Have you spotted a small gray bird with a white underbelly on your neighbor’s garden fence, or flying over the park and were curious what was the bird’s name?
Do not worry, we got you.
This article will talk about small gray birds with white bellies around the globe. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to identify each of them and learn some interesting facts along the way.
List of Small Gray Birds With White Bellies
- Dark-eyed Juncos
- Black-capped Chickadees
- European Crested Tits
- Mountain Chickadees
- Eastern Phoebes
- Carolina Chickadees
- Tufted Titmouses
- Northern Mockingbirds
- White-breasted Nuthatches
- Black Phoebes
- Blue-gray Gnatcatchers
- Eastern Wood-Pewees
Scientific Name: Junco hyemalis
Weight: 0.67 oz
Length: 4.9 – 6.5 in.
Dark-eyed juncos are one of the most-loved sparrow species in the bird-loving community. These cute creatures are medium-sized when compared to their sparrow relatives.
Colorations and Identifications: This exotic bird’s bright and striking colors and markings make it extremely easy to spot in its habitat. They have white chests that they use for adaptation and as camouflage. Additionally, they have extremely dark eyes and a pink beak.
Distribution and Habitat: You can find dark-eyed juncos pretty much everywhere on the forest floors of the western mountains in Canada. When wintertime comes, many of them flee to several parts of America. In other words, they are also widespread in North America. When going up to them, try not to rush in too quickly, as they are light on their feet and may get startled easily.
Nesting: As mentioned above, dark-eyed juncos commonly live on forest floors. On these forest floors, they like to nest in partially wooded areas. Don’t expect to find them in forest areas with extremely thick wood. Due to its frequent migration between America and Canada, this bird’s nesting ground changes between the two forest floors of both continents.
Diet: The most prevalent foods in the dark-eyed junco’s diet are seeds. Seeds are rather easy to pick up from several other treetops and crops, making them favorable to many birds. Some of these seeds include millet, black oil sunflower seeds, safflower, and milo.
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Scientific Name: Poecile atricapillus
Weight: 0.5 oz
Length: 4– 6 in.
The black-capped chickadee is arguably one of the cutest birds in the world. Looking at its oversized capped head and its tiny fluffy body, it’s clear to see why.
Colorations and Identifications: Its colorations and identifications give this bird a distinctive look, making it extremely easy to spot amongst the millions of bird species in the world. It has a black cap and bib that immediately sets it apart from other birds. In addition, this tiny bird has white cheeks, a gray back and tail, and a white underside that makes it look very attractive.
Distribution and Habitat: Black-capped chickadees are basically everywhere. If you have some forestation around you, you should expect to see them there. To find them, all you need to do is listen. In many cases, you’d hear their calls way before you see them physically.
Nesting: Due to the black-capped chickadee’s ubiquitous presence, you can discover them nesting in many places. However, these birds most frequently nest in thick and dense forests, creating a nest site in tree holes.
Diet: These chickadees mostly eat nuts and worms. Some of these nuts and worms include peanuts, suet, and mealworms. Additionally, they eat seeds like black oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower seeds, and safflower.
European Crested Tits
Scientific Name: Lophophanes cristatus
Weight: 0..35 – 0.46 oz
Length: 4.2 – 5.6 in.
The European crested tit is a beautiful small gray bird with white bellies and a “crown” above its head. Coming from the tit family Paridae, it is one of the most populous birds in coniferous forests in Europe.
Colorations and Identifications: If you want to spot this bird, all you have to do is to look for a predominantly white grayish color bird with a crest. In addition, the Europen crested tit has a dark-colored bib that extends above its head as well as black stripes on the head. This crested tit’s underbelly is grayish-brown, its legs are dark gray, and its eyes are black.
Distribution and Habitat: This gray and white-colored bird is known for being a localized bird that breeds in Scottish highlands. They also breed in tall and big trees in the Caledonian forests. As you may already know, the Caledonian forest is situated in the UK. Experts estimate that about 2000 pairs of these birds live in that particular forest.
Nesting: Because they are commonly found in the UK, European crested tits also nest in this part of the world. More often than not, they nest in tree hollows, but sometimes they also occupy nests abandoned by other birds. However, these birds are pretty sedentary, so they would be quite challenging to find.
Diet: These tiny birds mostly consume seed mixes and peanuts. Primarily though, they eat all the insects smaller than them. In civilized areas, you can typically find them around bird tables.
Scientific Name: Poecile gambeli
Weight: 0.38 oz
Length: 5 – 6 in.
Mountain chickadees are birds that like to let their presence known. These birds are incredibly agile, often hanging upside down, waiting to catch prey. They freely sing out their “chick-a-dee” tune to whoever’s going to listen, as their attention-grabbing call can be heard frequently in their habitat.
Colorations and Identifications: This chickadee is predominantly a white bird. It has a black bib, white cheeks, grayish-white stripes on its eyebrows, and a long narrow tail. As you may have figured out, the eyebrow stripes allow you to differentiate them from other chickadees.
Distribution and Habitat: You can find these popular birds in evergreen forests near mountains. Some of these forests where they can be spotted include mixed conifer, spruce-fir, and Pinyon juniper. Of all these, they use conifer forests the most, leaving their black-capped cousins to use deciduous trees.
Nesting: Mountain chickadees like to excavate wood to nest. However, they can only nest using softwood. Their beaks and claws are not enough to make cavities in hardwood. To compensate for that, they also rely on using holes made by other more robust birds when the time comes to nest.
Diet: Mountain chickadees consume insects during the warm months. In the cold weather, when most insects are hibernating, they settle for seeds and nuts. You can also find them around lots of bird tables and feeders.
Scientific Name: Sayornis phoebe
Weight: 0.69 oz
Length: 5.5 – 6.6 in.
Eastern phoebes are attractive birds that are popularly known to be insect eaters. Their puffy shape sets them apart from other songbirds.
Colorations and Identifications: Eastern phoebes have a plump shape and a large head. These birds’ heads look peaked, and their bodies naturally look puffy. These gray birds with white bellies have a medium-length square tail and a lack of distinct wing bars. Interestingly, they almost always pump their tails when perching on a particular surface.
Distribution and Habitat: Eastern phoebes prefer to breed near water in densely-wooded areas. If you look closely at the human-built structures in these areas, you will notice a few of them singing their songs. The eastern phoebe bird primarily picks sites with lots and lots of understory vegetation to further conceal their nests.
Nesting: As you might have expected, these birds also like to nest under overhangs, buildings, and other human structures where they can be free from predators.
Diet: Flying insects are what eastern phoebes eat the most. These insects include dragonflies, wasps, beetles, moths, cicadas, and so on. In the absence of these flying insects, they can also make do with spiders, ticks, millipedes, and fruits.
Scientific Name: Poecile carolinensis
Weight: 0.36 oz
Length: 4.7 in.
The Carolina chickadee was named by John James Audubon. He discovered this bird in South Carolina. Many experts have claimed that this chickadee is very intelligent and curious about its environment. Unlike many other birds, these birds allow you to approach them.
Colorations and Identifications: Like many chickadees, a Carolina chickadee has a spherical body shape. It is predominantly gray. Its entire chest is gray-whitish, along with its wings. Additionally, its feet and eyes are black. One of the reasons it’s an adorable bird is because of its cheeks. Its white cheeks contrast with its black cap, making it very attractive to bird lovers.
Distribution and Habitat: If you’re looking for Carolina chickadees, you can find them in deciduous and mixed deciduous-coniferous Woodlands. Additionally, you can see them in swamps, open woods and parks, suburban and urban areas, and so on. In other words, they are relatively common.
Nesting: Like other chickadees, Carolina chickadees like excavating cavities to nest. Alternatively, they try to find an unused hole in trees. Usually, you can discover such spots about 2 to 25 feet up trees. Other than this, they aren’t picky with other conditions. For example, they don’t care if sawdust is present or not in these cavities.
Diet: Like its nesting condition preferences, these birds are also not very picky about their food. Carolina chickadees eat both small plants and animals in winter. However, they eat insects and spiders at other times of the year.
Scientific Name: Baeolophus bicolor
Weight: 0.74 oz
Length: 5.9 – 6.7 in.
This little bird is a small non-migratory songbird native to North America. It has a ubiquitous presence and a powerful, echoing voice reverberating around its entire habitat.
Colorations and Identifications: The crest is one of the most distinctive features of the tufted titmouse. Its body mostly has a grayish-white color and a regular, oblong shape. The tufted titmouse is a stocky bird with black, intimidating eyes. Its head and back are dark gray, and it has a peach wash on the sides.
Distribution and Habitat: These birds primarily like to live in the deciduous woods and forests of North America. You can also find them near Orchards, parks, and suburban areas. They are commonly located at low elevations and altitudes.
Nesting: Although these birds like to nest in cavities, they can’t excavate them independently. To compensate for that, they prefer to find natural holes or holes that had been previously built by woodpeckers. You can also see them nest in artificial nest boxes and fence posts.
Diet: Tufted titmouses prefer to eat insects like caterpillars and beetles in the summer. They can also consume seeds, nuts, and berries.
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Scientific Name: Mimus polyglottos
Weight: 1.7 – 1.8 oz
Length: 8.2 – 10 in.
Northern mockingbirds sure love to sing. If you’re around one of them, you’d easily be able to recognize their distinctive song. If needed, they can imitate the songs of other songbirds they hear.
Colorations and Identifications: These slender birds from a Mimid family have predominant grayish colors and white chests. In addition, Northern mockingbirds have a white patch on each wing.
Distribution and Habitat: You can find these birds in areas of shrubby vegetation such as hedges, thickets, and fruiting bushes. They also love to play in grassy areas rather than sandy ones. Northern mockingbirds can also be spotted near suburban areas, cultivated land, and parklands.
Nesting: Nesting for these birds is mostly in shrubs and trees a few feet from the ground. They excavate on their own, and the different genders contribute to a nest’s construction. The males focus on the nest’s foundation, while the females work on the lining.
Diet: Like many other birds, the northern mockingbird likes to eat insects, seeds, and fruits. They also feed on animals like moths, earthworms, butterflies, ants, bees, and other creatures smaller than them.
Scientific Name: Sitta carolinensis
Weight: 0.72 oz
Length: 5.9 in.
The white-breasted nuthatch is a non-migratory bird coming from the Sittadae family. It is a highly resourceful creature that makes do with what it has. Like mockingbirds, they are noisy birds that have loud singing voices.
Colorations and Identifications: The first thing you’d notice about these birds is that they have no necks. They are predominantly black with white undertones on their bellies and faces. In addition, white-breasted nuthatches have a black cap, large black eyes, and a long pointed beak.
Distribution and Habitat: White-breasted nuthatches occur throughout North America, from southern Canada to southern Mexico. You can commonly find these birds in deciduous forests, habituating in mature woods. Also, expect to see them in parks and the suburbs.
Nesting: These nuthatches don’t excavate their nesting spots on their own. Instead, they use old excavated holes or natural ones on trees. Although they prefer deciduous woods and trees, they can also nest in coniferous ones.
Diet: The white-breasted nuthatch likes to eat insects like ants, caterpillars, and so on. Additionally, they eat larvae and seeds if no other option is available.
Scientific Name: Sayornis nigricans
Weight: 5.9 oz
Length: 6 – 7 in
Black phoebes are incredibly compatible with humans. Their beauty and easy-going attitude set them apart from other small birds with white bellies on the list.
Colorations and Identifications: Black phoebes have big, peaked heads and a slender shape to match. As their name suggests, they are primarily black with a white underbelly.
Distribution and Habitat: Black phoebes live along streams from Argentina to California. Riverbanks are this bird’s most preferred habitat, and this is because they require some amount of mud to nest.
Nesting: As mentioned, black phoebes are birds that love to nest near muddy places. The male and female both decide on the nesting area. In addition, they also love to nest using human-made structures.
Diet: Black phoebes are omnivores, although they primarily eat insects like beetles, bugs, and grasshoppers. Occasionally, they may eat small berries.
Scientific Name: Polioptila caerulea
Weight: 0.23 oz
Length: 4.3 in.
The blue-gray gnatcatcher is known mainly for its constant movements and beautiful voices. Like the black phoebes, they are also quite resourceful.
Colorations and Identifications: These birds have a slightly stocky figure complemented with a long tail. They have long legs and a black back that helps with their distinction. Lastly, they are predominantly blue-gray with white chests.
Distribution and Habitat: Blue-gray gnatcatchers can be seen in the southeastern parts of Canada and throughout two-thirds of the US. They primarily live in wooded habitats with both deciduous and coniferous trees and shrubs.
Nesting: Blue-gray gnatcatchers typically nest in the less dense territory, most of the time at the higher end of the trees. Many of their well-built nests are often saddled to a side branch or twigs to prevent them from falling.
Diet: These birds mostly eat insects such as tree bugs and leaf beetles. Occasionally, they eat nuts and berries.
Scientific Name: Contopus virens
Weight: 0.49 oz
Length: 5.9 in.
The last member on our list of small gray birds with white bellies is the Eastern wood-pewee. This long-tailed bird has an exceptionally unmistakable slurred ‘pee-a-wee calls. Their build also makes them highly distinctive from other birds.
Colorations and Identifications: This bird has two distinctive wing bars and is predominantly black. It has white undertones on its belly and a peaked head, which gives it a sleek shape.
Distribution and Habitat: The eastern wood-pewee is commonly found in clearings and forest edges in Canada and the United States. They can live in both coniferous and deciduous trees. However, they can be seen in almost any forested habitat.
Nesting: These long-distance migratory birds prefer to nest in elms, oaks, maples, and birches, usually 15-70 feet off the forest ground.
Diet: Eastern wood pewees eat small insects like grasshoppers, bugs, and butterflies. They can also feed on a vegetable matter like berries and poison ivy.
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