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8 Black-Feathered Pet Birds (With Pictures)
Black-feathered birds are seen as harbingers of doom, bad luck, or death because some cultures believe they carry messages between the world of the living and those who have passed away.
Regardless of their notoriety, some birds with black plumage make great pets! They may not attract the same attention your typical brightly-colored bird would, but they are just as affectionate and funny to watch!
The following listicle will cover the top eight black-feathered birds as pets. Each is described based on their characteristics, temperament, and other details that pet owners should know about them.
1. Keel-Billed Toucan
A toucan is a colorful bird that eats fruit, insects, and small reptiles. The Keel-Billed Toucan has a black body covered with orange patches of feathers on its wings (the same color as its beak). It has long legs for climbing trees and folds of skin around its neck, leading some to suspect it can drink water while flying!
It is an intelligent animal that is taught quickly how to fetch objects. Taming one requires time and patience because the bird adapts at its own pace. However, they can get along with other animals if socialized early in life. Owners report them being very affectionate pets who enjoy spending time with their humans or flying outside for exercise.
To care for a keel-billed toucan, there are a few things you should know.
There is much more to know, so be sure to do your research before adopting one!
The biggest living bird is also one of the most recognizable. Male ostriches are black with white belt feathers around their bodies, while females are brown with red eyes. An ostrich can grow to be as tall as 6 ft. and weigh almost 300 lbs. Their long toes help them run faster than horses!
Their reputation precedes them; they have been used as riding animals in the past, but today serve mainly as popular mascots for sports teams. They do not take well to captive environments, though, so many owners opt to purchase an egg and raise it from birth for the closest experience of having a pet ostrich.
Their diet consists of weeds, bugs, fruits, and ground grains. If you intend to keep an egg at home with your ostrich, be sure it is kept warm (around 100° F) until it hatches! Once hatched, baby ostriches will need plenty of socialization to ensure they behave like adults (which do not approach humans unless threatened).
They grow fast—so fast they can outgrow their enclosures in just weeks! Be prepared for them to require frequent upgrades as they get larger. Because of this potential rapid growth and behavioral shifts when reaching adulthood, many owners consider getting only one chick if planning on keeping one long-term.
Perhaps one of the most popular birds with black feathers, the Raven (Corvus corax), can be found in northern Europe, North America, and Asia. They are extremely intelligent and social, so they make excellent pets for schools or research facilities.
Ravens come from large families, and their intelligence means they can learn to mimic human speech much like a parrot does, albeit without the extensive training (good luck!). One of their favorite activities is playing pranks on people!
It was said that Vikings thought this bird carried the souls of fallen warriors to Valhalla! The Vikings would sometimes tame the bird and send it to battle alongside them! They may not have a pleasant demeanor around your neighbors, but they will never turn violent unless provoked into it.
Caring for ravens is simple once you train them to use the litter box. Remember that ravens like to fly, so keep their cage away from windows! Their cages should be roomy enough for them to flap their wings and get plenty of toys for playtime.
As long as it gets a lot of attention, a Raven makes an excellent companion pet or performer in clubs or shows. They have the capacity to speak but are not considered talkers due to having only limited vocabulary.
4. Black Lory
A common pet worldwide due to its beautiful plumage and fun-loving nature, the Black Lory (Phigys solitarius) has a black body with yellow stripes on its chest or undertail. The female Black Lory is noticeably smaller than the male.
These birds are native to Indonesia but can be found in other parts of South Asia, and Australia as well.
Their diet consists of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds along with fresh vegetables and some meat. They are considered omnivorous like parrots, so you should take care that they get a balanced diet!
Black Lorries need plenty of toys to keep them occupied and happy. Provide them with a wide range of toys such as bells, ribbons, mirrors, and cat toys similar to what you’d give your kitten or dog. They also like chewing, so be prepared for some damage from their strong beaks! Without that stimulation, these birds will become depressed and even resort to self-plucking.
When they start going through adolescence, don’t expect any funny business on your part – just let nature take its course and do not interfere. Once their hormonal changes are over, these birds make amazing companions that will never willingly abandon you if cared for properly!
5. Vasa Parrot
Native to Indonesia, the Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis vasa) is also known as the Black Parrot and is one of the rarest birds in its family.
Their wingspan can reach up to 19 inches with a body length of around 13 inches.
As pets, these parrots are quiet and docile compared to other parrot species, making them great companions for owners who aren’t interested in conversing with their pets, much like cats or dogs. Males especially become very attached to their owners and are very protective of them.
These parrots are agile flyers, so their cages should be kept high enough to prevent them from climbing out and escaping. Provide plenty of toys and activities, so they don’t get bored. They also enjoy fruits, seeds, and nuts!
6. Black Finch
The Black Finch (Melanodera melanodera) is a species of finch native to the highlands of New Guinea.
This bird may look black, but it’s got two different shades of brown on its wings!
They are quiet creatures by nature and will never be noisy or destructive in any way. These birds become comfortable with their owners after only a few days! As pets, these finches get along well with other birds and can even learn their names.
These finches should not be kept with other medium-sized birds because chances are they’ll play too rough for their liking. These small birds aren’t suited for homes with small children either because they can fly away if startled by one.
Black Finches have a lifespan of ten to fifteen years and are considered low-maintenance pets. They don’t need baths thanks to their preening habits and only require an occasional bath in cases where they get into a nasty seed pod!
7. Common Blackbird
Commonly known as “the bird that doesn’t sing”, the Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) is actually a very talented songbird!
In Europe, it’s considered a pest, and their calls are dreaded. In North America, however, they are looked upon with affection thanks to their melodious voices.
Habitat-wise, this bird loves living near water sources like lakes or ponds but has been spotted in urban areas where food is relatively easy to find. They can be found in places as far away from water, such as the savannahs of Africa too!
As pets, these birds bond strongly with their owners after about two months, so patience and persistence will greatly benefit your relationship with this pet bird.
They aren’t suited for homes with small children because of their aggressive nature, which can be perceived as dangerous. They enjoy exploring, so make sure to keep them inside unless they’re in a large, safe cage.
Common Blackbirds live about seven years and prove themselves to be great pets if properly handled and cared for!
8. American Black Duck
The American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) is a medium-sized duck that William Brewster first described in 1902.
This bird’s head, neck, and upper body are all covered in black feathers, while the lower parts of its body are white. The females have a brownish tone on their throat that they lose after mating season, and interesting crests form when they’re excited or feeling aggressive!
As pets, these birds make great companions thanks to their calm demeanor despite being quite active. They easily bond with their owners if handled gently and kindly from an early age without ever losing their strong sense of independence.
These birds live about seven or eight years and only require a spacious cage that can fit into the outdoors if they’re an indoor pet.
After about a year, these birds will treat their owners as part of their flock!
If you’re interested in adopting a black-colored bird, we hope this blog has helped you learn more about the different available species and what they require. We can’t guarantee that one of these birds will be suitable for your home or lifestyle (or if it is, which type!), but hopefully, our information helps provide direction when looking to make such an important decision!
For even more resources on avian care, head over to our website, where we have plenty of articles waiting for you!
Have fun exploring all things avian!
Featured Image Credit: Imogen Warren, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.