White tailed blackbird – USA

I saw a/the white-tailed blackbird yesterday at my birdfeeder in Burtonsville, MD.  The bird was traveling with a flock of about 50.


I was lucky enough to receive the above comment yesterday from the USA

I haven’t seen my white tailed blackbirds for over a week.  When I see them (I’m sure there are two as one looks a bit shabby and the other one looks in its peak) they always seem to be on their own.

This white tailed USA blackbird has been seen in a flock.  Interesting

So now we have British, France and 2 areas of the USA who have been in touch.

I find it interesting to follow these blackbirds with white feathers, really because they stand out and I can see how long they have been coming to the garden.

Here are some reasons why birds have some white feathers

Let me know if you have seen any blackbirds with white tail feathers.

29 thoughts on “White tailed blackbird – USA

  1. mary

    i saw a white tailed blackbird at my feeders today. it also had a white area on the back of the neck. i live in williamsburg va

  2. trish Post author

    Thanks for getting in touch

    I wonder if that is a blackbird with a white tail or if it is a different species. I’ll have to think about that and see if anyone else knows the answer.

    Have you seen such a bird before? Did it look unusual.

    It’s interesting to watch birds at feeders isn’t it? If feeding is going OK that is

    Best. Trisha

  3. Halle

    I just saw a blackbird with a white tail. Down the center of the tail was a narrow line of black but the rest of the tail was white. The bird was the size of a grackle.

    Willoughby, Ohio (NE of Cleveland)
    April 18, 2009

  4. Kathy James

    I have been seeing two white tailed black birds along a walking path in my Alexandria, VA neighborhood for the last 2 weeks. one even seems to have a bit of white around the neck, but they otherwise look like crows.

  5. doug

    i just saw a white tailed blackbird at my feeder. First one i’ve ever seen. It was the size of a grackle and had a pure white tail. i live in Ontario, Canada. Are they actually called a “white tailed blackbird”?

  6. doug

    i just saw a white tailed blackbird at my feeder. First one i’ve ever seen. It was the size of a grackle/blackbird and had a pure white tail no other markings. I have also searched for info on this bird with no success. Is it an actual species or an anomaly? I live in Ontario, Canada. Are they actually called a “white tailed blackbird”?

  7. Graham

    On Thursday 2nd October 2009 I saw a large black bird at the far end of my garden, (about 35 metres away) and it had two or three, I think three, white bars across its’ tail feathers. A sort of chevron formation, I tried to take a photograph and very gently opened my door, but it took fright straight away. Blackbirds not normally being quite that sensitive.

    I have never seen a black bird with these markings could anyone comment on this.

    Graham B

    Blythe Bridge,

  8. Bob H

    I saw a white-tailed balckbird in a flock of at least a hundred this morning, in Manahawkin, NJ. I’ve never seen it before, and have been looking for other references.

  9. Conrad

    Today I had a Blackbird with an all white tail and white on the back of it’s head appear at the back of my yard. It was mixed in with a flock of Red winged black birds, Grackles and starlings. It seemed to be about the same size as a red winged blackbird. It was gone before i could get my camera out. I live in Southwestern Indiana.3/28/2010

  10. Trish Post author

    Hi Conrad, thanks for getting in touch from so far away. White feathered blackbirds are widespread aren’t they You live in Southwestern Indiana and I live in in East Yorkshire in England, but the blackbirds are widespread.

    The reasons I have read about for white feathers are the bird is old, the feather is damaged, the food the bird is eating is not good quality – but the two that used to come to my garden always seemed as perky as the other blackbirds.

    Thanks for getting in touch.

  11. Lu Ann

    May 7, 2010 I just saw a pair of birds, one was “all” black. The other has a solid white tail, the top of it’s tail is white…this was more than just a white feather or two. The top feathers were white, but it you saw it from underneath the tail would appear black. It also had large white on the back of its neck. The back of it’s head had a purplish tint to it. Otherwise, it and it’s friend were all black. They were about six feet away from me but my camera is broken. I looked at it through binoculars. It is beautiful. What the heck is it? Lexington, Kentucky.

  12. Bill Sokoloski

    We saw a bird the size of a black bird with a white tail today in our flower garden in Port Clinton, Ohio

  13. Rini

    Most interesting. We’ve have had a blackbird with a white tail (top part only – underside is black) for two years now. No other white markings. It hangs out with a huge crowd of redwinged blackbirds, grackles. etc. It is the size of a redwinged blackbird. My husband keeps trying to get a good picture but no clear ones to date.

    This bird looks as healthy as the rest of the flock and enjoys the black sunflower seeds and suet like the rest.

    I’m surprised to read of the number of them that have been seen. Seems this bird is not a species afterall but an anomoly of nature.

    Portland, Ontario, Canada

  14. Dawn

    hello.. i found ur site when i was searching for “black birds with white tails’. I love to watch birds, but am only a beginner when it comes to true bird watching. What I can tell you about this bird..(and I have been within three feet of it)… It is exactly what we in Pennsylvaina USA call a “black bird”.. the top of it’s tail feathers are pure white, the bottom is black. I have not seen this bird before I started putting out black sunflower seeds for feed. There are other black birds when i see it, a cow bird or two and mourning doves. There is only ever one when I see him..and next time I will take a picture since my feeder is so close to my window. I know for sure it is not any of the birds in my bird book. The one I see is about the same size as a robin, social..but doesn’t like the blue jays, seems to like the sunflower seeds as well as crackers and stale bread that i break up. thanx for the posts..just thought i would add my two cents.
    Dawn Danville, Pennsylvania. USA

  15. K Blaske

    Saw a white tailed blackbird at our feeder today with a flock of about 10 other blackbirds. Live in south west Michigan

  16. Trish Post author

    Hi Steven, It will stand out from the rest, and because of that I bet you take more interest in it.

    I never thought they would be so wide spread. I think it means that they are not in peak form.

    Here is an article again


    I keep looking out and seeing if I can see any other reason for this, but think it is due to one or more of the reasons above. Thanks for letting us know. It’s great to get news from across the pond. Wonderful in fact.


  17. Gerald

    I saw a large blackbird with a solid white tail in the Alleghany National Forest, I could not find it in my Birdbook.

  18. Di Nimmo

    In South Florida I feed a lot of ducks and birds:however,recently,I noticed a Blackbird with a white tail,one white wing, and white-topped thighs with a glistening blue on the back of his head.He flys in with a group of normal looking Blackbirds.He is quite unusal looking.

  19. Sherri

    The white tail of a black bird at my feeder just caught my eye. The fan-like tail in its entirety was solid white, a tiny bit of white was on the back of the neck, otherwise it was solid black. It was perched on one of my tube feeders containing a waste-free mix of hulled sunflower seeds, peanuts, millet, etc… and was facing away from me. I was able to see it in flight but also while flying away from me so I did not get a good look at its head and cannot confirm a grackle. The bird actually appeared smaller than a grackle to me, although I could be wrong. I tend to believe this may be true however due to the fact that our grackles have been gone for weeks, and the feeder this bird sat at for some time was weighted to close when any bird of grackle size landed on it. I have never seen a bird like this before despite the many who pass through my yard. It was traveling alone as far as I could tell… no flock. Saw it at 5:30 PM in southeastern Wisconsin. Found this site while attempting to figure out what it was!

  20. chopper

    i’m in northern Ontario Canada,and yesteday i saw this blackbird,like the ones that you see flock of in grain fields
    and it also had a solid white tail….it was so unusual and beautiful to see…called my sister out in case no one believed me and it flew down on the lawn and was walking along but the tail was not fanned out like when i 1st saw it……1st time we ever saw anything like it….been seaching and can’t seem to find out what kind it is…been watching and have not seen it again yet….

  21. Jerry

    I observed a blackbird with white tail in my feeder. I’ve never seen Bird like this in Pittsburgh, PA before. I can’t find any reference regarding this coloration.

  22. Mel Valentino

    Just saw a white tail blackbird, it was in a flock of about 300 blackbirds. Have never seen one before and have been watching blackbirds every winter down here in Nicholson, MS (i’m 84)

  23. M Davis

    Just saw a white tail black bird at our feeder eating grape jelly. Have never saw one in our area before. Located in algonac mi.

  24. Julianne Lee

    I literally shook my head and blinked several times when I saw a large black bird fly right by me when I was driving. It had a fan shaped tail that was completely white on top and black on the bottom. He was flying alone in Lovingston Va. Incredible that all the sightings of these seemingly rare birds are all over the place.

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