Many birds have yellow beaks, including the common blackbird, American robin, starlings, bald eagle, and magpies. All of these birds possess characteristics that make them unique.
It is always claimed that birds in the crow family have yellow beaks. This is probably down to a confusion involving the blackbird. They are not ravens or crows, but a kind of thrush.
Ravens are one of the most distinctive birds in North America. In general, they are very large and entirely black just like crows. They can be found across the Northern Hemisphere with common ravens living in areas such as California, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and Scotland.
Crow look-alike birds are common ravens, red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, brown-headed cowbirds, western jackdaws, pied currawongs, western rooks, black-billed magpies, alpine choughs, European starlings, and more.
Starlings are symbolic of communication, of your relationship with your fellow members, and your standing in society. They also symbolize unity; often seen flocking together, these birds have learned that we are always stronger together than alone. Have you been dreaming of starlings frequently these days?
In summer starlings have yellow bills and pale spots on their backs, which blackbirds, cowbirds, and grackles never have. In the winter starlings are covered in bright white spots that these other species lack.
The black beak merely signifies it is a first winter male and it normally changes to yellow between Dec and April, so a black beak doesn’t last too long after the bird gets its first adult plumage.
Common Grackles are blackbirds that look like they’ve been slightly stretched. They’re taller and longer tailed than a typical blackbird, with a longer, more tapered bill and glossy-iridescent bodies. Grackles walk around lawns and fields on their long legs or gather in noisy groups high in trees, typically evergreens.
Rusty Blackbirds are larger and chunkier than European Starlings. They also have a yellow eye whereas European Starlings have a dark eye.
Raven (Corvus corax)
They have thick necks with shaggy throat feathers and a thick, black bill.
Crows and ravens are large black birds found throughout North America, and they can be hard to tell apart. The best clue for identification is usually the voice, but the species differ in some other subtle ways, too.
Ravens have bigger, curvier beaks relative to crows. While both species have bristles at the base of the beak, the raven’s are noticeably longer. Its throat feathers are also quite shaggy. Common Ravens are much less common than American Crows in the Eastern United States.
Ravens are the larger of the two, with wingspans around 45 inches. Crows have smaller wingspans, with bodies around the size of pigeons. Crows and ravens are both very vocal.
The raven’s lustrous feathers also have a blue or purplish iridescence. The common raven (C. corax) is the largest of the perching birds: it reaches a length of up to 66 cm (26 inches) and has a wingspan of more than 1.3 metres (4 feet).
Crows have a subtle iridescent sheen to their feathers, whereas most grackle species have iridescence that borders on dazzling blue. Female grackles aren’t quite as flashy as the males. In most species, female grackles sport dull brown plumage. Conversely, both male and female crows have the same black-colored plumage.
Ravens have long, pointed wings in flight and a wedge-shaped tail. They make croaking or scratchy vocalizations, unlike the distinctive high-pitched “caw” of a crow. Grackles have slender bodies and longer tails. Their calls sound like a rusty gate.
“To many, ravens symbolize death or bad fortune to come, but to others they symbolize rebirth and starting anew, serving as a positive sign,” says Dr. Kim. In Norse, Celtic, and Druid mythology, crows and ravens are widely viewed as beacons of intelligence.
Ravens, Crows, and Blackbirds differ from each other in various ways. Ravens are the biggest of the three species. All are glossy black, though crows give off a violet hue and Rusty Blackbirds reflect blue-green to green. All three species have different shapes in their wings, bills, and tails.
European Starlings are found all over the world. This type of bird likes to live in cities, towns, parks, and woodlands with trees or shrubs. They have black iridescent plumage and yellow bill.
Starlings are a non-native species and are not related to our native blackbirds. They are iridescent black with speckles. Their beaks are dark in winter (shown here) and yellow in summer. Grackles, who are black with a purple-blue sheen to their heads, are our most common blackbirds.
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European Starling Facts
The European starling gets its name not from the starry markings but from the way the short, tapered wings make the bird look like a four-pointed star in flight.
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Sturnidae. The name “Sturnidae” comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and many African species are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage.
The only blackbird commonly observed with yellow beaks in the US is the common blackbird, also known as the Eurasian blackbird. Common Hawks are also blackbirds with yellow beaks but are only found in the United States during the winter season when all other birds have migrated to other regions.