10 Popular Black and White Birds in Ohio (Ultimate Guide + Pictures)

You never know which interesting black and white birds you might encounter in the Buckeye State. From open grasslands to rolling fields bordering streams and woods, this state has rich habitats for many different songbird and aquatic bird species. 

Ohio is home to common black and white songbirds such as Juncos, Nuthatches, Chickadees, and Warblers. You can also find several black and white species of woodpeckers, black and white ducks, and even the endangered Bobolink bird.

Black and White Birds in Ohio

Spotted a bird that you can’t identify? Check out our identification guide to name one of those 10 popular black and white birds in Ohio today.

Check out these other top picks in this category:

1. Carolina Chickadee

  • Scientific name: Poecile carolinensis
  • Diet: Insectivore and herbivore
  • Habitat: Coniferous and deciduous woods
  • Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
  • Size: About 5 inches
  • Weight: Close to 3 ounces
  • Wingspan: 7 inches 

You’re most likely to see the Carolina Chickadee in Spring through Autumn when it flies north from the southern states to breed and nest in the cooler Ohio climate. Due to its Midwest location, it’s also common to see Chickadees in Ohio year-round.  

Look for a Carolina Chickadee’s thick body with no neck, bold white cheek marks, and black cap and bib against gray wings with white underparts, russet spots under the wings, and black tips of the wings. These birds come to backyard feeders filled with peanuts, suet, and sunflower seeds or scavenge for bugs and seeds in parks and rural wooded areas.

2. White-Breasted Nuthatch

  • Scientific name: Sitta carolinensis
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Mature, non-coniferous woods
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • Size: About 6 inches
  • Weight: Up to 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: About 10 inches 

A White-Breasted Nuthatch is as cute as a button with black and gray wings and backs, white cheek stripes, and a black cap. A chunky beak balances out their stumpy tails. This bird is popular throughout the state during all seasons.

Watch for them picking up sunflower or safflower seeds in a bird feeder or hunting for insects in parks, yards with big, old trees, and nearby wooded areas.

3. Black-Capped Chickadee

  • Scientific name: Poecile atricapillus
  • Diet: Insectivore invertivore, and frugivore
  • Habitat: A range of deciduous trees from willow to alder and coniferous woods
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • Size: 6 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: 8 inches

In contrast to the Carolina Chickadee, the other most popular Ohio Chickadee has white plumage, a bold black cap, and stark white cheek patches.

Listen for their “chick-a-dee” song echoing through mixed evergreen and cottonwood trees in woods, parks, and yards where they consume berries, seeds, and insects.

4. Downy Woodpecker (Female)

  • Scientific name: Dryovates pubescens
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Backyards and woods
  • Lifespan: About 2 years
  • Size: 7 inches
  • Weight: About 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: About 12 inches

You’ll probably hear this bird before you see it. That’s because this small black and white bird spends its time clinging to tree trunks as it hammers away at the bark for tasty insects.

While male birds sport vivid red caps on their heads, females have true black and white tones. You can tell this bird apart from its bigger cousin, the Hairy Woodpecker, due to its delicate beak and feathers streaked and spotted with black and white patches.

5. Dark-Eyed Junco

  • Scientific name: Junco hyemalis
  • Diet: Herbivore and insectivore
  • Habitat: Roadsides, pastures, fields, and parks
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Size: 6 inches
  • Weight: About 1 ounce
  • Wingspan: 9 inches

A Dark-Eyed Junco has a fluffy dark gray body, black back and wings, and a white belly. These fat little butterballs sport chunky light pink bills.

Watch for these birds that can flock to hunt for seeds in colder months everywhere from yards to roads, fields, and parks. In the summer months, they stick to evergreen woods.

6. Hairy Woodpecker

  • Scientific name: Dryobates villosus
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Yards, deciduous woods, and parks
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Size: 2 inches
  • Weight: Close to 4 ounces
  • Wingspan: 14 inches

At first glance, it might seem hard to tell the difference between different woodpecker species. That’s because the males of each species are both black and white with bright red heads. If you get close enough or view a bird through binoculars, you can spot important differences in the details.  

First off, a Hairy Woodpecker is massive, up to 30% bigger than a Downy Woodpecker. Secondly, a Hairy Woodpecker has a long beak like a railroad spike that is almost as long as its head. Hairy Woodpeckers have a plain black tail instead of one that’s mottled with black and white dots and patches like the Downy Woodpecker.  

These birds hang out in old or dead trees where they hunt for insects. They are also known to come to backyard feeders for peanuts and suet.

7. Common Loon

  • Scientific name: Gavia immer
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Habitat: Wetlands, ponds, and marshes
  • Lifespan: Up to years
  • Size: 30 inches
  • Weight: About 12 pounds
  • Wingspan: 44 inches 

Their eerie laughs and tremolo cries might startle you if you hear the sound echoing across a lake nearby. Loons live throughout the state of Ohio where they spend their time diving underwater to hunt and swallow their prey.

You can recognize a Common Loon from its sleek, round black head, red eyes, thick beak used to jab fish, and white and black checker marks across its wings and back. It also has a checkered collar around its throat.

8. Black-and-White Warbler

  • Scientific name: Mniotilta varia
  • Diet: Insectivore
  • Habitat: Mixed saplings and mature woods
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • Size: 4 or 5
  • Weight: 0.5 ounce
  • Wingspan: 7 to 8 inches 

With a black and white body that looks like horizontal zebra stripes, the Black-and-White Warbler makes its home in Ohio during the breeding season and is also spotted there throughout the year. You can identify them by white wing bars and black eye bars.

Watch for these birds sifting through dead leaves for insects or trotting up and down tree trunks to hunt for bugs and spiders.

9. Common Goldeneye (Male)

  • Scientific name: Bucephala clangula
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Habitat: Ponds, streams, rivers, and lakes
  • Lifespan: About 10 years
  • Size: 20
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Wingspan: 28 inches

This diving duck is a fabulous sight to spot anywhere in Ohio’s many bodies of water. Male birds have white bellies, black back feathers, and iridescent black-green heads with white circles near their beaks. Look for this bird’s signature golden eyes that give it its name.

While it’s possible to glimpse these birds swimming, they spend a lot of time underwater eating fish, small aquatic invertebrates, and vegetation.

10. Bobolink

  • Scientific name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Habitat: Grasslands, pastures, and fields
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Size: 6 inches
  • Weight: 2 ounces
  • Wingspan: 10.5 inches

This endangered songbird is hard to spot, but it’s a beautiful and rare sight if you do happen to see it. You can identify it by its almost completely black body, a yellow wash at the nape, and white marks on the back and wings. Males have a short blackish-gray beak, while females have pinkish-toned bills.

Bobolinks frequent meadows and other grasslands, especially during the breeding and nesting seasons from May through September, where they consume a diet of seeds, bugs, and grain.

Final Thoughts

This identification quick guide will help you differentiate multiple different black and white birds that you encounter during birdwatching sessions, daily life, or just passing through the great state of Ohio.

10 thoughts on “10 Popular Black and White Birds in Ohio (Ultimate Guide + Pictures)”

Leave a Comment