5 Amazing Birds With BLACK MOHAWKS (ID Guide With Photos)

Have you ever been on a woodland walk or visiting a nature reserve and spotted a bird with a cooler hairdo than you?

Did it make you wonder whether there are other birds out there that sport the ultimate 80’s throwback mohawk? Rest assured that you are in the right place.

Birds With Black Mohawks

There are many things about birds that make them beautiful.

Whether it is incredibly detailed markings that interest you or the huge variety of songs and whistles that they use to communicate with one another, there is no shortage of fascinating features to look into.

In this article, we will be focusing on the variety of crests that can be found among the avian species.

Birds with mohawk feathers are strikingly beautiful. When the mohawk is black, however, it adds a level of mystery and intrigue to the look of the bird.

Whether you are an experienced bird spotter looking to expand your knowledge base, or a hobbyist interested in the more unusual-looking characters of the bird world, this is the article for you.

Read on to find out more about the punk rockers of the avian sphere.

Why Do Some Birds Have Mohawks?

The presence of large beautiful feathers formed in a narrow, central strip on the top of a bird’s head makes for more than just a cool hairdo.

The most common reason for a bird to have mohawk feathers on its head is to attract a mate.

The bright or contrasting colors of the feathers make the bird stand out to potential mates. The bigger the feathers, the bigger the appeal to the opposite sex.

Similarly, these strategically arranged feathers can assist a bird in communicating with others in its flock.

The position of the feathers, whether laid flat or raised straight up, can indicate whether the bird is feeling relaxed, threatened, or even excited.

There is very rarely a survival or hunting benefit to these feathers.

The Palm Cockatoo

The Palm Cockatoo

The palm cockatoo is one of the most majestic members of the parrot family, also known as the goliath cockatoo due to its incredible size.

It is one of the biggest members of the cockatoo family in Australia and perhaps even the world.

Its smoky-gray and black feathers create a dramatic contrast to the prominent red patches on its cheeks.

The most beautiful part of this bird however is its crowning glory, its stunning crest feathers.

These long black feathers make this already large bird seem even bigger, adding to its incredible silhouette.

The Striated Heron

The Striated Heron

The striated heron is particularly coy about the hairdo they are sporting. This small heron (standing at only 44cm tall) primarily has its mohawk laying flat against its head.

This little heron can be found in tropical waters all over the world and is mostly solitary in its nature.

The striated heron’s preference for the solitary lifestyle explains why its mohawk is flat most of the time.

As its use is primarily that of a mating technique, there is no need to have its crest standing up when it is not actively trying to attract a mate.

The Red-Whiskered Bulbul

The Red-Whiskered Bulbul

The red-whiskered bulbul is a perching bird that is native to Asia. Standing at a diminutive 20cm, it needs all the height help it can get.

Lucky for this bird, it has the benefit of a tall, pointed crest.

The red-whiskered bulbul’s mohawk is slightly different from others already mentioned in this article in that its crest is permanently raised.

Rather than having feathers that can be laid flat or raised at will, this bird sports a constant sense of pride through its mohawk.

Similar to the palm cockatoo, this small songbird features two red patches just in front of its ears, adding to its remarkable look.

If you’re ever in Asia or the US, keep an eye out for this stunning bird.

The Great Curassow

The Great Curassow

One of the most striking mohawks in this group belongs to the great curassow.

Part of the pheasant family and found in central and south America, these large birds boast both incredible weight (up to 10.6 lbs) and length (up to 100cm).

The most impressive feature of this bird, however, is the magnificent crest it is sporting. More than simply a mohawk, the great curassow’s crest is curled.

Between its jet black crest and bright yellow beak, it’s hard to decide which is more spectacular.

The male’s crest, in particular, is very unique, made of shiny black, curled feathers making him look like he’s stepped straight out of an 80’s movie.

Related: 31 Stunning birds with crazy hairdos

The Great Blue Turaco

The Great Blue Turaco

The great blue turaco is one of the most beautiful birds sporting a black mohawk.

Its blue-gray feathers create a unique teal color, fading into chestnut brown chest feathers, resulting in a plumage that looks like a watercolor painting.

Even more beautiful still is the crest of the great blue turaco. Standing proudly, the thick blue-black feathers make this bird look utterly majestic.

Contrasted with the bright yellow and orangey-red-tipped beak, the great blue turaco cuts a striking figure throughout the African tropical rainforest.

Final Thoughts

There are many species of birds out there that sport a mohawk. Some are colorful, some are short, and some stand up proud at all times.

Some of the most beautiful, however, are the ones sporting black mohawks.

The contrast with the multitude of colors in their feathers and beaks makes for an impressive sight no matter what their habitat.