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10 Black and White Birds in Michigan (Picture & Facts)

black-capped chickadee the most common black and white bird in michigan

10 Black and White Birds in Michigan (Picture & Facts)

The beauty of Michigan is that plenty of different birds can be spotted there. Whether they live there throughout the year or migrate back and forth, black and white birds in Michigan are always a pleasure to spot.

This is why today, we are going to look at some of the most popular species. Stay tuned!

Black and White Birds in Michigan:

  • Black-capped Chickadees
  • Dark-eyed Juncos
  • Eastern Kingbirds
  • Loggerhead Shrikes
  • Black-billed Magpies
  • Downy Woodpeckers
  • Blackpoll Warblers
  • Carolina Chickadees
  • White-breasted Nuthatches
  • Hairy Woodpeckers

List of Black and White Birds in Michigan

Black-capped Chickadees

black-capped chickadee during daytime

Coloration and identification: The best thing about identifying these black and white Michigan birds is that you can spot them very quickly! They have a black cap and black but tiny beak, white cheeks, and a grey body with a slightly lighter belly.

Black-capped chickadees are compact and small and extremely cute.

Distribution and habitat: These can be found in the northern parts of the USA, including Michigan and the southern parts of Canada. This is considered to be their permanent habitat.

Look for them between tall trees and learn the specific sound they make.

Nesting: Black-capped chickadees nest in small, naturally made cavities or make one for themselves. When it comes to nesting boxes, wood shavings and sawdust are at the top of their preferences. Their nests can go as high as 20 meters but are usually around 7 meters high.

Dark-eyed Juncos

dark-eyed junco on a tree

Coloration and identification: You can find dark-eyed juncos on the forest floors of the western mountains! Their distinctive look makes them one of the most impressive birds!

Starting from a dark grey head, slowly graduating to a white belly, they are a sight for sore eyes. Pitch-black eyes and overall small and round species.

Distribution and habitat: These lovely little birds can be found in the northern parts of Michigan – this is their permanent habitat. Other than that, they tend to migrate a bit up north for breeding season and can also be found in the southern parts of Michigan.

Nesting: The juncos like being as close to the ground as possible. This is why their nesting spots (not only chosen by the female only) are amid tangled roots from an upturned tree or sloping ground. In populated areas, they are found nesting inside or even beneath buildings.

Related: White Birds in Texas

Eastern Kingbirds

eastern kingbird in a green field

Coloration and identification: Dark grey and white are the prime colors of these medium-sized songbirds. In addition, they have a long dark beak that perfectly matches their black eyes and dark gray head.

Eastern kingbirds are one of the most elegant birds out there as the combination of the white and gray body markings makes them look like it is wearing a business suit.

Distribution and habitat: If you are in the Michigan area and you want to find this bird, then make sure to look near forest edges, atop wires, or fences. Also, you cannot miss their electric call – they are famous for it!

Remember that they only visit the Michigan area when they are in their breeding period.

Nesting: An interesting thing about the eastern kingbird is that the female bird creates the nest over about two weeks, alone. The male counterpart of this black and white bird in Michigan can overlook the selection process, and try to influence it a bit.

Loggerhead Shrikes    

loggerhead shrike standing on a pole

Coloration and identification: The loggerhead shrike is a small-sized songbird with a long tail and a vicious look! The white and the soft gray colors mix all through the body of this incredible little creature.

Its black eyes are even more accentuated with the black paint around them, making the bird look like it is wearing a mask!

Distribution and habitat: The United States has proven to be the perfect ground for these birds. Throughout the year, their favorite habitat area is the central and southern parts of the USA.

When their breeding period comes, they move to the northern parts of the country, including Michigan.

Nesting: When it comes to nesting, both male and female loggerhead shrikes look for the perfect spot together. It may take them some time to find the right location, after which they usually need about 6-11 days to build the nest (they do it together).

Black-billed Magpies

black-billed magpie on the ground

Coloration and identification: The black-billed magpie is an entertaining bird – probably one of the best-looking white and black birds in Michigan. Their underbellies are white, while their upper part and tails are black-colored.

In addition, their long wing feathers are colored half white and half black, which further adds to their beauty. They are also considered to be pretty loud and social birds.

Distribution and habitat: Since they are considered noisy birds, black-billed magpies can be easily spotted, especially on fence posts and trees. North Michigan is the best spot if you want to see this magnificent bird.

Nesting: The black-billed magpie is not a picky chooser regarding nesting sites – anything from an abandoned building to a deciduous tree will do for them. Interestingly, both the male and the female create the nest together. But, if they disagree on a spot, they each build separate nests in separate locations.

Downy Woodpeckersblack and white colored downy woodpecker


Coloration and identification: Downy woodpeckers are the most common woodpecker to appear in a backyard. They have a very pointy beak and are well known for their black and white striped head, with a dash of bright red on the back.

Their back and wings are mainly black, with small white circles, while their belly is pure white.

Distribution and habitat: These are the type of birds that can be found all over the Michigan area, all year long. This is where they nest and can easily be spotted in a residential area.

Nesting: An interesting fact about the downy woodpeckers is that they tend to nest either in dead trees or in the dead parts of a living tree. They make a small nest hole, which takes about one to three weeks to complete. 

Blackpoll Warblers

blackpoll warbler on a slim branch

Coloration and identification: The male species of blackpoll warblers have white cheeks and a black head with a pointy beak, making them very distinguished in color.

On the other hand, females have more gentle colors, such as dark grey and brown, and a less pointy beak. Both have a hint of orange paint on their legs.

Distribution and habitat: In the Michigan area, they are most likely to be seen traveling in flocks. You can best spot them in spring or fall since they migrate to the northern parts because of breeding. 

Nesting: Fir trees are considered to be blackpoll warblers’ favorite nesting ground. The female is the one that is looking for the nesting spot. Once she finds the site, she does not use any additional material to create a nest.

The height of the blackpoll warbler’s nest can vary between 15 centimeters and 9 meters.

Carolina Chickadees

carolina chickadee standing on a fence

Coloration and identification: A very approachable and lovely bird, the Carolina chickadee has a black and white contrast of colors that make it pleasing to the eye.

In addition, the spherical shape of the bird makes it even more unique and pleasing to watch. Cheeks are stark white, top of the head is black.

Distribution and habitat: Woodlands, swamps, open woods, parks, and residential areas are where you can find these small black and white bird species. 

The Carolina chickadee got its name because it is mainly found in North and South Carolina; however, you might be able to spot it in the southern parts of Michigan. They are there all year long.

Nesting: When it comes to nesting, the chickadees tend to create or use an already created cavity in a tree. Both the female and the male chickadee create the little cave together. They don’t seem to have any preferences in terms of sawdust.

White-breasted Nuthatches

black and white nuthatch on a bird feeder

Coloration and identification: There is some sort of graciousness to the white-breasted nuthatch that cannot be found in any other. It is black, white, and grey, with an extraordinarily long and pointy beak for such a small bird.

Furthermore, white-breasted nuthatches are also considered to be very loud.

Distribution and habitat: With a population of 10 million, white-breasted nuthatches are one of the most widespread birds. You can find these black and white birds in Michigan but also throughout the USA and beyond.

If you want to see white-breasted nuthatches, look in any open area with large trees.

Nesting: When it comes to nesting, these tiny birds can create a cavity of their own but tend to look for one usually built by woodpeckers and nest there. The females are known for creating the nest on their own, using lumps of dirt and bark, and lining it with fine grass and feathers.

Hairy Woodpeckers

hairy woodpecker on a tree

Coloration and identification: Even though this is a woodpecker, and it looks very similar to the downy woodpecker we already described, there is a difference in the beak, which for the hairy woodpecker is slender yet stronger.

Color-wise, hairy woodpeckers have the same colors as the downy woodpecker.

Distribution and habitat: Hairy woodpeckers are residents all around the USA. This is their permanent living place, and they do not migrate or breed elsewhere.

These woodpeckers can also be found in Canada, and you can find them in suburbs, parks, woods, everywhere!

Nesting: Dead trees are their favorite spots when searching for the perfect nesting spot. They tend to make their caves with an entrance hole on the underside, and they do this so they can keep any squirrels from taking over their space.


With this, we conclude the list of black and white birds in Michigan.

The most black and white feathered bird in Michigan is the black-capped chickadee, reported on almost 50% of birdwatching lists. However, if you are persistent in your birdwatching adventure, you’ll probably be able to spot most of these beautiful flying creatures.

Thank you for reading. If you liked this article, here’s a recommendation for another popular bird topic: Birds With Blue Feathers.

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