A yellow beak on dark plumage is proof that a bird doesn’t need rainbow-colored feathers to be attractive.
Whether you want to learn more about the worldwide avifauna, or find out what black birds with yellow beaks to look out for during your next bird-watching adventure, the 26 species below deserve your attention:
- American robin
- Common black hawk
- Double-crested cormorant
- Eurasian blackbird
- Spotless starling
- European starling
- Golden-headed manakin
- Alpine chough
- Common hill myna
- Yellow-throated toucan
- Yellow-knobbed curassow
- Yellow-billed hornbill
- Steller’s sea eagle
- Indian blackbird
- Yellow-legged thrush
- Gold-crested myna
- Yellow-billed loon
- Ross’s Turaco
- Yellow-rumped cacique
- Black scoter
- Yellow-billed duck
- Yellow-billed magpie
- Verreaux’s eagle
- Andean coot
- Yellow-billed nunbird
- Asian Koel
Note: The species above are some of the most common black birds with yellow beaks seen in the wild in various parts of the world. This list is not exhaustive, and the birds are not ranked in any particular order.
1. American Robin
Scientific name: Turdus migratorius
It might not be completely black, but the American robin is one of the most common black birds with yellow beaks in North America.
Its range expands from Newfoundland in Canada all the way to the Sierra Madre in southern Mexico, the bird being found in a variety of habitats – including suburban and agricultural areas.
American robins are mid-size passerine birds measuring around ten inches in length. Adults have dark brown or black plumage on the head, wings, and back.
The underside is a rusty brown color, and the beak is a dull yellow.
2. Common Black Hawk
Scientific name: Buteogallus anthracinus
Part of the Accipitridae family, the common black hawk, is another black bird with yellow beak in the Americas.
Its expansive range goes from the southwestern United States to northern South America and Guyana. They are also found in the Isle of Pines and Cuba.
Common black hawks inhabit lowlands with water sources nearby, as they mostly feed on fish and crustaceans.
Adults of both genders are similar in color, sporting coal-black plumage and yellow beaks with black tips.
3. Double-Crested Cormorant
Scientific name: Phalacrocorax auritus
The double-crested cormorant is one of the most common black birds with yellow beaks in Florida.
This waterfowl type is found in a variety of marine and inland water habitats, and its range expands to other parts of North and Central America, including Mexico and Alaska.
The cormorant has black plumage all over, emerald green eyes, and a bicolor beak that is dark yellow at the base and gray at the tip.
In Florida, this species can be admired year-round in Rookery Bay and or seen roosting in Rookery Islands.
4. Eurasian Blackbird
Scientific name: Turdus merula
A type of true thrush, the Eurasian blackbird is a common black bird with yellow beak in Europe and Asia. In North America, it exists as an introduced species.
It is about the same size as the American robin, but it has an overall carbon black plumage. The beak and rim around the eyes are yellow, but the eyes and legs are black.
The Eurasian blackbird is found in a variety of habitats, including suburban and agricultural areas, and it can be mistaken for New World blackbird species such as the grackles.
5. Spotless Starling
Scientific name: Sturnus unicolor
Often confused with the Eurasian blackbird, the spotless starling is a shiny black bird with yellow beak found in Northwest Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, and in warm European areas such as Sicily, Sardinia, southern France, and Corsica.
This bird is largely non-migratory, and only the breeding males are gloss black with a yellow beak.
Adult females and non-breeding males are black too, but they have black beaks. Juveniles are typically a dull brown hue.
This starling type owes its name to the uniform color it sports in the breeding months. The winter plumage has pale spots on the feather tips.
6. European Starling
Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris
Very similar to the spotless starlings, European starlings are passerine birds native to the Old World.
The main difference – plumage aside – is that these starlings are migratory, and their range isn’t confined to just a few areas.
In fact, introduced populations also live in North America, where they are common black birds with yellow beaks in Ohio.
Another difference between European and spotless starlings is the plumage. These birds look black from afar, but they are actually iridescent black mixed with midnight blue, dark green, and purple.
Pale spots on the feather tips are present all year round in adults of both genders.
7. Golden-Headed Manakin
Scientific name: Ceratopipra erythrocephala
One of the most beautiful passerine birds in the world, the gold-headed manakin has a fully yellow head, including the plumage and beak.
The rest of the body and the eyes are pitch black, making it one of the most intriguing black birds with yellow beaks in Central America.
Sexual dimorphism is highly noticeable between males and females. The lady counterparts aren’t black and don’t have yellow beaks either. Instead, they are a dull gray-brown color.
8. Alpine Chough
Scientific name: Pyrrhocorax graculus
One of the pitch black birds with yellow beaks and red legs, the Alpine chough is a bird in the crow family, very similar in shape and size to cowbirds.
As their name suggests, these birds are found in Europe, more precisely in the alpine regions of Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.
However, populations are also found in other European countries and also in North Africa and Asia.
This non-migratory bird is socially monogamous and shows incredible fidelity to its breeding site, which is usually a cliff face or crevice.
9. Common Hill Myna
Scientific name: Gracula religiosa
A tropical black bird with yellow beak, the common hill myna is native to Southeast Asia. Populations are present in India, south China, Sri Lanka, and several islands in the Indian Ocean.
One of the passerine types of birds, the common hill myna, is about the size of a robin and displays a beautiful gloss black plumage with yellow flaps on the sides of the head.
The legs are bright yellow, and the beak is bright yellow at the tip, transitioning to light orange towards the base.
10. Yellow-Throated Toucan
Scientific name: Ramphastos ambiguus
One of the largest birds in its family, the yellow-throated toucan is an aggressive black bird with yellow beak in northern South America.
It occurs in evergreen forests from low to high altitudes and is usually found in the Peruvian Andes or the coastal areas of Venezuela.
These near-threatened birds grow about 24 inches long, and there are no significant differences between adult males and females.
All of them have black bodies with yellow chests and a bicolor bill that is either black or chestnut brown on the underside and bright yellow on the upper side.
11. Yellow-Knobbed Curassow
Scientific name: Crax daubentoni
Another large black bird with yellow beak is the yellow-knobbed curassow. Like the toucan, it is native to South America, inhabiting the rainforests of Venezuela and Colombia.
This near-threatened species can grow up to three feet long, and both sexes are characterized by a uniform black plumage color.
However, males have more facial ornaments, a prominent crest, and a yellow cere with black tip.
Females are similar to males, but they have lighter eyes, and their beaks are black.
12. Yellow-Billed Hornbill
Scientific name: Tockus leucomelas
A bird with a yellow beak and black and white feathers, the yellow-billed hornbill is a peculiar-looking bird native to South Africa.
There are two subspecies, eastern and southern yellow-billed hornbills. The main difference between them is the skin around the eye, which is pink in the southern type and blackish in the eastern ones.
Apart from that, the birds are almost identical. Both species have grayish-white plumage, which is speckled with black on the wings.
The backs are black, and a black stripe also stretches over the head, from the head to the base of the bill.
These birds have dark yellow bills with black rims.
There aren’t significant differences between male and female colors, except for a pinkish patch of bare skin under the chin in the eastern type (females have a black bare skin patch).
13. Steller’s Sea Eagle
Scientific name: Haliaeetus pelagicus
Steller’s sea eagle is a migratory eagle type and one of the black birds with yellow beaks in Alaska – even though sightings in this region are rare.
In fact, this eagle is native to Russia; its primary habitat is found near the coastal areas and rivers of northeastern Siberia.
These birds of prey typically migrate to Japan for the winter, even though some remain in their native range year-round.
The black and white plumage provides good camouflage in the arctic regions during the iceless months. These eagles have yellow beaks, eyes, and feet.
14. Indian Blackbird
Scientific name: Turdus simillimus
Closely related to the Eurasian blackbird, the Indian blackbird is another true thrush species. It is only found in India and Sri Lanka, but its appearance is very similar to its European counterpart.
These birds are black all over and have yellow to orange beaks.
Adult males usually have orange beaks. Females and juveniles are duller in color, and their beaks are often yellow. Females also have yellow rather than orange rings around the eyes.
Black-capped Indian blackbirds are a species variety. They usually have dark gray plumage, black heads, and yellow legs and beaks.
Regardless of the color, this species is one of the most common types of black birds with yellow beaks in India.
15. Yellow-Legged Thrush
Scientific name: Turdus flavipes
Another true thrush species, the yellow-legged thrush, is a black bird with yellow beak and yellow feet native to the Caribbean.
The difference between this bird and the two blackbird species above is the color – yellow-legged thrushes have black plumage, but they are only dark black on the head and neck, wings, tail, and chest.
Their backs, sides, and bellies are a dark gray, while the iridescent plumage often seems purple or blue.
This is one of the blackbird species in which sexual dimorphism is evident.
Females are brown with yellow splashes on the cheeks. Their eye rings are a lot thinner compared to males, and they don’t have yellow beaks.
16. Gold-Crested Myna
Scientific name: Ampeliceps coronatus
Gold-crested mynas are passerine birds in the sterling family, but their range is found in northeastern India and Indochina.
These black birds with yellow beaks and yellow heads have iridescent black plumage almost all over their bodies. The only splashes of color are on the flanks and the head, which are bright yellow.
The beak can vary in color from bright yellow – the same shade as the plumage – to yellow on the tip and orange near the base.
17. Yellow-Billed Loon
Scientific name: Gavia adamsii
One of the few waterfowl species on this list, the yellow-billed loon is a black arctic bird with yellow beak – even though its plumage is actually a mix of black and white.
It usually breeds in the coastal areas of the arctic Pacific Ocean, including Alaska, Canada, and northwestern Norway.
However, it often strays during migration, and sightings have been recorded in over 20 countries, including Mexico and Spain.
The largest loon type, it has a black head and tail. The body is blotched white and black, while the underside is typically white.
Its beak is a very pale yellow, which earned it the name of white-billed (in addition to yellow-billed) loon. Regardless of what you call it, the species is the same.
18. Ross’s Turaco
Scientific name: Musophaga rossae
Ross’s turaco or Lady Ross is one of the most peculiar black birds with yellow beaks in Africa. Similar to chickens in aspect and size, they can’t fly very high or very far.
Instead, these birds are agile jumpers, moving from branch to branch. They can do this thanks to a fourth toe that can be rotated back and forth.
Color-wise, these birds have iridescent black plumage enhanced by a red crest and red stripes on the flanks. The cheeks and eye rims are yellow, the same shade as the beak.
However, the beak is marked by two red splashes, one on the upper and the other on the lower side.
19. Yellow-Rumped Cacique
Scientific name: Cacicus cela
Part of the Icteridae family – alongside a variety of New World blackbirds – the yellow-rumped cacique is a black bird with yellow beak and blue eyes native to South America.
It is typically found throughout the Amazon basin and east of the Andes.
However, these birds don’t typically live deep inside the forests, their habitat ranging from semi-open to open areas, such as dense shrubbery or fields and lakes.
Like most blackbird species, they are often seen near human settlements, too.
The plumage is gloss black with yellow patches on the wings and belly. Their eyes aren’t rimmed and are bright blue in color, while the beaks are the same bright yellow as the feathers.
Both males and females can have traces of purple in their eyes.
20. Black Scoter
Scientific name: Melanitta americana
One of the black birds with yellow beaks in Oklahoma, black scoters are actually found all over North America.
They are among the most vocal waterfowl species and typically only move inland for breeding. The rest of the time is spent in the coastal areas, in the ocean. This habitat makes black scoters almost inaccessible for hunters.
Black scoters owe their name to the pure black plumage, which isn’t interrupted by any white. The beaks are yellow near the base and black on the tips.
21. American Black Duck
Scientific name: Anas rubripes
Another type of waterfowl and one of the black birds with yellow beaks in Michigan, the American black duck, isn’t closely related to the scoters.
The plumage isn’t pure black either, varying in hue from brown-black to dark gray mixed with black.
Both males and females have similar colors, the main difference between them being the beak – males have yellow bills, whereas female bills are a dull green.
22. Yellow-Billed Magpie
Scientific name: Pica nuttalli
More than one of the black birds with yellow beaks in California, the yellow-billed magpie is one of the few bird species that is confined to the Golden State.
The plumage is black mixed with white – similar to other magpie species – while the beak is a bright yellow. This same bright hue blends into the plumage, coloring the bird’s cheeks and circling its eyes.
Like most magpies – and other corvid species – these birds are bold and aggressive.
They are a vulnerable species and are currently found only in the central valley of California, typically near agricultural areas or in chaparral habitats.
23. Verreaux’s Eagle
Scientific name: Aquila verreauxii
Another black bird of prey with yellow beak, the Verreaux’s eagle, is an uncommon bird of eastern Africa.
Its looks are similar to the Indian black eagle, which lives in Asia. However, only the Verreaux’s eagle is black, the Indian counterpart sporting dark brown plumage.
Another distinctive trait is the white pattern the Verreaux’s eagle has on the back, and that is only visible when its wings are spread. These light feathers look like an eagle with its wings spread.
24. Andean Coot
Scientific name: Fulica ardesiaca
One of the all-black birds with yellow beaks, the Andean coot is a type of waterfowl about the size of a duck.
It is also called the slate-colored coot due to its slate black plumage. This bird has no white feathers or other colorful patches, but males have facial decorations, yellow beaks, and crimson-red eyes.
Females are generally a dull grey and lack facial decorations, but they are also almost black and have yellow beaks.
25. Yellow-Billed Nunbird
Scientific name: Monasa flavirostris
Similar to the black passerines like blackbirds and starlings, yellow-billed nunbirds are actually near-passerine members of the puffbird family.
They are also among the black birds with yellow beaks in Brazil and Bolivia.
These birds have almost pure black plumage, except for white stripes on the flanks. The eyes and legs are also black, and the most visible splash of color is the bright yellow beak present in both males and females.
26. Asian Koel
Scientific name: Eudynamys scolopaceus
A member of the cuckoo order, the Asian koel is often considered among the small black birds with yellow beaks due to its dimensions.
In fact, it only measures 18 inches and weighs under 12 ounces.
Males are typically all black with crimson red eyes and yellow beaks. Females are brown with lighter spots on the tips of the feathers. They also have crimson red eyes, but their beaks are brownish rather than yellow.
As its name suggests, the Asian koel is found in Asia, typically in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and China.