Top 10 White Birds

There are many birds with white on them but some stand out more than others. With no criteria just biased opinion, here are the top 10 white birds.

  1. American White Pelican – a great place to find these birds is Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin, where this picture was taken. Their huge wingspan makes for some impressive flight pictures and their fishing techniques are fun to watch.

    The White Pelican does not dive for fish as the Brown Pelican does. Instead, it dips its head underwater to scoop up fish. Several pelicans may fish cooperatively, moving into a circle to concentrate fish, and then dipping their heads under simultaneously to catch fish. –Cornell Lab of Ornithology

    American White Pelican

  2. Great Egret – this picture was also taken at Horicon Marsh. These tall, elegant waders are one of three primarily white egrets found in the U.S., the other two being Snowy and Cattle Egrets. Little Blue, Reddish and even Great Blue Herons have white plumaged forms.

    The longevity record for a wild Great Egret is nearly 23 years. –Cornell Lab of Ornithology

    Great Egret

  3. Snowy Owl – a growing trend, we found a life Snowy Owl at Horicon Marsh during the winter but failed to photograph them. They often travel south in the winter to search for food.
  4. An individual adult Snowy Owl may eat three to five lemmings per day, or up to 1,600 per year. –Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  5. Sanderling – this picture was taken along the Gulf Coast in Texas, a wonderful place to view shorebirds.

    -It is common for nonbreeding individuals of Arctic-breeding shorebirds to remain on the wintering grounds through the summer. Why make that long trip if you’re not going to breed anyway? –Cornell Lab of Ornithology


  6. Whooping Crane – this beautiful white bird was close to extinction, but with the help of captive breeding programs and a lot of extremely dedicated people, there numbers are slowly growing and there is hope.

    The population of Whooping Cranes has been rising steadily, at about four percent per year. The population reached 100 in 1987, about 250 in early 1995, and 468 by the end of 2004, with 213 in the wild. –Cornell Lab of Ornithology

    Whooping Crane

  7. Ivory Gull – this gull is only found high in the Arctic.

    The Ivory Gull casts up pellets of indigestible matter from its food, such as bones and fur. Pellet-casting is most frequent where lemmings are abundant and are the major prey. –Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  8. Snowy Plover – can be found on beaches, dry mud, or salt flats. It can be found across North and South America, Eurasia, and Africa, but in North America it is limited to the Gulf and Pacific coasts, with a few inland exceptions. In England, it is called a Kentish Plover

    Young Snowy Plovers leave their nest within three hours of hatching. –Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  9. Forster’s Tern – perhaps Horicon is just a gold mine for white birds. This bird was hovering over the water next to a dike and plunged to catch food.
    Forster's Tern
  10. White-tailed Kite – a medium-sized raptor of open grasslands and savannahs. Another hovering species with bright white plumage.

    Although some populations fluctuate regularly in size, it is unknown whether the White-tailed Kite is migratory, nomadic, or both. –Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  11. White Ibis – one of three Ibises found in the U.S., the White Ibis is one of the most gorgeous.

    A wading bird of the deep South, the striking White Ibis is frequently seen on lawns looking for large insects as well as probing for prey along the shoreline. –Cornell Lab of Ornithology

    White Ibis

13 thoughts on “Top 10 White Birds

  1. I have the same top 3 as you but only in reverse order with the Snowy Owl taking top honors, followed by the Great Egret and White Pelican.

  2. If you have ever seen 25,000 snow geese jumping up from Merril Creek Reservior in NW New Jersey, after being spooked by an eagle, you would make them the number one white bird.

  3. Heyitse – usually we see only a few Snow Geese at a time and that is quite rarely (unless we go to central Illinois at the right time). 25,000 would definitely be a treat!!

  4. I live in central Texas in a rural area..I have been noticing small flocks of solid white birds..What are they?
    I cant seem to find them …

  5. Janet, we live in the Texas Hill Country. Recently we have had a single, tiny snow white bird approximately 3 inches long come to our bird feeder. We have been unable to find this bird in any of our bird books and it is not among the top ten listed here. Hopefully someone will be able to give us an answer.

  6. Hello, I am trying to learn about a white bird too! My sister in central Arkansas said she sees a white bird now (mid January, 2020). Maybe it is like what you see in Texas? I can not identify it. It is not a sea bird.

  7. We just saw a big white bird flying in big slow circles. Touch of black either on tail or head. Eagle-like. Big wing span. Cottage grove minnesota.
    Any idea?

  8. Not sure what this would be… large, slow circling white birds in Minnesota usually lead me to American White Pelican… they have black on the wings but could have been the lighting.

  9. Earlier this Fall, in October, I saw a half dozen large all-white birds scattered in a tree across a small lake from where I was. I have not seen these birds before or since, so i believe that they were probably migrating, but I have looked through numerous pictures, and have seen nothing matching the description. Kind of an oval-shaped body with a small neck. Definitely not an owl or hawk. Location is Northern Will County, 25 miles southwest of Chicago. Any ideas?

  10. Have seen a large white bird with some darker birds in our lake for the past 2 days. Too far away to see distinct details but looks like a domesticated white duck, but I thought they did not fly. This is in rural mid-Georgia in late January. There are several hooded mergansers in the lake also but this bird is much larger than them and not with them, but with what appears to be larger darker ducks. This is the first time I have seen a bird like this in our lake. No nearby neighbors have white ducks. Any ideas?

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