Discover 14 Black Birds in Michigan (2023)

11 Min Read

Michigan is home to a huge group of different species of birds, from colorful songbirds to soaring raptors. But some of the most interesting birds in the state are its blackbirds.

These birds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they have a wide range of habitats.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 14 black birds that can be found in Michigan. We’ll learn about their size, their habitats, and their feeding habits. We’ll also explore some of the best places to see these birds in the wild.

Michigan is home to a variety of blackbirds, including red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, and American crows. These birds can be found in a variety of habitats, from wetlands to forests. Learn more about these amazing birds and where to see them in the wild.

Related: 34 Largest Birds In Michigan

Black Birds in Michigan

  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Bobolink
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Common Grackle
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • European Starling
  • Orchard Oriole
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Rusty Blackbird
  • Shiny Cowbird
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • American Crow
Image: Bobolink

This blackbird is a summer resident of Michigan, and it is known for its distinctive song, which is a series of high-pitched whistles.

Bobolinks are also known for their fantastic migration, which takes them from their breeding grounds in the northern United States and Canada to their wintering grounds in Argentina.

Bobolinks eat insects, seeds, and grasses, and they build their nests in fields and meadows.

Related: Black and White Birds in Michigan

Brewer’s Blackbird

Brewer’s Blackbird
Image: Brewer’s Blackbird

The Brewer’s Blackbird is a blackbird species that lives in Michigan. They can be found in habitats like marshes, meadows, and fields.

These blackbirds are known for their loud calls, especially when they are flying. Their diet includes insects, seeds, and berries. When it’s time to nest, they build their homes in bushes and trees.

Related: 12 Red Birds in Michigan

Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird
Image: Brown-headed Cowbird

This blackbird is a brood parasite, which means that it lays its eggs in the nests of other birds.

Brown-headed Cowbirds are found in a variety of habitats, including fields, forests, and even backyards.

They eat insects, seeds, and berries, and their young are raised by the host birds.

Related: Brown Birds in Michigan

Baltimore Oriole

baltimore orioles in colorado
Image: Baltimore orioles in Colorado

The Baltimore Oriole is a bright orange and black bird that visits Michigan in the summer.

It’s known for its beautiful songs, which it sings from high perches in trees.

The orioles eat insects, fruits, and nectar and build their nests in hanging baskets or safe spots.

They are a joy to watch and listen to during the warm months, but in winter, they fly to Central and South America.

Related: Discover 13 Amazing White Birds in Michigan

Common Grackle

Common Grackle

This blackbird is a resident of Michigan, and it is found in a variety of habitats, including fields, forests, and even backyards.

Common Grackles are known for their loud calls, which they often give in flight.

They eat insects, seeds, and berries, and they build their nests in trees and shrubs.

Related: 17 Blue Birds in Michigan

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark
Image: Eastern Meadowlark

The Eastern Meadowlark is a beautiful and melodious bird that graces the open grasslands and meadows of Michigan.

It is easily recognizable by its bright yellow underparts adorned with a striking black “V” shaped pattern on its chest.

The upper parts are predominantly brown with black streaks. This bird is renowned for its enchanting and flute-like song, which resonates across the meadows during the breeding season, adding a symphonic touch to the natural landscape.

Related: 6 Small Blue Birds in Michigan

European Starling

European Starling
Image: European Starling

The European Starling is a highly adaptable and charismatic bird that has made its home in Michigan, among other parts of North America.

Though it may not be native to the continent, its iridescent black plumage speckled with metallic green and purple tones is a sight to behold.

These birds are accomplished mimics, capable of imitating a wide range of sounds, from other bird calls to mechanical noises and human speech.

Related: Types of Cranes in Michigan

Hooded Oriole

Hooded Oriole
Image: Hooded Oriole

The Hooded Oriole is a vibrant and striking bird with a black hood and bright yellow plumage. It is a summer visitor to Michigan, typically found in open woodlands, parks, and gardens.

Their nests are woven with skill and intricacy, often hanging from the ends of tree branches.

The males are particularly vocal, producing a mix of whistles and chattering calls to attract mates and defend their territories.

Orchard Oriole

orchard oriole
Image: orchard oriole

The Orchard Oriole is another oriole species that brightens Michigan’s landscapes during the summer.

The males display a rich black hood and back, while their underparts blend chestnut and yellow.

As their name suggests, they often inhabit orchards and woodlands, where they diligently build their pouch-shaped nests, suspended from the slender branches of trees.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged blackbird
image: Red-winged blackbird

The Red-winged Blackbird is an iconic bird of wetlands and marshes throughout Michigan.

The male boasts a glossy black plumage adorned with bright red and yellow shoulder patches, called epaulets, which they display prominently during courtship and territorial displays.

Their unmistakable “conk-la-ree” call echoes across the marshes, making them a familiar sound of spring and summer.

Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird
image: Rusty Blackbird

The Rusty Blackbird is a less common blackbird species in Michigan, often found in wooded swamps and wetlands during migration.

Their plumage has a glossy black appearance with rusty edges, especially on their wings and back, which gives them their name.

They are relatively quiet birds, and their soft, mellow calls can be heard as they forage for insects and invertebrates in the leaf litter.

Shiny Cowbird

Shiny cowbird
image: Shiny cowbird

The Shiny Cowbird is a brood parasite, meaning it lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species, leaving the host bird to raise its chicks.

They have glossy black plumage and a slender bill, and they are often seen in open areas, including agricultural fields and pastures.

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark
Image: Western Meadowlark

The Western Meadowlark is a cousin of the Eastern Meadowlark and shares similar habitat preferences.

This bird has a vibrant yellow breast with a distinctive black “V” pattern, like its eastern counterpart.

Their sweet and flute-like song is a signature sound of grasslands and prairies in Michigan, adding a touch of nature’s music to the scenery.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Image: Yellow-headed Blackbird

The Yellow-headed Blackbird is an eye-catching blackbird with a bright yellow head and breast.

It frequents marshes and wetlands, where its striking colors contrast against the reeds and cattails.

Their songs are a mix of gurgles, whistles, and rattles, adding to the diversity of sounds in these habitats.

American Crow

American Crow
image: American Crow

The American Crow is a common and intelligent bird found throughout Michigan. Its entirely black plumage sets it apart from many other birds.

Crows are known for their high intelligence, adaptability, and problem-solving skills.

They are often seen in urban areas, rural landscapes, and woodlands, and their distinctive “caw” calls can be heard across the state.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What are some common blackbirds in Michigan?

    Red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, European starlings.

  2. What time of year can I see blackbirds in Michigan?

    You can easily see blackbirds in Michigan Year-round, or seasonally depending on the species.

  3. Where can I see blackbirds in Michigan?

    Wetlands, forests, fields, backyards.

  4. What do blackbirds eat?

    Insects, seeds, berries, fruit.

  5. What are some threats facing black birds in Michigan?

    Habitat loss, climate change, invasive species.


Michigan’s blackbirds are a testament to the diversity of the state’s natural habitats. These birds are a reminder that even in the darkness, there is beauty to be found.

If you’re interested in seeing blackbirds in Michigan, there are a few things you can do. First, be sure to visit some of the state’s many parks and preserves. These areas are home to a variety of birdlife, including blackbirds.

Second, be aware of the birds’ migratory patterns. Some of Michigan’s black birds, such as the red-winged blackbird, migrate long distances. If you’re hoping to see these birds, be sure to visit the state during their migration season.

Finally, be patient and observant. Blackbirds are not always easy to see. But if you’re patient and keep your eyes peeled, you’re sure to have a rewarding experience.

Share This Article