are larger and have red eyes, compared to females, which are smaller and have bluish-white eyes. Both have a yellow bill and a casque on top of it. The color of the casque is different in males and females.
These large, unique birds are found in Nepal, Bhutan, India, Sumatra, and mainland Southeast Asia. They inhabit dense forests found in hilly regions. The breeding season occurs between January and April when female great hornbills build nests in tree trunk hollows.
Great hornbills feed primarily on fruits. Specialists suggest that they prefer figs above other fruits. These creatures are known to congregate in groups of 150-200 individuals while foraging.
10. Steller’s Sea Eagle
- Scientific name: Haliaeetus pelagicus
- Size: 85-105 cm (33.5-41.3 in)
- Weight: 6.2-9.5 kg (14-21 lb)
- Wingspan: 1.95-2.5 m (6.4-8.2 feet)
Probably one of the largest birds on our list, the Steller’s sea eagle is a bird of prey in the Accipitridae family. It has predominant brown-black plumage, contrasting with the white feathers, especially those on the wings and the tail. The beak is yellow, as are the talons.
Stellar’s sea eagles are found only in Northeast Asia, the largest population being in the Kamchatka Peninsula. While many are residents, some individuals migrate south to overwinter in Japan, China, and Korea.
These birds engage in courtship display between February and March, which is followed by egg laying in April-May. The nests are made of twigs and are usually placed high up on trees.
This species is predominantly piscivore, meaning it feeds mainly on fish, preferring salmon and trout. Occasionally, Stellar’s sea eagles feed in congregations of up to 700 individuals. When winter approaches, these eagles may switch to a carrion diet, meaning they feed primarily on dead fish.
11. Javan Myna
- Scientific name: Acridotheres javanicus
- Size: 21-23 cm (8.3-9.1 in)
- Weight: 100 g (3.5 oz)
You might have heard of the Javan myna under another name – the white-vented myna. Naturally, these birds are predominantly black but have brownish shades on their wings, while the under tail covers are white.
The short crest on the forehead may help you distinguish the species from other birds in the area. The yellow beak, legs, and feet will also be of help! The eyes have a unique color as well – they’re bright lemon-yellow!
Javan Mynas are native to Bali and Java. However, they’re now found in other countries as an introduced species. They prefer inhabiting cultivated areas but are also quite common in cities.
As you’ve probably guessed, the species is non-migratory. During the breeding season, it builds nests in holes and lays bluish eggs. They feed on fruits, seeds, insects, and even human waste. The fact that they’re quite bold facilitates city foraging.
12. Yellow-legged Thrush
- Scientific name: Turdus flavipes
- Size: 22-23 cm (8.7-9.1 in)
- Weight: 55-70 g (1.9-2.5 oz)
Like most birds on our list, yellow-legged thrushes are sexually dimorphic. While both males and females have yellow legs and eye rings, only males have yellow bills. Moreover, males are predominantly blackish-gray, while females are brownish and have dull bills.
These birds are known primarily from two populations – one is on the northern part of the South American continent, and the other is on the central-eastern part. They live in rainforests, woodlands, and plantations. Many yellow-legged thrushes engage in local movements and partial migratory routes.
This species feeds almost exclusively on fruits and berries. The foraging is typically done on trees and bushes.
During the breeding season, they build lined shallow cup nests amongst rocks, upon which females lay either reddish-blotched green or bluish eggs.