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Blackbird in USA with white tail feathers

Posted on January 28th, 2009 in white tailed blackbird by Trish

In December I was lucky enough to get this comment from the USA about a  black bird that had some white tail feathers.  

We have a blackbird with several white tail feathers visiting our feeder here in NJ today.  Regards Nelson

I emailed Nelson back to make sure NJ stood for New Jersey.  The reply was

NJ does stand for New Jersey. Today’s sighting is ther first time we’ve seen this particular bird with the the white tail feathers.

I think it’s interesting that white feathered blackbirds span the globe.

I’m interested in the blackbird I see so I decided  to have a category for my white tailed blackbird so I can keep tabs on when I see him.

I have not seen either of our blackbirds that have some white tail feathers for a few weeks.

I get about ten blackbirds a day now!  I think it’s because I put cheese out.  They are sometimes like a small flock flitting round.

The thrushes are always in the background as well.

58 Responses to 'Blackbird in USA with white tail feathers'

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  1. George said,

    on March 21st, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Hi all, been looking for information on this black bird with a white center tail feather, orange colored beak, not sure the breast area is black. Solo bird when I have seen it. I have not seen it here before Lafayette Oregon. Thinking of size, think robin.

  2. Christina said,

    on April 15th, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I live in the United Kingdom. I live in a semi rural village 10 miles from Liverpool city centre. For about 4 years I’ve seen many birds of the appearance and size of a blackbird (black with the exception of white feathers on the tail, and yellow beak) feeding for worms on the grass. I’ve never seen them fly or resting on a fence post, trampoline, or bird bath of which we have plenty in our garden. I’ve also never been able to photograph one, as even through a window they flee quickly once spotted, dashing across the ground between a ground level hedge.

    Around the same time, ironically my hairdresser identified my hair although very dark in colour, has developed a pure white streak of hairs at the centre bottom (honestly). Identical to the type of bird in question. Very amusing to my family, who now call me “birdie hair”. But on a more serious note it makes me wonder if it is something environmental which perhaps the birds are also exposed to?!?!

  3. Trish said,

    on April 16th, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Hello Christina,
    Here is some information I discovered about blackbirds with white tail feathers. There isn’t much information regarding this.

    Reasons why blackbirds (and other birds ) have white feathers :

    Lack of a good diet
    Injury to the bird can cause a white feather to grow
    Circulary problems that the bird has had at the time that its feathers were developing.
    The bird is ageing and old.
    Some of the feathers do not have pigments such as melanins.

    The name for a bird with white feathers is ‘albino’. Partial albino means a bird has some white feathers on some portions of its body.

    Note: A bird that is naturally white such as a swan, is not classed as an albino bird

    Often other birds do not like birds that are different to them and birds will kill a bird like this (this could be why I never saw my white tailed blackbird in among a group of blackbirds)

    Hope this helps. So all in all white feathers seem to be a sign that the bird is not in tip top condition. This is another good reason to put bird food out for our feathered friends
    If anyone has any other information please let me know.
    Trisha
    Bird Table News

  4. Jessica said,

    on April 28th, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Stumbled across this site while searching the internet for a black bird with a white tail. A small flock of black birds (flat black in color with a greenish-blue iridescence, mostly to the head, neck and chest, and bright white-ish eyes; your common black birds) of maybe seven to ten members visited our feeders this morning at about 7:40 AM. My mother pointed out a black bird with several stark white tail feathers, as well as a small dash of white on it’s left wing, much like that of a red-winged black bird’s wing markings. She and my father have previously seen this specimen many times, but I refused to believe it was a true black bird; I thought it may be a separate species. I came in for a closer look, and sure enough, it is most certainly your common black bird with an almost entirely white tail (just the center, the outside flanks of the tail feathers are black) and a small flicker of white on it’s left side. It was within a group, and seemed to be quite dominant and very bossy to the other black birds, as well as the other song birds visiting the feeders. I was able to get several clear photographs of the bird and it’s markings. I figured I would document my experience here, as this site seems to be the only solid information I could find on this anomaly. For the record, I’m located in Delaware, USA. Hope this helps any future sightings! 🙂

  5. Ray said,

    on April 29th, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Hello, I also have a friend in Lower Delaware that has seen this black bird with white tail, does anyone know what species they are? I have never seen one and would love to get a pic of one up close LOL. thank you


  6. on May 23rd, 2015 at 12:26 am

    This afternoon I spoted 2 blackbirds with a single white feather center of the tail.They were picking at the fallen peaches on the ground.Flew away before I could snap a picture.

  7. Stephen Britto said,

    on May 26th, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I live in Punta Gorda, FL. I have seen a Blackbird with a White Middle Tail Feather, for several weeks now. I read some of the previous post on this, furthest South I had seen someone respond, was Raliegh NC. I had never seen one before, different, I look all the time now.

  8. J. Zappini said,

    on July 13th, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Yep. Blackbird with white tail was in Jackson, NJ this afternoon, Sunday in July,

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