Facts & How-To's

10 Incredible Black Birds In Ontario: You Must Know

Birds are small animals and very special and have different characteristics than humans and animals. There are many different species of birds found on earth. They differ in colour, size, shape, and other characteristic features.

Today in this article, we will discuss black birds in Ontario. 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.

You can take a glimpse of huge flocks of these birds flying in the sky. They have different characteristics, which make them different. 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.

The various species of birds have different breeding seasons. So the different species of birds have other characteristics. The birds which have slight changes in factors may have the same genus.

List Of Black Birds In Ontario

In North America, 25 species of New World blackbirds are spotted. These are northern birds. In Ontario, 16 species of blackbirds have been spotted now. Out of these 16 species, 3 species are under the threatened category.

According to records, out of these 16 species of blackbirds, 12 birds are spotted on the state checklist, whereas 4 species are discovered accidentally. These birds are not only black, but they have many bright colours.

In North America, their name is changed to New world blackbirds to differentiate them from European Blackbirds.

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1. Red-Winged Blackbirds

Red-winged blackbirds are commonly spotted birds in Ontario. During the winter season, they will migrate to the south, which is their breeding habitat. So they are spotted here in the 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 colouring. The red-winged blackbirds eat insects and seeds. They eat insects in the summer and roots in the winter season.

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Red-winged blackbird lays eggs in their nest and lays 2-4 eggs at a time. Their eggs take 13 days to hatch, and in two weeks, the chicks fly. The preferred habitat for making their nests are dense vegetation areas with mud, stems, and stalks.

Botanical Name: Agelaius phoeniceus

2. European Starlings

European Starlings are not native birds of Ontario. It has been migrated, and now it is living in Ontario. The main characteristics of these birds are they have iridescent blue or iridescent purple tones.

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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 they spoil some fruits because they can eat mulberries, cherry, sumac, and blackberries along with grains, seeds and insects.

Botanical Name: Sturnus vulgaris

3. Great-Tailed Grackle

Great Tailed Grackle was spotted accidentally in Ontario. If we talk about the size of male grackles, they are long and slender blackbirds. The adult females of this species have dark brown colour on their backs which makes them different from adult males.

As the name shows, these birds have very long tails. Their best meal is eating insects, worms, bees, snails, beetles, and spiders. These birds will be found in urban areas, agricultural or breeding grounds.

Botanical Name: Quiscalus mexicanus

4. Brown-Headed Cowbird

The brown-headed cowbird is the fifth most commonly spotted blackbird in Ontario. 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 favourite food is weeds and grass. Their nesting season is mainly from the month of April to July. After hatching the eggs, the chick will enjoy a slow fluttering flight in just two weeks.

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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 a bright orange colour body having 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 colour 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 fibres. 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. Generally, you will spot birds in the spring or summer season, but this bird is different.

This breed was founded in the boreal forests of Canada, but it was later spotted in Ontario. This bird has dark colour near its eye and a light streak in that dark colour. These birds are found in wet areas. You can spot them on large ponds, swamps, bogs, and marshes.

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

The 90% population of this breed have been 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 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 female is of greenish yellow colour. 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 blackbirds 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 are of glossy black coats having greenish colour with purple head whereas the females are of plain brown colour. Brewer’s blackbirds live in a very wide 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 favourite food is cracked corn, hulled sunflowers seeds, and millets.

Botanical Name: Euphagus cyanocephalus

9. Yellow-Headed Blackbirds

Yellow-headed blackbirds are the rarely spotted birds in Ontario. These are small and cute birds having bright yellow coloured heads and chests, and the rest body is black. They have white lines on their wings. These birds are attracted to the sunflower seeds. These birds are larger than red-winged blackbirds.

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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 2 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 colour along with pale throats while the immature birds and females have bright yellow colour along with dark grey coloured wings. This breed of birds was spotted accidentally.

The favourite 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 very important role in maintaining biodiversity in an ecosystem. Birds help in plant pollination and dispersal of seeds. They also act as rodents or insect control. They are an important and essential part of the food chain and web. Sometimes some larger animals trouble birds a lot.

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-coloured 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 shape, size, colour, and colour of feathers. They all are comfortable in different habitats conditions. Some live in backyards, parks, grasslands, fields, meadows, and woodlands. Some people love bird watching. Birds help you remain calm by seeing large flocks of birds of different colours. 

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