Discover 30 Black Birds in Colorado (2023)

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Blackbirds are common in Colorado and can be found in different places like parks and fields. They have black feathers and long, pointed beaks, which makes them easy to recognize.

These birds are essential for the ecosystem as they help control insects and spread seeds.

If you want to know more about blackbirds in Colorado, you can visit birding spots like Chatfield State Park or Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. These places have many blackbird species you can see up close.

You can also learn more about blackbirds by reading books or articles about them. There are lots of resources available that talk about their habits, what they eat, and where they live.

Black Birds in Colorado

There are 30 types of black birds in Colorado. Some of the most usual ones are the common grackle, the brown-headed cowbird, and the red-winged blackbird.

  1. Brewer’s blackbird
  2. Common Starling
  3. Red-winged Blackbird
  4. Common Grackle
  5. Bullock’s oriole
  6. Rusty Blackbird
  7. Black-billed Magpie
  8. Great-tailed grackle
  9. American Crow
  10. American Coot
  11. Black-necked Stilt
  12. Western Grebe
  13. Western Meadowlark
  14. Common Goldeneye
  15. Canada Goose
  16. Bronzed Cowbird
  17. Common Loon
  18. Steller’s Jay
  19. Double-crested Cormorant
  20. Turkey vulture
  21. Greater Scaup
  22. Hooded merganser
  23. Ring-necked Duck
  24. Tree swallow
  25. Brown-headed cowbird
  26. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  27. Orchard Oriole
  28. Bobolink
  29. Baltimore Oriole
  30. Scott’s Oriole

Here is a details overview of the 30 species of blackbirds that are found in Colorado:

1. Brewer’s Blackbird in Colorado

Brewer's Blackbird
image: Brewer’s Blackbird

Brewer’s Blackbird is a bird found in Colorado with medium size and pretty songs. The male birds have shiny black feathers with a beautiful purple shine, and the female birds have dark brown feathers.

They eat both plants and insects, which helps them live in different places like farms and parks. You can see them in groups, searching for bugs, seeds, and berries on the ground.

They have unique calls that sound like liquid and make Colorado’s bird sounds more exciting.

2. Common Starling in Colorado

common Starling
Image: Common Starling

The Common Starling is a bird that was brought to North America and now lives happily in Colorado’s cities.

They are medium-sized birds with shiny black feathers and white spots. When it’s breeding season, their beaks turn yellow, making them look even more interesting.

Some people think they are not native and may be invasive, but they are cool because they can copy other sounds very well.

They make a variety of whistles and chirping sounds that are fun to watch and listen to.

In the evening, you can see them flying together in big groups, creating amazing patterns in the sky.

3. Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged blackbird
image: Red-winged blackbird

The Red-winged Blackbird is a bird that tells us spring has come to Colorado.

The male birds have shiny black feathers with eye-catching red and yellow patches on their shoulders, and they show off these colours to impress the females during courtship.

Female birds have more muted brown feathers, which helps them blend in well with wetland areas where they like to make their nests.

You can find them near marshes, lakes, and ponds. They have a special song that goes “conk-la-ree!” and when you hear it, you know that warmer days are here.

4. Common Grackle:

Common Grackle

The Common Grackles are large black birds in Colorado with shiny feathers that look green and purple in the sunlight.

You can often see them walking around neighbourhoods and searching for food in grassy fields because they are used to living near humans.

They are smart birds that eat almost anything they can find, like bugs, berries, and even scraps from people’s homes. Their calls might not be pretty, but they are clever and interesting to watch.

5. Bullock’s Oriole:

Bullock's Oriole
Image: Bullock’s Oriole

The Bullock’s Orioles are orange and black birds in Colorado. They have bright orange and black feathers that make them stand out.

Male birds have orange bellies and black wings and heads. If you want to see them, you might have to visit places with trees and water during their breeding season.

They sing sweet and melodic whistles that make summer even more enjoyable with their lovely tunes.

6. Rusty Blackbird:

Rusty Blackbird
image: Rusty Blackbird

The Rusty Blackbird is a bit hard to find because they spend the winter in Colorado and then fly north to breed.

Their black feathers have a rusty-brown edge, which gives them a unique look. They like living in quiet wetlands, marshes, and swamps, where they search for small water insects and animals to eat.

Sadly, their numbers are going down, so seeing them is extra special. Keep an eye out for these charming songbirds when they migrate.

7. Black-billed Magpie:

Black-billed magpie
Image: Black-billed magpie

The Black-billed Magpie is a famous bird in Colorado that you can easily recognize by its black and white feathers, long tail, and shiny green-blue wings.

They live in open forests, grasslands, and cities, and they are good at finding shiny things. You can hear their loud calls, and they are very clever and resourceful birds.

8. Great-tailed Grackle:

Great-tailed grackle
image: Great-tailed grackle

The Great-tailed Grackle is a common bird you’ll see in Colorado’s cities and neighbourhoods. The male birds have black feathers that shine, and they have bright yellow eyes.

When it’s time to find a mate, the males show off their long, fancy tail feathers. The females have more plain brown feathers.

They like searching for food and bugs in parking lots and parks, and their calls are loud and varied, adding character to the area’s sounds.

9. American Crow:

American Crow
image: American Crow

The American Crow is a smart and adaptable bird that can live in many different places in Colorado, like forests and farms.

They are all black and easy to see as they search for food, like bugs, fruits, and dead animals.

You can recognize them by their “caw” calls, and in the winter, they gather together in big groups, which is an amazing sight to see in the sky.

10. American Coot:

American Coot
image: American Coot

The American Coot might look like a duck at first, but it’s a different kind of bird. They have a black body, a white bill, and red eyes.

They love living around Colorado’s freshwater lakes and marshes.

Their feet are special, and they are great at swimming and diving to find plants and small water creatures. When they migrate, they gather in large groups and make “kuk kuk” sounds.

11. Black-necked Stilt:

Black-necked Stilt
Image: Black-necked Stilt

The Black-necked Stilt is a beautiful long-legged bird that lives near shallow wetlands and salt flats in Colorado.

They have a black head and neck, and their belly is white, making them look stunning.

Their long pink legs are perfect for wading and finding small water bugs and crustaceans. Watch them walk gracefully along the water’s edge.

12. Western Grebe:

The Western Grebe is an elegant waterbird that you can find in big bodies of water like reservoirs and lakes in Colorado.

During the breeding season, they have special black-and-white feathers, a red eye, and a long, thin neck.

They are known for their fancy courtship displays, where they rush together across the water’s surface.

Their calls are haunting and add a wild touch to the water habitats in the state.

13. Western Meadowlark:

The Western Meadowlark is an enchanting songbird that graces Colorado’s grasslands with its melodic and distinctive song.

With bright yellow underparts adorned by a striking black “V” on its chest, these birds are easy to spot perched atop fence posts or flying low over the prairies.

Their cheerful calls are synonymous with the state’s open spaces, making them an emblematic symbol of Colorado’s natural beauty.

14. Common Goldeneye:

Common Goldeneye
Image: Common Goldeneye

The Common Goldeneye is a stunning diving duck that frequents Colorado’s freshwater lakes and rivers during the winter months.

Males showcase a striking black-and-white plumage, with a brilliant golden-yellow eye adding to their charm.

Watch for their energetic dives as they forage for aquatic invertebrates underwater. These beautiful ducks are a delightful sight amid the winter landscape.

15. Canada Goose:

The Canada Goose is a familiar sight in Colorado, particularly during migration periods. With their classic “V” formation flying over wetlands and fields, they announce the changing seasons. These large waterfowl have brown bodies, black necks, and white cheeks. Some Canada Geese reside in the state year-round, while others pass through during their annual migration, creating a dynamic avian spectacle.

16. Bronzed Cowbird:

The Bronzed Cowbird is a brood parasite, meaning it lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species, leaving the hosts to raise their young. While the female is a uniform brownish-black, the male boasts iridescent bronze plumage that gleams in sunlight. Despite their parasitic behaviour, these birds play a role in the ecosystem, and observing their intriguing behaviour can be a unique experience in Colorado.

17. Common Loon:

The Common Loon, though primarily found in northern regions, can be spotted in Colorado during migration. Recognizable by their striking black-and-white checkered back, black head, and distinctive red eye, these waterbirds are exceptional divers and swimmers. Their haunting, eerie calls across calm mountain lakes evoke a sense of wilderness and tranquillity, adding to the allure of Colorado’s scenic landscapes.

18. Steller’s Jay:

Steller's Jay
Image: Steller’s Jay

Steller’s Jay is an intelligent and charismatic bird known for its striking blue plumage and bold personality. Found in Colorado’s coniferous forests and mountainous regions, they are adept at mimicking other birds’ calls and human noises. Their curious nature may lead them to approach hikers and campers, making them a delightful companion during outdoor adventures in the state.

19. Double-crested Cormorant:

Double-crested Cormorant
image: Double-crested Cormorant

The Double-crested Cormorant is a big waterbird that you can find in Colorado’s lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. They have sleek black feathers, a hooked bill, and during the breeding season, their eyes turn bright blue. These birds are great at diving underwater to catch fish. Sometimes, you can see them sitting on rocks or spreading their wings to dry after fishing, which is a common sight in water habitats.

20. Turkey Vulture:

Turkey Vulture
image: Turkey Vulture

The Turkey Vulture is a fascinating bird of prey that likes to scavenge for food. You can easily spot them because they are large with dark feathers and a red, featherless head. They are important for the environment because they clean up dead animals and help control diseases. When they fly, they make a “v” shape, and they have a keen sense of smell to find their next meal. They play a crucial role in balancing Colorado’s ecosystems.

21. Greater Scaup:

The Greater Scaup is a medium-sized diving duck that visits Colorado during winter migration. Male ducks have glossy black feathers with a white stripe on their sides, and female ducks are brown with a lighter belly. You can find them in bigger lakes and reservoirs, where they dive underwater to eat plants and small water creatures. Their presence adds to the variety of winter waterfowl in Colorado.

22. Hooded Merganser:

The Hooded Merganser is a stunning diving duck that sometimes comes to Colorado during migration. The male ducks have fancy black and white feathers and a cool fan-shaped crest on their head. The female ducks look more simple, but both are good at catching fish underwater. You can spot them in quiet ponds or small water bodies, adding a touch of elegance to Colorado’s waterways.

23. Ring-necked Duck:

Ring-necked Duck
Image: Ring-necked Duck

The Ring-necked Duck is a small diving duck that you can often see in Colorado’s lakes and ponds during migration. Male ducks have a shiny purple-black head with a white rings on their bill, and female ducks have brown feathers. They are good divers and go underwater for short periods to eat plants, seeds, and small water creatures. Their presence adds to the diversity of migratory waterfowl in the state.

24. Tree Swallow:

Tree Swallow
image: Tree Swallow

The Tree Swallow is a small and nimble bird that comes to Colorado during the warmer months. They have shiny blue-green feathers and a slightly forked tail, and they are skilled at catching insects while flying. As the name suggests, they usually build their nests in tree holes or special birdhouses, making them a delightful sight for birdwatchers in parks and open areas.

25. Brown-headed Cowbird:

The Brown-headed Cowbird is a unique bird in Colorado that looks glossy black with a brown head. You can see them in open fields and farms. But their way of breeding is different and sometimes causes problems. Instead of making nests, the female birds lay eggs in other birds’ nests, and then those birds raise the cowbird chicks. This behaviour can be harmful to other bird populations, so people are concerned about protecting them.

26. Yellow-headed Blackbird:

The Yellow-headed Blackbird is a striking bird with a bright yellow head and black body. They live in marshes, wetlands, and places with tall grass, usually near water. You can hear their loud and harsh calls in the marshes, adding to the sounds of Colorado’s wetlands.

27. Orchard Oriole:

orchard oriole
Image: orchard oriole

The Orchard Oriole is a small and colourful songbird that likes to live in Colorado’s riverside areas and orchards with tall trees. The male birds have chestnut feathers with black parts, and the female birds have olive-brown feathers. During the breeding season, they sing beautiful and flute-like songs, which is a treat for birdwatchers in the state.

The Bobolink is a charming bird that visits Colorado during its breeding season. Male birds have a black-and-white look with a yellowish cap on their head. They are famous for their cheerful and bubbly songs and impressive flying displays when they want to impress a mate. They make the grasslands and meadows in Colorado even more special.

29. Baltimore Oriole:

The Baltimore Oriole is a colourful and lovely songbird that comes to Colorado during its breeding season. Male birds have bright orange feathers with black parts, and female birds have more muted colours. They like living in forests and wooded areas, where they build hanging nests. Their flute-like songs fill the air and make the springtime even more pleasant.

30. Scott’s Oriole:

Scott’s Oriole lives in Colorado’s dry areas like desert canyons and foothills where juniper and piñon pine trees grow. The male birds have black and yellow feathers, which make them easy to recognize. Female birds have less bright colours. Their flutelike songs are like music in the desert, making them interesting to find during hikes in the southwestern parts of Colorado.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q1. What is a black bird with a long beak in Colorado?

A1. The largest black bird with a long beak in Colorado is the great-tailed grackle. It is about the size of a crow and has a long, pointed beak. Great-tailed grackles are found in open habitats, such as fields and meadows.

Q2. What is the black crested bird in Colorado?

A2. The black-capped chickadee is a small black bird with a white bib and a black crest. It is found in open woods and forest edges in Colorado.

Q3. What small bird has a black head in Colorado?

A3. The black-headed grosbeak is a small, black bird with a yellow breast and a red shoulder patch. It is found in open woodlands and meadows in Colorado.

Q4. What are the blackbirds with blue heads in Colorado?

A4. The two blackbirds with blue heads in Colorado are the common grackle and the Brewer’s blackbird. The common grackle has a glossy blue head and a bronze body, while the Brewer’s blackbird has a more iridescent blue head and a green body.


In conclusion, blackbirds in Colorado add charm and diversity to the state’s landscapes. From the glossy Brewer’s Blackbird to the melodious Western Meadowlark and the elegant Common Goldeneye, each species brings its unique character to the ecosystem. By appreciating and protecting these birds, we can ensure their presence for future generations, making birdwatching in Colorado a delightful and enriching experience. So, grab your binoculars and explore the enchanting world of blackbirds in the beautiful state of Colorado!

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