Bird-watching is by far one of the oldest yet most relaxing hobbies in the entire world. This activity has increased in popularity during the past years and has no sign of slowing down whatsoever. People love birds due to their solitary nature and because the bird-watching activity is also an individual social experience.
You can choose when and where you want to watch the birds alone, or call some more friends for companionship and enjoy these fragile animals. The animal kingdom is very rich in species, including eagles, sparrows, hummingbirds, or robins. It is natural not to be a pro from the very beginning of your bird-watching hobby, but at least you can start with easier-to-understand species.
One particular type of bird that is easier to spot is the small black bird with white bellies or breasts. If you just started this new hobby, these birds will be easier to identify, mainly due to their lack of any other particularities or features.
These animals don’t usually have other colorful feathers or too bright shades on their plumage. They will simply blend nicely with their surroundings.
It is important to have some little information about these species before going to watch them in nature. We have brought together the most common species, which you might see even in the backyard. We know how daunting it can be to do a lot of research about the animal kingdom, but luckily, you will find the information you need below.
Lovely Black Birds With White Breasts
Choose one of these birds to watch in your next nature adventure. So here we go:
1. Dark-eyed Juncos
Also popular as “snowbirds,” the Dark-Eyed Juncos are linked to wintertime. These are usually tiny, seed-eating, gray, or blackbirds from the sparrow family. These Dark-Eyed Juncos are primarily noticed in Massachusetts, and they are present between fall and spring migration.
However, most people do not expect Juncos to be found in the Commonwealth during the whole year-round. Moreover, these birds can often breed in conifer forests.
How To Identify Them
One of the best parts of Juncos is that these birds are straightforward to identify. Expect to notice the males wearing a dark grey uniform to black on the head, wings, and back.
The belly is white, of course. On the other hand, females can have mixed shades of brown and gray. Unlike most other birds in Massachusetts, both females and males lack stripes or streaks of any kind on their belly, face, and breast.
Behavior Of Dark-Eyed Juncos
Dark-Eyed Juncos eat seeds; they often stay on the ground and spend their time in tiny groups. You will notice them also by their single high buzzes, as well as the short sound repetitions of a single note: tew-tew.
As soon as they get scared or feel any danger around, the Dark-Eyed Juncos will fly to the nearest cover, a low tree or a bush, most of the time. When they reach this “shelter,” the birds will start to flash their white stripes.
Status Of Breeding
The Dark-Eyed Juncos will regularly breed throughout western Massachusetts. However, the breeding season appears to be minor and less stable during the last years, and the wintering numbers.
2. Tree Swallow Identification
The Tree Swallow is not only black above but has impressive shades of royal blue as well. These birds are songbirds with long, pointed wings, as well as a short, squared tail.
You will notice that Tree Swallows can also have slightly notched tails. Moreover, the bills of these birds are flat and truly short.
When it comes to the color pattern, adults, especially the males, have this white belly below, while the upper part is black and blue. You will notice these unique blackish feathers, as well as the fragile black eye mask. On the contrary, females will be duller, with more brown shades on the upper parts. The juveniles, but also other females, can sometimes show a blurry gray-brown breast band.
Behavior Of Tree Swallows
Tree Swallows will feed themselves with tiny aerial insects that they can catch in their mouths during their daily flight. Right after the breeding season, Tree Swallow birds will gather in large flocks so they can easily migrate and molt.
Right during the nonbreeding season, Swallows will start collecting into some large communal roosts.
The Habitat Of Tree Swallows
The Tree Swallows will prefer to breed while they are in open habitats, just like wetlands or fields. However, they will typically be adjacent to water.
These birds will nest their eggs in some artificial nest boxes but also in tree cavities. You will notice most of the foraging flocks over agricultural fields, water, and wetlands.
3. White-Breasted Nuthatch
The White-Breasted Nuthatch is only 5” to 6” in size. These birds are tiny, gray to black, and with white bellies. The winged animals are usually seen walking headfirst down the tree.
Food And Habitat
White-breasted Nuthatches will usually eat insects; however, they prefer sunflower seeds, peanuts, and seeds. These birds are residents of most of the United States, and they are permanently living here.
4. Black Phoebe
Black Phoebes are tiny, plump songbirds with large heads, so it is pretty easy to identify them. Their tails are squared and medium-long.
These winged animals come with a beautiful rear of the crown and will show a slight peak. The bill of Black Phoebe is usually thin and straight.
The upper parts of the Black Phoebes are usually sooty gray, as well as the chest. Secondly, the head is slightly darker. The belly is crystal white, and the wing will feature pale gray.
Black Phoebes will usually sit upright on very low perches, very close to the water. As such, they will ensure to make short flights to catch their food, meaning insects. The Black Phoebes will pump their tails up and down when they feel settled.
These birds nest in some mud cups, which are beautifully protected by nooks. You will notice these birds under some bridges or building roofs. The tiny birds will keep up some quick chill calls.
The Living Habitat
In the United States Of America, people can observe these flycatchers close to water. Black Phoebes usually live along rivers, lakes, streams, as well as the Pacific Ocean. As such, as long as these birds have water around and some kind of ledge where they can stand into a mud nest, Black Phoebes will stay there.
5. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
When it comes to their size, the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are relatively medium-sized songbirds that easily recognize the rose stain on the white chest. These birds have triangular bills, a broad chest, a squared tail, and a short neck.
Just so you can imagine these birds better, they are smaller than American Robin and larger than House Finch.
Adult males of Rose-Breasted Grosbeak usually have a black and white plume, with a unique red chevron extending from the black throat exactly to the breast. Females and young birds are typically brown and heavily streaked. You will notice the bold whitish stripe all over the eye.
On the other hand, the males feature a particular pink-red stain right under the wings. No matter the sex, all these birds display some white patches on their tail and wings.
These chunky birds will use their stout bills so they can eat seeds, insects, and fruits. The birds are frequent visitors to people’s backyards, so don’t hesitate to feed them.
The sweet song of male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is quite familiar, and it is a sharp “chink” that makes these birds very distinctive.
The Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks are usually breeding in the Eastern forests, so don’t be surprised to find these tiny animals in deciduous conifers and trees.
The winged animals are most commonly found in regenerating woodlands, while during migration, they will concentrate along with parks and forest edges.
6. Mountain Chickadee
The Mountain Chickadee birds are typical habitats for the northern regions of North America. You can find these little birds in the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Rocky Mountains, and Canada. The name of this bird is a derivative from the animal’s call, which sounds like “chick-a-dee.”
The Mountain Chickadee has a short length, somewhere around 15 cm and no more. This peculiar species loves to live at high altitudes but is close to small rivers and streams.
The color of the mountain chickadee is mainly gray, while the cap is black and the belly is all white.
The underparts of these birds will always be white or gray-white, while the flight and tail feature darker gray.
As food, the Mountain Chickadee will prefer insects during the hot days of summer but will eat conifer seeds during the fall months.
Last But Not Least
There are many other small black birds with white bellies, as Mother Nature constantly proves how prosperous the Animal Kingdom is.
These are only the ones scientists have been documenting closely. Take your time to notice the little birds around you, and you will find fantastic creatures.