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.
At a distance, starlings look black. In summer they are purplish-green iridescent with yellow beaks; in fresh winter plumage they are brown, covered in brilliant white spots.
How many of you reading this right now have to pause for a second and think “hmm, now that I think about it, crows really don’t have yellow bills?” That’s right, they have solid black bills. I’m not even going to ask how many people had to wonder if they thought crows usually wore straw hats.
Depending on the culture, Blackbird Spirit may be welcome as a good omen or the messenger of bad news. The dark wings of Blackbird give it associations with the Otherworld and the great Mysteries that haunt human souls; this also means it can fly as a messenger of death.
Both sexes have the characteristic white head and tail, yellow beaks and yellow eyes upon maturity. Young eagles, called juveniles, are uniformly brown and larger in size than adults due to longer wing and tail feathers.
Small Blue Birds / Small Finches
What is this? The Blue Finches (Porphyrospiza caerulescens) – also known as Yellow-billed Blue Finches – occur naturally in South America. Their numbers have greatly declined due to conversion of their cerrado habitat for agriculture, and this species is now listed as Near Threatened.
The starling’s beak also undergoes some changes throughout the year. The nearer the breeding season, the more sex hormones the starling produces. This ensures that the beak goes from black in winter to yellow-white during mating time. This color change also helps distinguish males from females.
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.
Adult males are rosy red around the face and upper breast, with streaky brown back, belly and tail. In flight, the red rump is conspicuous. Adult females aren’t red; they are plain grayish-brown with thick, blurry streaks and an indistinctly marked face.
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.
Raven (Corvus corax)
They have thick necks with shaggy throat feathers and a thick, black bill.
Carotenoid pigments form the basis for red and yellow color in bird beaks and in Darwin’s finch nestlings, a genetic mutation interrupts a key carotenoid processing gene, leading to a bright yellow beak.
The males are black with bright orange-yellow beak and yellow eye-ring. Females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts and brown beak.
Lesser Goldfinches are tiny bright yellow and black songbirds with long pointed wings and short notched tails. They are darker on the back and with yellow breasts and bellies.
Great tit (Parus major)
They have a black head and chin, white cheeks and a yellow breast. The key marking to look out is the black stripe running down their front. This is also how you can identify the sex of the bird.
Ravens differ from crows in appearance by their larger bill, tail shape, flight pattern and by their large size. Ravens are as big as Red-tailed Hawks, and crows are about the size of pigeons. The raven is all black, has a 3.5-4 ft wingspan and is around 24-27 inches from head to tail.
Color patterns and variations
There is a slight hint of grey and brown when you see a raven in direct sunlight. Their legs also seem a bit slightly off-color but still in the tone of black. Crows are entirely black, including their legs and beaks.
Unlike the rook, the crow’s beak is black or grey. As many as one million pairs of carrion crows live in the UK – though they are largely solitary and wary birds.
Distinctive Physical Traits. The crow is an all-rounder black-colored bird, from its eyes to its bills down to the feet. In Blackbirds, however, you are likely to find a distinctive slight tinge of color, sometimes on the wing bar, eyes, or even the beak.
Though a crow is a black bird, it’s not a blackbird. Nor is a blackbird a crow. Both are members of the order Passeriformes, but of different families. The crow is Corvus brachyrynchos, of the family Corvidae and the blackbird is of the family Icteridae.
It is good luck if a blackbird makes a nest on your house. If you see 5 crows, sickness will follow; see 6 crows and death will follow.