Category Archives: white tailed blackbird

I have been getting a blackbird with two or three white tail feathers visiting my garden over the past year. I want to keep a note of when it visits.

White tailed blackbird in Williamsonburg

Another white tailed blackbird in the USA.  Isn’t it interesting? 

I have not had an internet connection for a few days and it has got me thinking about how we take the internet for granted and how it does make the world seem smaller

Here is the note I received

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

I wonder if this is something new.  I know in England we don’t seem to get many.  That is why when I saw one I was surprised and started to look into it.

I haven’t seen my white tailed blackbird for ages.  It could be the end of my white tailed blackbird story, but hope to hear from others around the world.

I keep looking out for the white tailed blackbird.  He looked healthy last time I saw him.

American Bird Identification

Jan and I have been trying to identify a bird she has seen in North Carolina.  Can you help  she says –

I’ve looked at a lot of pictures of sparrows and warbles; the body type seems right but none have a body as dark as the one of my deck.

Please read what she says below and get your thinking hat on!

From Jan –

Since posting my comment I’ve done a little research on the internet and found that several small birds have white outer tail feathers, including the vesper sparrow and some warbles.

I’ve looked at a lot of pictures of sparrows and warbles; the body type seems right but none have a body as dark as the one of my deck.

I realize the time of year as well as age and sex of the bird may determine feather color, so this identification is turning out to be complex.

Think the bird has come back to my deck a few times today but I have only caught fleeting glances. Usually I only have a bird bath available but for the last three days have put out a bird feeding mix of seeds.

Got the seeds from two young girls who went door to door in our neighbor (under their grandmother’s supervision) giving out the mix when we had an unusual snow of about 3 inches (7.6cm) the other day. Great activity for children, don’t you think? This little bird seems to like the mix.

BTW, forgot to say that NC stands for North Carolina which is a state on the east coast of the United States of America


I have had a look on the internet, but it’s hard for me as I’m in England. 

I have only been to the USA once.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  I visited North Carolina and Florida.  In North Carolina we went to stop with my friend’s pen pal who lived in Elk Park.  It was wonderful to stop with a family and see that part of America.

 Hope we can all get together with bird identification and help sort this puzzle out.

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.

Birds with White Feathers

I started to keep track of a blackbird that has white tail feathers that visits my garden.  The first time I saw it was about January 2008

I know I now have 2 blackbirds with white tail feathers  that visit.

Yesterday 20th February 2009 I saw the white tailed blackbird. 

It was as though it was posing for me! 

It was sitting on the fence outside the kitchen window with it’s back to me.  Apologies, because I never thought to take a photo of it.

So this was great because I could see its two white tail feathers very clearly.  They are healthy, white tail feathers. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REASONS FOR WHY THERE ARE WHITE TAIL FEATHERS

White tailed blackbird – in France

Luckily I received this comment yesterday about a white tailed blackbird seen in France

hi there , just to let you know today in our garden we also have a black bird with a white tail, we live in france ,we have quite a large family of blackbirds, but today was quite shocked to see one with a white tail, we live deep in the country, is this a new breed of bird , have a good day

Reasons for birds with white feathers

Because, since January 2008,  I’ve been seeing a blackbird with white tail feathers I’ve become interested in them and have found out some  details and of the reasons why this happens.

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.

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 see this white tailed blackbird  in among a group of blackbirds)

Here are some reasons why blackbirds  (and other birds ) sometime have white feathers :

  • Lack of a good diet 
  • Injury to the bird can cause this
  • 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.

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

If you have any other information please let me know.


White tail feathered blackbird – first time I saw it

It is about January 2008  that I first saw the white feathered blackbird.  It made a striking appearance at my birdtable.

Blackbirds are regular feeders in my garden.  They make themselves at home feeding on the lawn sometimes and from the birdtables.  They flit between hedge, bush, birdtable, ground feeder and lawn, all the time finding bird food.

It is their shiny feathers that make blackbirds easy to recognise so I remember being surprised when I saw a blackbird with one large white tail feather fly into the garden and land on the fence.

It seems one name to call this is ‘albino blackbird’.

I kept seeing this blackbird and it was nice to be able to recognise one bird among the many that visit.

Because he stood out from the blackbird crowd I recognised him and found myself looking for him among the other ordinary blackbirds.

I still keep seeing this blackbird and wonder how long he will manage to survive.  This is why I’ve started a White Feathered Blackbird Section. 


For the blackbirds I put out grated cheese and sometimes chopped apple and some ground food mix.

White Tail Feathered Blackbird

Today I spotted the blackbird with white tail feathers.

I haven’t seen it for ages and thought it had died.

It was on its own at a birdtable in the back garden.  Another blackbird came and sent it packing.

Now I think of if, whenever I see this white tailed blackbird it is on its own.

Is the fact that it is ‘different’ to all the other blackbirds making it separate from the other blackbirds.

I only saw it for less than a minute as it was eating from the birdtable, then as I say it was frightened away.

At least I know it is about.  It’s interesting being able to keep track of one bird.

At one point a month or two ago I saw two blackbirds with white tail feathers.  One of the birds was thin, bedraggled and the tail feathers were faint.  I have not seen that one for a while.

Blackbird in USA with white tail feathers

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.

White tailed blackbird – a comment

I wrote about a  blackbird that two or three white tail feathers that often comes to my garden.    Sadly this post was deleted when I had problems with this blog.  But I received two comments one was from America (which I have lost).  The second one was from France –  

I live in the West of France and also have a blackbird with 1 white tale feather that comes to feed…  But thanks for the info, my dad has taken to bird … well… ‘observing’ for want of a better word (from the kitchen window) and seemed to think it a necessity to know what it was called (even though we know no other names other than great tits and robins ).

Thanks again, you learn something everyday!