There are many different types of white birds out there.
This article will introduce you to 7 that you can spot in the wild. You might even be able to spot them at your local zoo!
These 7 represent only a small fraction of all the white birds around, but they’re some of our favorites.
In this article, we’ll cover white bird species from all over the world, including the ones in the US.
Table of Contents
7 White Birds To Spot In The Wild
We’ll begin our white bird sightings with the Ibis. This black and white bird species is closely related to the spoonbill; spoonbills even look like white ibises that have had their beaks painted!
Ibises are white because they’re seabirds, so you can easily find them at coastal areas near the land or at the zoo. Ibises are white with large, black or gray wings and long legs that are great for wading through shallow waters in search of prey.
The Ibis breeds in southern Europe, Africa (north of the Sahara), and much of Asia. It is a long-distance migrant moving in winter to Africa (south of the Sahara), or just into peninsular India. It is common in wetlands with tall vegetation, such as reedbeds and sedge beds, which it uses for nesting.
Ibis’ long legs make it easy for them to walk through the water, and their sharp bills are perfect for catching fish. Ibis are opportunistic eaters, so they’ll eat anything available! Ibises are white, so they’re often hard to spot when they’re flying.
Great egrets are white with black feet and long, yellow/orange beaks. They stand out in a crowd for this reason; a white bird with an orange beak is very distinctive! These white birds love to live near water, so they can be found near wetlands.
It breeds in warm temperate regions of Europe, Asia, Africa (south of the Sahara), New Zealand, and Australia. It can also be found in southern North America and South America. This egret is migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, but is resident year-round in most of the tropics.
It feeds in shallow water or drier habitats, stabbing at prey or grasping it with its bill. The Great egret hunts for fish by standing still and letting the water bring its prey to it. It also uses this technique to catch frogs and insects, including dragonflies and grasshoppers.
Great egrets are not very defensive when their nests or young are threatened, and in some areas have become very tame. They do however have a great deal of fidelity to their nesting sites, nesting in the same site year after year.
The Pelican bird is a wading bird that lives in aquatic regions across the world, mainly around coasts and larger rivers. Pelicans are notable for their large bills which have a loose pouch of skin below the beak that they use to catch fish.
They can grow up to 30 inches tall and weigh between 7-14 lbs. These birds also have webbed feet which they use to catch their prey.
Pelicans are also popular for the strange appearance of their pouch, which can deflate once it is done catching fish so that it doesn’t get in the way when this fella is flying. They build large nests on top of cliff edges and eat more than 30 pounds of fish every day.
This big white bird is characterized by the white underparts, long wings, and extremely large bill. Pelican Birds breed once a year in colonies; the nest is built high on cliffs or shallow lake islands, using reeds.
The stork is a large, long-legged wading bird with a long neck and short legs. It tends to be lighter in colour than the heron, which it somewhat resembles when seen hunting in flight, although storks have stouter bodies.
There are more than sixty recognized stork species distributed across temperate and tropical regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. These large white birds dwell in many regions and tend to live in drier habitats than the closely related herons, spoonbills, and ibises.
Storks have no syrinx and are mute, giving no call; bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Many species are migratory. Most of these birds eat frogs, fish, insects, earthworms, and small birds or mammals.
A snowy owl, also called a snowy, is a large owl native to Arctic regions in North America and Eurasia. It is very well adapted for cold weather. Its most distinctive features—aside from its snowy white appearance which makes it hard to see against the snowy background—are its feathered feet and fierce yellow eyes.
The snowy owl has broad wings and a relatively short tail. It is smaller than the great horned owl.The beak is large and hooked.
Like all owls, these large white birds have a flat face and a disk-shaped face which allows for binocular vision to focus on prey.
As snowy owls can hunt in very cold temperatures, their circulatory system has adapted to handle the extreme cold by transporting warm blood from the body core to limit heat loss through the feet. Its system can handle about 50% more heat loss than a human.
The cattle egret is a cosmopolitan species of heron. They have undergone one of the most rapid and wide-reaching natural expansions of any species.
The range and population size has increased enormously due to humans populating and farming across the entire world and creating suitable conditions for this small white bird. Castle egrets were originally native to parts of Asia, Africa, and Southern Europe.
The white birds with long necks nest in colonies, usually near bodies of water. The colonies are often found inhabiting mangroves and island archipelagoes. The birds feed almost entirely on insects, which they find by wading through shallow waters.
Cattle egrets will also eat crustaceans, mollusks, and annelid worms found along the shores of lagoons and rice paddies if their insect prey become sparse. They use their feet as tools to capture food by performing a “foot-snare,” where they move one foot slowly behind the other.
The swan is a large snowy white bird with a body length of about 100 cm. It has white feathers and black feet. They are often used for decoration in zoos, but swans can also be found living in the wild.
This bird lives on water, either on rivers or at sea. The pure white beauty swims very gracefully and it is often used in paintings to symbolize beauty. The swan eats fish, small crustaceans, insects, and vegetation found in the water.
As in this picture, in paintings swans are often depicted with their wings spread out, but they can also fly. When they want to take off, they run on water with one or more feet and then they jump up in the air. This makes them able to fly over long distances.
We hope you enjoyed our list of 7 White Birds To Spot In The Wild!
If you’re a bird enthusiast, we encourage you to go out and find these large and small white birds in the wild.
For those who don’t have time or desire for that much adventure, keep an eye out during your next visit to the zoo as well as other places where they may be found, such as parks and airports.
Bird watching is one way to appreciate nature’s beauty from home. It also helps foster connections with others through shared observations about what has been seen.