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There are many native bird species. Some are brightly colored from head to toe. Other birds are monochromatic or variegated with a completely black head or cap.

In a nutshell

  • Blackbird widespread songbird in the garden
  • playful raven is the largest European corvid
  • Magpies are extremely intelligent
  • The great tit is the largest species of tit in Germany

Types from A - C

Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus)

  • Size: 37 to 41 cm
  • Appearance: Yellow upturned beak, red legs, otherwise all black
  • Occurrence: Steep rock faces, screes, lawns in the Alps
  • Diet: small soil insects, berries, seeds, carrion, human food remains
  • Special features: Appearance is reminiscent of the blackbird, very sociable, in large groups

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

  • Blackbird
  • Size: 24 to 27 cm
  • Appearance: Males are all black with a yellow beak, females are dark brown
  • Occurrence: often found in gardens, not very shy
  • Food: Worms, insects, snails, berries, seeds, fruits
  • Special Features: Songbird, mimics whistles and other sounds

Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

  • Size: 16 to 19 cm
  • Appearance: Black head and bib, white face and belly, gray upper side, black tail
  • Occurrence: in dense bushes near water, open cultural landscapes, fields, settlements
  • Diet: Insects, larvae, worms, snails, seeds
  • Specialties: Foraging mainly on the ground, tripping with quick steps

Coot (Fulica atra)

  • Size: 36 to 42 cm
  • Appearance: Slate gray plumage, black head, white beak, white forehead shield, large feet with swimming lobes
  • Occurrence: Fresh water with floating plants and riparian vegetation such as ponds, lakes, rivers
  • Food: omnivores, parts of plants, reeds, grain, insects, molluscs, fish, waste
  • Special features: walking over water lilies, jerking head movements when swimming

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

  • Size: 20 to 24 cm
  • Appearance: Black crown and nape, white cheeks, red patch on back of head, black top, gray underside, red undercoat on tail
  • Occurrence: Deciduous and mixed forests, parks, gardens, avenues
  • Diet: Insects, larvae, berries, nuts, tree sap, seeds
  • Features: curls trees in spring

Types of D - J

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

  • Size: 33 to 39 cm
  • Appearance: black headstock, shimmering metallic blue, black-grey plumage, short legs, short and thick beak
  • Occurrence: Residential areas, parks, open spaces
  • Diet: Omnivore, mainly seeds and insects, along with carrion, bird eggs, small vertebrates, human waste

Notice: The black-headed birds can fly at speeds of up to 60 km/h.

Magpie (Pica pica)

  • Size: up to 51 cm
  • Appearance: black and white plumage, all black head
  • Occurrence: bushy forests, open areas, parks, gardens
  • Diet: Earthworms, insects, larvae, bird eggs, fruits, seeds, human waste
  • Special features: curious, very smart, walks and hops a lot on the ground

Bullfinch or Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

  • Size: 15 to 19 cm
  • Appearance: Black head cap, white rump, males bright red breast and abdomen, females grey-brown
  • Occurrence: conifers
  • Food: soaked seeds, buds, insects
  • Special features: often wandering around in family groups in autumn

Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)

  • Size: 12 to 13 cm
  • Appearance: black head with white forehead patch, white collar, white underside, black top, grey-brown females
  • Occurrence: orchards, gardens, parks, deciduous forests
  • Food: insects, larvae, berries
  • Features: catches flies in flight

Types of K - R

Raven (Corvus corax)

  • Size: 54 to 67 cm
  • Appearance: solid black, shiny blue-violet in the light, large head with a strong beak
  • Occurrence: Forests, semi-open landscapes, settlement areas
  • Food: Omnivore, mostly animal food such as bird eggs, insects, small vertebrates, human waste
  • Special features: very adaptable and playful, largest corvid in Europe

Great tit (Parus major)

  • Size: 13 to 15 cm
  • Appearance: black head with white cheeks, yellow underparts with black longitudinal stripes, green-yellow back, blue-grey wings with a white band
  • Occurrence: Deciduous and mixed forests, parks, gardens
  • Food: Insects, larvae, spiders, caterpillars, seeds
  • Special features: largest species of tit in Europe

Hooded Crow (Corvus corone)

  • Size: 46 to 50 cm
  • Appearance: black head, black chest, wings and tail, rest of plumage grey
  • Occurrence: mainly in settlement areas, parks
  • Food: omnivores, insects, larvae, bird eggs, small birds and fish, berries, carrion, human waste
  • Special features: In winter, flocks with other corvids such as jackdaws and rooks.

Types from S - Z

Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

  • Size: 11 to 13 cm
  • Appearance: Males have black head with white neck patch, orange-brown underparts, dark tail, light-colored wings
  • Occurrence: Meadows, wasteland, open spaces, bogs
  • Food: insects, spiders, worms
  • Specialties: Ground breeder, classified as endangered on the Red List in Germany

Rook (Corvus frugilegus)

  • Size: up to 46 cm
  • Appearance: Completely black with a reddish sheen, pointed beak, throat pouch below the beak for transporting food
  • Occurrence: open farmland and meadowland with shrubs and trees
  • Diet: Seeds, fruits, slugs, earthworms, beetles, mice, carrion
  • Specialties: Bird of the year 1986

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

  • Size: 19 to 22 cm
  • Appearance: Plumage and head are black with a metallic blue sheen, plain plumage with white spots, yellow beak
  • Occurrence: Gardens, forests, parks
  • Food: Insects, earthworms, snails, fruit, berries

Notice: The metallically shimmering birds with black heads are now considered endangered in Germany.

Coal Tit (Parus ater)

  • Size: 10 to 11 cm
  • Appearance: Black head and chin, white belly, gray to bluish back and wings, white wing bars
  • Occurrence: Coniferous and mixed forests
  • Food: small insects, seeds of conifers
  • Special features: belongs to the smallest tit species

frequently asked Questions

Does the term "thieving magpie" really apply to the birds?

They are said to hoard glittering items like jewelry in the nests. Scientific research has shown that magpies show no interest in such objects. On the contrary, they find "glitter things" rather scary. However, it should not be forgotten that they steal young birds and eggs from other nests.

Can carrion and hooded crows be hunted in Germany?

According to the EU Birds Directive from 1979, European bird species are protected. However, there are exceptions, since 1994 magpies, jays and carrion and hooded crows can be hunted, except during the breeding season. Hunting is regulated by the individual federal states.

Why does the great spotted woodpecker ring trees in spring?

He likes to sip tree sap. To do this, he has to hack small holes around the trunk or on the top of branches. These then fill up with the juices. After some time, the wounds close and the so-called rings appear, hence the term ringlet trees or ringlets.

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