Medium-sized (6-8") bird with black body, really dark brown-blackish top feathers

Perching bird, medium sized (6-8") that initially looked totally black but actually has very dark brown-blackish top feathers with a black body. Seen on winter feeder in northern NJ. Not a grackle, cowbird or starling - no iridescence. Shaped rather like a rusty blackbird, but it isn't. Didn't stay on feeder long enough for picture.

Comments for Medium-sized (6-8") bird with black body, really dark brown-blackish top feathers

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 16, 2015
Medium sized bird NEW
by: John P

Wow, this really is a difficult one to figure out.

Most birds in the size category you have described with those kind of markings would generally fit into the category of a starling a cow bird or possibly even a common grackle.

The grackle however generally has a more irredescent appearance with its body feathers which the bird you spotted apparently does not have.

Starlings are known to have a yellow beak but they also have more of a speckled or blotchy look to them on their body feathers.

Sorry I can't be of more help to you in identifying this bird.

Would be interesting to know what it is if you are ever able to make a positive ID.

John P. - Cottage Grove, MN



Feb 16, 2015
Thanks NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your comment. We do have cowbirds here, but this bird did not have a brown head. The top feathers and head were all the same color, and they were actually darker than a brown-headed cowbird. Is the female coloring more uniform or do they have that distinctive brown head, too?

Feb 15, 2015
Male Cow Bird NEW
by: John P

The bird you are describing fits the description of a male cow bird.

The female is sort of a soft brown and gray color all over and the male is dark black in body with a dark brown head and upper body feathers.

John P - Cottage Grove, MN

Feb 15, 2015
Spotted in NC
by: Anonymous

also I just saw this same bird in NC near Charlotte.. Except it,had a,orange yellowish beak , someone told it possibly could have been a Starling ? But like yours it didn't stay long enough for me to get a picture...

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to What Is This Bird?.



Coming Soon

Recent Articles

  1. id,ed at last

    Nov 16, 17 11:53 AM

    i tried to post this yesterday, but i guess it didn,t get through. i found this page while trying to id a bird ths ago. i saw it a few days ago. it

    Read More

  2. new birds, warblers?

    Nov 16, 17 11:51 AM

    two or three weeks ago, i heard some contact calls that sounded a lot like bushtits, which visit my yard in flocks in the winter. when i looked up, high

    Read More

  3. Heather Cherichella

    Nov 15, 17 05:02 PM

    This bird is in the Aviary at Auldbrass, a Frank Lloyd Wright farm on the National Historic Register in Yemassee South Carolina -what is it?

    Read More