Radiant Majesty: Unveiling the Enchanting Power of a Large Black Bird with White Stripes on Wings and Tail (2024 Edition)

Birds with predominantly black plumage marked by elegant white stripes and spots on their wings and tails comprise a diverse group found worldwide. Ranging from small songbirds to imposing birds of prey, these striking black and white avians are visually arresting. The white patterns serve diverse functions across species, including communication, camouflage, and display. This article explores 30 remarkable black birds bearing beautiful white wing and tail markings, focusing specifically on the large black bird with white stripes on wings and tail.

Glossy Ibis

The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a wading bird inhabiting wetlands across much of the globe. Adults sport dark reddish-brown plumage, with white stripes lining the outer wings visible when airborne. Their decurved bill is also reddish-brown.

Wingspan16-22 in
Length18-22 in
Weight1.1-1.3 lbs

Glossy ibises forage tactilely, plunging their bill into the mud to capture fish, frogs, crustaceans, and insects. Highly gregarious, they nest and feed communally in large colonies.

While worldwide populations are stable, numbers declined last century before rebounding. Their reliance on threatened wetlands warrants ongoing habitat protection and monitoring.

Red-Winged Blackbird

Abundant across most of North America, the Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is named for the male’s vivid red and yellow shoulder patches. While males are largely black, both sexes boast conspicuous white stripes along the wing edges visible in flight.

Wingspan12-15 in
Length6.7-9.1 in
Weight1.1-2.7 oz

These highly social blackbirds breed in wetlands across much of Canada and the United States. They migrate in enormous flocks, wintering in the southern U.S. and Mexico.

Though common, populations have declined in certain areas due to habitat loss and pesticides. As adaptable birds, they thrive around agriculture yet require secluded wetlands for nesting.

Eurasian Magpie

With black plumage marked by white wing patches, the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) is a distinctive corvid inhabiting Europe and Asia. It possesses a black head, wings, and tail contrasting with white shoulders, belly, and rump. Blue-green iridescence provides subtle color.

Length16-18 in
Wingspan22-26 in
Weight5.3-8.3 oz

Magpies occupy open woodlands, parks, and orchards. Highly intelligent, they form social groups with intricate communication.

Though not threatened overall, magpies face regional habitat loss and declines at their extensive range’s edge. Their vital scavenging ecological role warrants ongoing protection.

Black-billed Magpie

Widespread in western North America, the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) exhibits bold black and white plumage. It possesses a black head, breast, back, and tail, with white markings on the shoulders, belly, and wings.

Length17-24 in
Wingspan22-27 in
Weight6-10 oz

Inhabiting open woodlands near river valleys and plains, these highly intelligent birds reside in social groups. Omnivorous, Black-billed Magpies eat nearly anything, from carrion to insects, seeds and fruit.

Considered a game species in many areas, their populations remain generally stable. Conservation of riparian habitat assists local magpie populations.

Eurasian Jay

With blue-tinged black plumage and white markings, the Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) is a European corvid. It possesses light blue streaking on its head and breast, while its black wings and tail bear striking white stripes and bars.

Length12-16 in
Wingspan16-21 in
Weight3-4 oz

Inhabiting diverse forested areas across Europe and Asia, Eurasian Jays feed on insects, nuts, seeds, eggs, and small invertebrates. Their vital ecological role warrants monitoring and restoring their woodland habitat.

White-Necked Raven

The White-necked Raven (Corvus albicollis) occupies arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Adults are glossy black with white feathers on the neck and breast. White also occurs at the wings and tail’s base.

Length20-26 in
Wingspan45-50 in
Weight1.5-3 lbs

Highly intelligent, these substantial corvids reside in mated pairs or small flocks. As omnivores, they consume anything from seeds to eggs and carrion. Stable populations allow them to withstand some human pressures, but poisoning has impacted local numbers.

Gray Jay

Sometimes termed the Canada Jay, the Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) inhabits boreal forests from Alaska to Newfoundland. It possesses gray plumage with a darker gray head and paler underparts. White patches occur on the face, throat, and wings.

Length11.8-13.4 in
Wingspan16.5-18.9 in
Weight2.7-3.9 oz

Curious and bold, Gray Jays are year-round northern residents who cache food to endure harsh winters. Their populations have declined at their southern range boundary due to climate change.

Azure-Winged Magpie

Native to parts of eastern Asia, the Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus) possesses deep blue wings with bright white shoulder stripes. It has a black head, neck, breast, and tail. The belly is blue-gray.

Length15-18 in
Wingspan24-26 in
Weight5-7 oz

Occupying open forests and olive groves, these striking magpies are highly social, chattering and displaying communally. Legally hunted in some regions, their numbers remain stable overall.

White-Winged Chough

In Australia, the White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanoramphos) forms highly social flocking groups. It possesses black plumage with bold white patches visible when airborne. The curved black bill has a reddish base.

Length15-17 in
Wingspan29-31 in
Weight6-8 oz

Probing bark and soil for invertebrates, these acrobatic birds practice cooperative breeding, nesting, and territorial defense. Legal harvest is permitted, but habitat loss has impacted some populations.

Black-Headed Jay

A vertical shallow focus closeup shot of a White-eared bulbul bird in a tree

Inhabiting mountain forests from Mexico to Panama, the Black-headed Jay (Cyanocorax affinis) exhibits striking plumage: black head, neck, back, and tail with bright blue wings, rump, and underparts. White streaking occurs along the wings.

Length11-13 in
Wingspan13-15 in
Weight2.8-3.5 oz

Foraging in noisy flocks, these jays consume fruits, nuts, insects, and other invertebrates. Forest conservation furnishes crucial habitat for this Mesoamerican species.

Florida Scrub-Jay

The Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) is a vulnerable species restricted to Florida’s oak scrub habitats. It possesses blue upperparts and pale gray underparts with white wing bars.

Length11-12 in
Wingspan13-14 in
Weight2.5-3 oz

Due to extensive habitat destruction over the past century, populations have declined by over 90%. Ongoing conservation seeks to preserve remaining scrublands and restore degraded areas.

Black Skimmer

The Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) is a tern-like seabird of North and South American coasts. Adults have black backs with white undersides. White stripes occur along the front wing edges. The large red and black bill has a longer lower mandible.

Length17-19 in
Wingspan45–53 in
Weight8-12 oz

Skimmers fly low over water with their bill open, snatching small fish when the lower mandible makes contact. Protecting coastal nest sites is vital for conserving declining populations.

White-Winged Dove

Elegant in gray and brown plumage, the White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) of the southern U.S., Mexico, and Central America has prominent white wing edges visible when airborne.

Length11-13 in
Wingspan17.5-18.5 in
Weight4-6 oz

Inhabiting forest clearings and woodland edges, these mellow doves forage for seeds and fruits on the ground. Continued woodland habitat protection supports stable populations.

White-tipped Dove

Similar to the White-winged dove and ranging through Mexico and Central America, the White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi) possesses brown plumage with white wing tips and tail edges.

Length11-12.5 in
Wingspan17-19 in
Weight5-7 oz

Peaceful and herbivorous, they frequent forest clearings and woodland edges. Like the previous species, this dove remains common with stable populations.

Eurasian Hoopoe

The Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) exhibits zebra-like black and white stripes, a long decurved bill, a black body, and a bold white tail band. The striking crested head has cinnamon and black banding.

Length10-12 in
Wingspan16.5-19.5 in
Weight1.5-2.5 oz

Probing into soil and grass to catch insects with their specialized bill, hoopoes inhabit open forests and grasslands across Europe, Asia, and Africa. While overall stable, local declines have occurred in certain regions.


In Australia and New Guinea, the Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) is patterned with black, white, and brilliant blue. It possesses a black crown and nape, with a broad white stripe extending from the bill above the eye.

Length8-11 in
Wingspan10-14 in
Weight1.5-3 oz

These highly territorial birds occupy open habitats from wetlands to urban parks. Abundant within their restricted island range, populations appear stable.

White-Throated Magpie-jay

With blue, black, and white plumage, a long tail, and a bold crest, the White-throated Magpie-jay (Calocitta Formosa) is a tropical corvid of Mexico through Costa Rica. The black wings have striking white stripes, edging, and bars.

Length17-20 in
Wingspan17-20 in
Weight8-10 oz

Inhabiting open forest and woodland edges, these social omnivores form tight family flocks. Though adaptable to human areas, they require tree resources for nesting and food.

Pied Crow

The Pied Crow (Corvus albus), found widely across sub-Saharan Africa, is aptly named for its dramatic piebald black and white plumage. The body is mostly glossy black, while the head, breast, neck, and wing coverts are snow white.

Length15-17 in
Wingspan31-38 in
Weight11-24 oz

Highly adaptable, these intelligent crows thrive in diverse open habitats from wetlands to human settlements. Legally hunted in some areas, populations remain robust.

Black-Chested Buzzard-Eagle

The Black Chested Buzzard-Eagle (Eutriorchis astur) is a Madagascar endemic raptor with dark brown plumage and white undersides and wing patches. With potent talons and a hooked bill, it preys on birds, reptiles, and mammals.

Length14-18 in
Wingspan31-39 in
Weight1.3-2.2 lbs

Declining and threatened by habitat loss, this unique island raptor requires protected forest areas for survival.

White-Tailed Hawk

Ranging through the Americas, the White-tailed Hawk (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) fulfills its name with predominantly gray-brown plumage offset by a white-banded tail. White also occurs on the wings when perched.

Length17-22 in
Wingspan48-54 in
Weight1.8-2.8 lbs

An opportunistic Buteo, it preys on diverse small vertebrates, reptiles, and birds. Protecting open wetlands and grasslands supports populations throughout its range.

Crested Caracara

The Crested Caracara (Caracara Cheriway) is a raptor inhabiting the southern U.S. through Central and South America. It possesses mottled brown and white plumage with a namesake crest. White wing patches are visible when in flight.

Length19-22 in
Wingspan48-55 in
Weight1.9-4 lbs

Occupying varied open habitats, they opportunistically prey on small vertebrates, carrions, and insects. While still common, habitat loss has caused regional declines.

American Kestrel

The colorful American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is the most widespread falcon in the Americas. Males have blue-gray wings spotted black, a russet back and tail, and white underparts with black bars and spots. Females have barred tails and streaked wings.

Length9-12 in
Wingspan20-24 in
Weight3-6 oz

These small raptors prey on insects, lizards, mice, and other tiny vertebrates. Providing nest boxes supports kestrel conservation across their range.

Cattle Egret

Often seen accompanying livestock, the Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) has expanded its range spectacularly across temperate and tropical regions worldwide. In breeding plumage, it possesses buffy orange on the head, neck, and back contrasting with white body plumage. The bill and legs are yellow.

Length18-22 in
Wingspan38-40 in
Weight6-14 oz

Originally African, it spread by following cattle-raising practices. Though populations fluctuate, habitat loss concerns this human commensal species.

Black-Winged Kite

Unlike its African cousin, the Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is patterned with silvery gray and white plumage. It possesses a pale gray head and underparts, a darker gray back and wings, and bright white patches on the wings.

Length12-14 in
Wingspan35 in
Weight8-11 oz

Graceful hunters, they consume insects, reptiles, and small mammals.

The Diverse Habitats of Intelligent Birds

The Australian magpie, known for its impressive singing abilities and blood-red eyes, is an intelligent territorial wetland bird found in open habitats across southern Australia. This popular national bird, with black wings that enable deep water diving and insect hunting, can be aggressive in defending its territory yet still thrives in urban gardens. Other intelligent birds like flycatchers, water turkeys, and Oriental magpie-robins occupy tropical, temperate and coastal areas across Asia, northern and eastern North America, Brazil and the Indian subcontinent, nesting in swampy forests and foraging in wetlands, rivers, and deciduous forests for fish, amphibians and more.

The Wide Range of Clever Avian Species

There are many types of birds found across diverse habitats, from pacific coastal regions to tropical forests. Birds have unique wings enabling abilities like flight and swimming. One popular question bird enthusiasts research in bird dictionaries and guidance materials relates to the meaning behind demon symbols sometimes depicted in bird eyes. Intelligent tropical birds like magpies and crows have blood-red eyes leading some cultures to associate them with demons. However multiple benign factors like specialized feathers around their eyes or adaptations to forest light levels better explain this eye color that aids various aerial and land-based hunting behaviors crucial to bird survival. Researchers continue documenting the myriad birds and studying what makes each type unique.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some notable large black birds with white stripes on their wings and tails?

Some examples are the White-necked Raven, Eurasian Magpie, White-winged Chough, Pied Crow, and Black-chested Buzzard Eagle. These large corvids and raptors have predominantly black plumage marked by conspicuous white patterns on their wings and tails.

Why do these birds have white stripes on their black feathers?

The white markings serve different functions depending on the species. In corvids, the patterns may aid in identification and communication within social groups. For raptors, the stripes can help with camouflage when hunting prey. The contrast also makes the birds more visually striking.

Where can these black and white birds be found?

They occupy diverse habitats across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, Central America, and South America. Most range widely across multiple countries and continents. Only a few like the Florida Scrub-Jay have small localized ranges.

What do these birds eat?

Their diets range widely based on habitat and taxonomy. Raptors prey on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Corvids are omnivorous, eating insects, fruit, seeds, nuts, eggs, and even carrion. Ibises probe for aquatic prey.

How do the populations of these birds stand up to conservation threats?

Some like the Eurasian Magpie and White-necked Raven remain widespread. But others including the Florida scrub jay, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, and Black Skimmer have experienced declines due to habitat loss, degradation, and human disturbance. Their specialized needs warrant ongoing monitoring and protection.

What are some key threats these birds face?

Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation rank among the largest threats, especially for endemic island or localized mainland species. Agricultural chemicals and pesticides pose dangers, along with illegal trapping and trade. Climate change may impact ranges and behaviors.

How can we support the conservation of these black and white birds?

Preserving natural habitats, limiting pesticide use, prohibiting harmful trade, and mitigating climate change all help protect populations. Supporting regulated sustainable harvest where allowed, responsible ecotourism, and community education programs can also aid conservation.

Do any of these birds live near me?

The American Kestrel, Red-winged Blackbird, and Common Grackle are widespread across much of North America in open country, marshes, and woodland edges. Those in the southern U.S. may also see Crested Caracaras, White-winged Doves, and Black Vultures with white wing stripes. Eurasian Magpies and other species inhabit parks and woodlands across Europe and Asia.

Are these birds intelligent and social?

Many corvids like magpies and crows display high intelligence and complex social behaviors. They cooperate, communicate using language-like vocalizations, and often form family groups with lifelong mates. Raptors show intelligence hunting collaboratively. Ibises and blackbirds form large foraging flocks.

What field marks help identify black birds with white wings and tail stripes?

Look for high-contrast plumage patterns, like all-dark bodies with bright white patches on the wings and tail in flight. Also note bill and leg color, eye color in raptors, the presence of crests or long tails, and foraging behaviors like soaring versus hopping.

Conclusion: large black bird with white stripes on wings and tail

Birds with predominantly black feathers offset by elegant white stripes and markings on their wings and tails comprise a diverse group around the world. Ranging from gregarious corvids to solitary raptors, these visually striking species play important ecological roles across many habitats. While populations of some species remain robust, habitat loss and other threats have caused declines in specialized endemics and localized mainland birds. Protecting fragile ecosystems and limiting harmful practices can help conserve these unique black and white birds for the future. Appreciating their beauty, intelligence, and ecological value inspires ongoing advocacy for their preservation.

About the Author: Hudaibia

My name is Hudaibia with the profound passion for our feathered friends. Birds have captivated my heart and mind since childhood. Now I share my avian devotion through my website, mybirdfeed.com.