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15 Stunning Black Birds with Red Beaks (Pictures & Facts)

two black birds with red beaks next to each other

15 Stunning Black Birds with Red Beaks (Pictures & Facts)

According to recent research, there are between 50 and 400 billion birds around the globe. Ranging from a few inches to up to 9 feet in length.

In addition to size differences, birds distinguish from one another by color, diet, feathers, beaks, sounds they produce, and many other factors.

Today, we will explore the characteristics of black birds with red beaks.

We’ll discuss their diets, nestings, habitats, and other interesting facts. But most importantly, we’ll learn to identify each of them!

Let’s get started!

List of Black Birds With Red Beaks

  • Red-Billed Choughs
  • Black Nunbirds
  • Moorhens
  • Black Oystercatchers
  • Red-billed Buffalo Weavers
  • Black Bulbuls
  • Black Swans
  • Muscovy Ducks
  • Inca Terns
  • Black Storks
  • Australasian Swamphens
  • Dusky Broadbills
  • Purple Swamphens
  • Tufted Puffins
  • African River Martins

Red-Billed Choughs

black bird with a long red beak standing on a green grass
Credit: Dibyendu Ash, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons (edited)
  • Scientific Name: Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
  • Length: 15 – 16 in
  • Weight: 10 – 12 oz
  • Beak Color: Dark-red

Coloration and Identification: Red-Billed choughs are medium-sized black birds closely related to crows. Their red bills are thin and curved at the end, while their bodies are almost fully covered in black feathers with a somewhat green/blue sheen.

Distribution and Habitat: You can spot red-billed choughs on cliffs located on the coasts of Britain and Ireland. These black birds with red beaks are also found in parts of Central Asia, the Northern regions of Africa, and South Europe.

Nesting: Since they live on cliffs, red-billed choughs nest there. Their moss-lined nests are made of twigs and placed in rock crevices, caves, and sometimes, even in buildings.

Diet: Invertebrates such as spiders and insects are the primary food sources for red-billed choughs.

Black Nunbirds

black nunbird on a tree branch

  • Scientific Name: Monasa atra
  • Length: 9 – 11 in
  • Weight: 2.6 – 3.6 oz
  • Beak Color: Coral-red

Coloration and Identification: The black nunbird, as its name implies, has most of its body covered in black plumage. At times, they may have a few white or gray feathers. Their heads are somewhat large, while their eyes are small and black. The black nunbird belongs to the puffbird family, and it can grow up to 11 inches long.

Distribution and Habitat: Black nunbirds can be found in the North of the Amazon and the eastern regions of some South American nations. Therefore, they are native to the northern regions of the South American continent. Black nunbirds inhabit trees close to water sources, swampy river islands, and secondary forests.

Nesting: Black nunbirds typically nest in holes in level ground. They place their eggs into pre-existing holes or even on a termite mound.

Diet: These black birds feed on both invertebrates and vertebrates, and their diet mainly consists of insects, spiders, and lizards.

Related Bird Article: Black and Red Birds


black moorhen in a closeup photo

  • Scientific Name: Gallinula chloropus
  • Length: 12 – 15 in
  • Weight: 0.45 – 1.1 lbs
  • Beak Colors: Red and yellow

Coloration and Identification: Moorhens are medium-sized birds with dark plumage and a red band over their large yellowish-green feet. Taking a closer look at these birds, you’ll notice the feathers on their backs are somewhat brownish while those on their chest are gray. In addition, white feathers can also be seen at their wings’ and tails’ tips. Adult moorhens weigh close to 1.1 pounds and measure nearly 15 inches in length.

Distribution and Habitat: These birds can be found on three continents: Africa, Asia (Indonesia and Japan), and Europe; hence, they have an extensive range. They inhabit freshwater wetlands like lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers that flow slowly. Moorhens can also be found in canals, ditches, swamps, and marshes.

Nesting: Moorhens build their nests made from broad leaves, a little distance away from the water bodies they live nearby. Sometimes, they create them over floating vegetation. They rarely nest on trees.

Diet: The moorhen is an omnivorous and opportunistic bird. The most common diet includes a mixture of fruits and aquatic plants with earthworms, spiders, and insects.

Black Oystercatchers

black oystercatcher with redish beaks

  • Scientific Name: Haematopus bachmani
  • Length: 15 – 19 in
  • Weight: 1.1 – 1.5 lbs
  • Beak Color: Red

Coloration and Identification: Black oystercatchers are large shorebirds reaching up to 19 inches in height and 1.5 pounds in weight. Their eyes are made of red and yellow concentric circles, and their pupils are black. Their beaks are primarily red, with a touch of orange color at the tip. These oystercatchers have black feathers that cover a portion of their upper bodies, from their heads to their nape. The rest of their body is covered in dark brown plumage.

Distribution and Habitat: Black oystercatchers are found on North America’s West Coast shorelines. Their habitat stretches from Alaska to Baja. They are rarely seen in California due to the absence of rocky shorelines, a landscape they favor more.

Nesting: These red-billed black birds place their black dotted white eggs amongst the pebbles, gravel, or sand of the area they reside in.

Diet: Black oystercatchers feed on mussels and limpets; however, the diet varies according to location.

Red-billed Buffalo Weavers

red-billed buffalo weaver walking on sand
Credit: Bernard DUPONT, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons (edited)
  • Scientific Name: Bubalornis niger
  • Length: 8.3 – 9.8 in
  • Weight: 2.4 – 2.9 oz
  • Beak Color: Brownish-red

Coloration and Identification: The largest weavers in South Africa, red-billed buffalo weavers, are chunky mid-sized black birds. A few white feathers are scattered across these black birds’ bodies. In addition, they have black eyes and long tail feathers. On average, buffalo weavers weigh up to 2.9 oz and grow 8.5 inches on average.

Distribution and Habitat: Red-billed buffalo weavers can be found in the dry grasslands and savannahs of Africa’s eastern and southern regions.

Nesting: These polygamous birds can be seen nesting on leafless trees, building their nests using thorny twigs. You can find several of these messy nests on trees.

Diet: Being omnivorous birds, red-billed buffalo weavers feed on fruits, insects, and seeds for the most part.

Black Bulbuls

two black bulbuls with reddish feet and beaks on a tree
Credit: Cataloging Nature, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons (edited)
  • Scientific Name: Hypsipetes leucocephalus
  • Length: 9.4 – 9.8 in
  • Weight: 0.7 – 2 oz
  • Beak Color: Crimson red

Coloration and Identification: Black bulbuls are also known as the Himalayan bulbuls and are medium-sized birds with black plumage and red bills. These songbirds have a small and bushy crest, and their tarsus is the same color as their long bright red beaks. The black bulbuls have long tails, black eyes, and dark claws. They usually grow 9 inches long and weigh up to 2 ounces.

Distribution and Habitat: The range of these migratory, red-billed birds ranges from India to Southeast Asia and, as their name implies, are primarily found in the Himalayas. They favor broad-leaved forests, hilly gardens, and cultivations.

Nesting: The nests of black bulbuls are cup-shaped and made of dried twigs and little branches. They build these nests in trees or bushes.

Diet: The vast majority of black bulbuls’ food intake comes from seeds and insects.

Black Swans

long-necked black swan with red bill

  • Scientific Name: Cygnus atratus
  • Length: 3.6 – 4.7 ft
  • Weight: 8 – 20 lbs
  • Beak Color: Bright red

Coloration and Identification: Black swans are large waterfowl, with most of their bodies covered in black feathers. They have the highest neck length to body size ratio of the swans, and their white eyes turn red during the mating season. Their feet are webbed, and their bills are flat red with a white stripe at the tip. Black swans can weigh up to 20 pounds, and their wings can stretch up to 6 ft.

Distribution and Habitat: These swan species inhabit the southwestern and southeastern regions of the Australian continent. They have also recently been introduced to New Zealand and some Asian countries. Usually, they tend to favor ponds, estuaries, lakes, swamps, and coastal regions.

Nesting: The nests of black swans are large and made from twigs, reeds, and most. Sometimes they can be seen floating on water bodies and other times near those they inhabit.

Diet: Black swans are herbivores, and their diet is made of algae, weeds, and other aquatic plants.

Muscovy Ducks

a portrait photo of a black male Muscovy duck
Credit: Ianaré Sévi, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons (edited)
  • Scientific Name: Cairina moschata
  • Length: 2.1 – 2.5 ft
  • Weight: 6 – 15 lbs
  • Beak Color: Light red

Coloration and Identification: Muscovy ducks are the largest ducks in North America. The adult males have black plumage with a green sheen, while the females have less vivid colors. However, both sexes have thick black legs and black webbed feet (sometimes orange). A distinct feature of this bird is the reddish wart-like skin that covers part of their faces, extending to the base of their flat pink bills.

Distribution and Habitat: They can be seen in southern and central North America. Domesticated Muscovy ducks can be found on local farms and in public places like parks. In contrast, wild Muscovy ducks can be spotted in the forest wetlands of Mexico.

Nesting: These big ducks prefer to build their nests in pre-existing holes of mature trees or thick bushes by the waterside.

Diet: Muscovies eat a diet consisting of grass, slugs, insects, weeds, worms, and snails.

Inca Terns

black bird with white mustache

  • Scientific Name: Larosterna inca
  • Length: 16 – 17 in
  • Weight: 6 – 8 oz
  • Beak Color: Crimson red

Coloration and Identification: Known as one of the most colorful seabirds, Inca terns have dark feathers and sharp red beaks that curve slightly at the tip. You can spot white feathers on the tips of their wings during flight, and the gray on their primaries and secondaries is a lighter shade than on their bodies. Their feet are small, webbed, and have the same color as their long beak. The existence of a white mustache on each side of their face is a unique trait of these birds. In addition, the feathers on their tiny heads are usually darker than that on the rest of their bodies.

Distribution and Habitat: Inca terns can be found on the west coast of South America, spanning from Ecuador to Peru and Chile. They seldom breed on rocky and sandy beaches and are native to the Humboldt current.

Nesting: The Inca tern prefers to nest in crevices with many chambers and rocky cliffs on the sandy beaches they reside in or guano islands.

Diet: Inca terns are primarily fish-eaters (piscivores) feeding on different types of fish species.

Read Also: Small Birds With Long Bills

Black Storks

big dark-colored stork with long red beak

  • Scientific Name: Ciconia nigra
  • Length: 3.1 – 3.3 ft
  • Weight: 6 – 7 lbs
  • Beak Color: Bright red

Coloration and Identification: Black storks are beautiful and majestic black birds with long, pointy bright red beaks. Their legs are red, straight, and long, and their black plumage has a multicolored sheen. A red ring of feathers circles their small dull-colored eyes, and their underbodies are covered in white feathers. They can weigh up to 7 pounds and measure 40 inches from the tip of their beaks to the ends of their tail feathers, while their wingspan can reach 60 inches.

Distribution and Habitat: These big red-billed black birds can be found on three continents; the tropical regions of sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent of Asia, and Western Europe. Although widespread, the black storks aren’t commonly spotted due to their shy nature. They are seldom found in shallow waters, marshy areas, inland waters, and rivers.

Nesting: Black storks breed in pairs and nest in deciduous or coniferous trees, generally away from any form of disturbance. The nests of the black storks are large and made up of dead leaves, twigs, and small branches and often lined with moss and placed on big old trees.

Diet: Black storks are carnivores. Their diet consists of various birds, small mammals, reptiles, worms, insects, snails, etc.

Australasian Swamphens

Australasian Swamphen grazing grass

  • Scientific Name: Porphyrio melanotus
  • Length: 15 – 20 in
  • Weight: 29 – 37 oz
  • Beak Color: Red

Coloration and Identification: The Australasian swamphen is a medium-sized bird with big feet and long legs. The plumage on their backs is black, while their underbodies are covered with dark blue feathers. They have black and red eyes, and the joints on their pink legs appear darkened sometimes. Their short bills are bright red, and they have a unique “shield” on their foreheads which comes in the same color as their bills. When walking, they flicker up and down, revealing their white under-tail feathers.

Distribution and Habitat: Australasian swamphens are found in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and the eastern regions of Indonesia. They dwell in wetland habitats, occupying the swamps, streams, and marshes of these regions.

Nesting: More often than not, these swamphens build their nests from grass and weeds.

Diet: Australasian swamphens feed on frogs, snails, and soft shoots of reeds and other aquatic plants.

Dusky Broadbills

two dusky broadbills perched on a tree branch
Credit: Micky Lim, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons (edited)
  • Scientific Name: Corydon sumatranus
  • Length: 4.5 – 10.8 in
  • Weight: 0.45 – 6 oz
  • Beak Color: Pale red

Coloration and Identification: Dusky broadbills are small red-beaked birds with black feathers and eyes. As their name implies, dusky broadbills have enormous bills that are pale red in color, somewhat pinkish with a white tip. They have broad heads, small feet, black claws, and white or beige (sometimes yellow) feathers that cover their breasts. In addition, you can also spot a few white feathers scattered across their bodies, especially on their wings and tail feathers.

Distribution and Habitat: Dusky broadbills are native to the southeastern region of Asia and can be found in countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. They favor moist and dry tropical forests, cloud forests, and swamps.

Nesting: The dusky broadbill seldom builds its oval-shaped nests on trees, using dead leaves, light twigs, and little branches. They are usually elongated and made to hang over a branch instead of resting on one.

Diet: Dusky broadbills catch insects for food. They predominantly feed on grasshoppers, crickets, and caterpillars.

Purple Swamphens

Western swamphen in the nature

  • Scientific Name: Porphyrio porphyrio
  • Length: 1.2 – 1.7 in
  • Weight: 1.4 – 1.7 lbs
  • Beak Color: Red

Coloration and Identification: Purple swamphens (also known as Western swamphens) fall under the same genus as Australasian Swamphens; hence, they share the same physical properties. Their bodies are covered with a purple plumage that almost appears bluish-black. They have a squat and round appearance like hens, but their feet are large and their legs long. Like Australasian swamphens, they have a red shield and bright red bills on their foreheads.

Distribution and Habitat: The purple swamphens are found in the wetlands of lower Western European nations like France and Spain. They are also native to a couple of North African countries.

Nesting: These monogamous birds often nest in pairs, laying and placing their eggs on dead floating reeds and grass.

Diet: Purple swamphens are omnivorous birds feeding on soft plants in addition to invertebrates.

Tufted Puffins

tufted puffin swimming in the water
Credit: Christine, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons (edited)
  • Scientific Name: Fratercula cirrhata
  • Length: 14 – 15 in
  • Weight: 1.5 – 1.9 lbs
  • Beak Color: Reddish-orange

Coloration and Identification: Tufted puffins are the largest members of the puffin species. Their faces are covered in white feathers, and the rest of their bodies are black feathers. Their orange feet are webbed, their claws are black, and they have a red ring that circles each of their eyes. The most distinct feature of these birds is the head tuft, stretching from above their eyes to the nape of their necks. 

Distribution and Habitat: Tufted puffins are endemic to the upper latitudes of the North Pacific Ocean, spending most of their winters at sea and nesting on offshore islands during the spring.

Nesting: A tufted puffin will nest in deep burrows, digging them with their bills and feet on slopes or the edges of cliffs. In more rocky regions, their nests can be found in crevices or under boulders. They use dead grass to cushion their eggs.

Diet: Like most puffin specie, tufted puffins hunt small fish as a bulk of their diet.

African River Martins

  • Scientific Name: Pseudochelidon eurystomina
  • Length: 5 – 5.5 in
  • Weight: N/A
  • Beak Color: Reddish-orange

Coloration and Identification: African river martins are small, dark-colored passerine birds with bright red beaks and eyes. During the flight, their wings appear triangular in nature, while their primaries, secondaries, and tail feathers are brown. Their stout and small red bills have a yellow tint at the tips, and their heads appear bulky. They have small reddish feet and a broad square-like tail.

Distribution and Habitat: African river martins breed in Central African countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, and the Republic of Congo. If you want to find them, they can be seen soaring over the swamps, rivers, and coastal scrubs of these regions.

Nesting: African river martins nest in large colonies. They keep their eggs in burrows located in rivers and sandbanks.

Diet: African river martins are insectivores, primarily feeding on beetles.


And there you have it. With this, we conclude our article on black birds with red beaks.

Hopefully, you will be able to identify each of these beautiful birds the next time you go bird-watching.

Happy birding!

Thank you for reading. For the very end, here’s another popular bird read you might be interested in – White Birds With Long Beaks.

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