Winged Wonders: Ontario’s 10 Incredible Black Birds in Nature’s Avian Symphony

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There are many different species of birds found on earth. They differ in color, size, shape, and other characteristic features. Some have dark eyes, some have slightly curved wings, some have a yellow patch on their entire body, some other birds have white patches, and some have black wings.

Similarly, there are many different species of blackbirds found in Ontario. Some are red-winged blackbirds, rusty blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, Baltimore orioles, great-tailed grackle, and Eastern Meadowlark.

List Of Black Birds In Ontario

In North America, 25 species of New World blackbirds are spotted and found throughout various regions, including northern and southern areas. In North America, their name is changed to New World Blackbirds to differentiate them from European Blackbirds.

In Ontario, 16 species of blackbirds have been spotted now.

1. Red-Winged Blackbirds

Red-winged blackbirds breed in the northern United States and Canada during the summer and migrate to the southern United States for the winter. They are spotted in Ontario during the summer breeding season.

You can easily identify a red-winged blackbird with reddish-orange patches on its wings. The male red-winged blackbirds have dark patches, whereas the female bird has dull patches and plain brown coloring.

The red-winged blackbirds eat insects and seeds. They lay eggs in their nest and lay 2-4 eggs simultaneously. Their eggs take 13 days to hatch, and in two weeks, the chicks fly. The preferred habitat for making their nests is dense vegetation with mud, stems, and stalks.

Botanical Name: Agelaius phoeniceus

Red-Winged Blackbirds
By picture guy on UnlimPhotos

2. European Starlings

European Starlings are not native birds of Ontario. They have migrated and are now living in Ontario. These birds’ main characteristics are their iridescent blue or iridescent purple tones.

Due to their aggressive nature, these birds are considered pests in North America and are found in large flocks. They are medium-sized blackbirds but spoil some fruits because they can eat mulberries, cherries, sumac, blackberries, grains, seeds, and insects.

Botanical Name: Sturnus vulgaris

3. Great-Tailed Grackle

If we talk about the size of male grackles, they are long and slender blackbirds. Adult females of this species have dark brown skin on their backs, which makes them different from adult males.

As the name shows, these birds have very long tails. Their best meal is insects, worms, bees, snails, beetles, and spiders.

These birds can be found in urban areas and agricultural or breeding grounds.

Botanical Name: Quiscalus mexicanus

4. Brown-Headed Cowbird

The males have brown heads and short tails, whereas females have gray-brown bodies and slightly brown streaks on the body.

These birds are generally found in grasslands; their favorite food is weeds and grass. Their nesting season is mainly from April to July.

After hatching the eggs, the chick will enjoy a slow, fluttering flight in just two weeks.

The larger birds destroy small birds’ eggs so they can lay their eggs in that nest. They also harass those birds if they try to take their nest back.

Botanical Name: Molothrus ater

5. Baltimore Orioles

Watching Baltimore orioles in the sky is a sign of the arrival of the Spring season. The males have bright orange bodies with black markings on them. They have white wing bars on their feathers. The females have yellow heads and pale brown bodies along with gray-brown color flight feathers.

These birds can easily be seen in backyards and parks during spring. They eat various seeds, fruits, damaged crops, and insects.

They make a unique design nest from fibers. This nest is like a hanging bag, which looks incredible.

Botanical Name: Icterus galbula

6. Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird is slightly different from other birds because you can spot this bird in the winter season. This bird has a dark color near its eye and a light streak in that dark color.

This breed was found in the boreal forests of Canada, but it was also later spotted in Ontario. These birds are found in wet areas. You can spot them on large ponds, swamps, bogs, and marshes.

These birds look black during summer, but when it is breeding plumage, their appearance will change, and they appear in light gray with brown feathers.

The 90% population of this breed has crashed in the last 40 years, and now this bird is on the red list of ICUN.

This is a threatened species, so many groups and organizations, such as the Rusty Blackbird Working Group and the National Audubon Society, are observing and monitoring the decline in the numbers of these birds.

Botanical Name: Euphagus carolinus

7. Orchard Orioles

Orchard orioles will always be spotted in shrublands, river banks, and farms. They prepare a unique design nest for themselves, which is of hanging design. They prepare it with long grasses and small branches of trees.

The males have black heads and dark brown bodies, whereas the females have greenish-yellow bodies. They generally eat beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, spiders, and ants, but they also eat fruits and drink nectar from flowers.

This is the smallest species of blackbird found in North America. Their length is 15-18 cm, and their weight is 16-28 gms only. Their wing span is 25 cm.

Botanical Name: Icterus spurius

8. Brewer’s Blackbirds

Brewer’s blackbirds are medium-sized birds. The males have glossy black coats with greenish tones and purple heads, whereas the females have plain brown tones.

Brewer’s blackbirds live in an extensive range of habitats. They can live in parks, backyards, grasslands, woodlands, grazing animals, fields, meadows, and marshes.

They prepare their nest from grass and twigs twisted together in trees or shrubs. They first make a mud lining to hold them together and then apply a coat of soft grass to the mud line.

Their favorite food is cracked corn, hulled sunflower seeds, and millet.

Botanical Name: Euphagus cyanocephalus

9. Yellow-Headed Blackbirds

Yellow-headed blackbirds are the rarely spotted birds in Ontario. These are small, cute birds with bright yellow heads and chests, and the rest of their bodies are black. They have white lines on their wings.

These birds are larger than red-winged blackbirds and are attracted to the sunflower seeds.

They like to live in wetlands and grasslands. They make their stems from wet stems by weaving them together, and then they are attached to reeds and cattails over water.

The female birds lay 2-5 eggs at a time and need approximately two weeks to hatch them.

Botanical Name: Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

10. Hooded Oriole

Hooded Oriole and orchard oriole are two species of the same genus. The males have orange or olive green colors and pale throats, while the immature birds and females have bright yellow and dark grey wings.

The favorite food of this bird is fruits and flower nectar. They prepare their nest by using plant material and grass. The nest remains around 20 feet above the ground. It looks like a hanging basket.

Botanical Name: Icterus cucullatus

Final Note

Birds play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity in an ecosystem. They help in plant pollination and dispersal of seeds. They also act as rodent or insect control. They are an essential part of the food chain and web.

We discussed black birds in Ontario in detail. There are many species of birds which are different based on their characteristics. Some have bright red-colored bodies or heads, others have white bellies, some have heavily barred patterns across their feathers, and some have long dark bill tails.

All these birds have different eating patterns and breeding seasons. They also lie differently based on the feathers’ shape, size, and color.

They all are comfortable in different habitat conditions. Some live in your backyards and parks, while others can be found in grasslands, fields, meadows, and woodlands. So, if you are interested in birdwatching, you can start in your backyard!

Last Updated on by Narayani Bhardwaj

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