20 Birds with Eyebrows (A to Z List with Pictures)

Birds with Eyebrows

Examples of birds with eyebrows include bananaquit, black grouse, black-fronted dotterel, blue-gray gnatcatcher, and chipping sparrow.

Some bird species have evolutionarily developed prominent eyebrows, possibly as an adaptation to changing environments. Prominent eyebrows may help shield birds’ eyes from direct sunlight or blowing snow and ice. Alternatively, they may serve as sexual signals for attracting mates.

Some birds have a stripe that runs from the base of the bird’s beak above its eye, finishing somewhere towards the rear of the bird’s head. Also known as an “eyebrow”, it is distinct from the eyestripe, which is a line that runs across the face, and continues behind the eye.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the birds that have eyebrow feathers, and learn a little bit more about why they have them.

Examples of Birds with Eyebrows

1. Bananaquit

Scientific NameCoereba flaveola
Type of AnimalBird
Rangetropical South America north to southern Mexico and the Caribbean

The bananaquit is a small bird that is found in the tropical regions of the Americas. It has a black body with a white eyebrow, and is one of the few birds that can actually drink nectar from flowers.

The bananaquit is an important pollinator of many tropical plants. It has a long, curved beak that is specifically adapted to reach the nectar in deep flowers. The bird’s diet consists mostly of nectar and insects.

2. Black Grouse

Scientific NameLyrurus tetrix
Type of AnimalBird
Rangemostly found in the northern moorlands and bogs of Eurasia

The Black Grouse has a black stripe that starts at the base of its beak, and runs up through its eye, before finishing behind its head. This eyebrow is used to help the bird blend in with its surroundings, as it is mostly found in forested areas.

3. Black-Fronted Dotterel

Scientific NameElseyornis melanops
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNew Zealand

The Black-Fronted Dotterel has a black eyebrow that runs from the base of its beak, over its eye, and finishing behind its head. This bird is found in Australia and New Zealand.

The black stripe is thought to serve as a form of camouflage, helping the bird to blend in with the darkness of night.

4. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Scientific NamePolioptila caerulea
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthern Canada, the eastern and southern United States west to California, a large part of Mexico, and the Bahamas.

The blue-gray gnatcatcher is a small songbird with a long, thin beak. It has a black “cap” on its head, and a wide white stripe above its eye.

This white stripe is actually made up of two smaller stripes: an inner white stripe, and an outer blue-gray stripe. The blue-gray gnatcatcher is found in North and South America.

5. Chipping Sparrow

Scientific NameSpizella passerina
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth America

The Chipping Sparrow has a fine, dark line above its eye that is barely noticeable. This line is not as thick or as distinct as the eyebrow on some other birds. The Chipping Sparrow’s eyebrow is used to attract mates and intimidate rivals.

The Chipping Sparrow is a small bird with a large head. The body is brown and gray, and the wings are paler. The tail is long and pointed. The bill is thin and slightly curved. The legs are pinkish-brown. Males and females look alike.

6. Double-Crested Cormorant

Scientific NamePhalacrocorax auritus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangealong the shores of the Atlantic Ocean from Labrador down to the tip of Florida

The Double-Crested Cormorant is a water bird that can be found near lakes, rivers, and oceans. It has a black body with a long, curved neck. Its most distinguishing feature is the two tufts of feathers on its head, which resemble eyebrows. These feathers are used to attract mates and to intimidate other birds.

7. Eurasian Eagle-Owl

Scientific NameBubo bubo
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe Palearctic ecoregion

The Eurasian eagle-owl is a large owl with a characteristic “ear” tufts on its head. Its face is also decorated with a prominent dark stripe that runs from the base of the beak, above the eye and finishes towards the back of the head.

This dark eyebrow feather helps to camouflage the owl’s facial expression, making it appear more fierce and intimidating.

8. Evening Grosbeak

Scientific NameCoccothraustes vespertinus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthern North America

The evening grosbeak is a medium-sized songbird with a heavy bill and distinctive yellow eyebrow. It is found in woodlands across North America, typically near coniferous forests.

The evening grosbeak gets its name from its habit of being most active in the evenings, when it often makes loud calls and displays its yellow feathers. While the evening grosbeak is not a particularly rare bird, it is not often seen because it spends much of its time high in trees, where it is difficult to spot.

9. Green Jay

Scientific NameCyanocorax yncas
Type of AnimalBird
Rangewest-central Mexico south to the highlands of Guatemala and northern Honduras

The Green Jay is a eyebrowed bird that is found in parts of Mexico, Central America, and South America. The most notable feature of the Green Jay is its blue-green plumage. But, it also has a stripe of feathers above its eye that are darker in color.

Related Article: Do Green Jay Have Green Feathers?

10. King of Saxony bird-of-paradise

Scientific NamePteridophora alberti
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNew Guinea

The King of Saxony bird-of-paradise has one of the most elaborate and conspicuous eyebrow feathers. These long, thin feathers curl upwards and outwards from the bird’s head, and are thought to play a role in visual communication.

The function of the eyebrow feather is not fully understood, but it is thought to be involved in mate choice and/or signaling dominance.

11. Macaroni Penguin

Scientific NameEudyptes chrysolophus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSub-Antarctic and Antarctic Peninsula

The Macaroni Penguin is a species of penguin that is found in the Southern Ocean. They get their name from the yellow feathers that adorn their heads, which resemble the 18th-century fashion accessory known as a macaroni.

While the exact purpose of the eyebrow feathers is unknown, it is thought that they help to keep the penguin’s eyes warm and protected from the harsh Antarctic weather.

12. Red-Browed Finch

Scientific NameNeochmia temporalis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe east coast of Australia

The red-browed finch is a small browed bird that is found in Australia. The most distinctive feature of this bird is the red stripe that runs from its beak, above its eye, and down to its ear.

Both male and female red-browed finches have this stripe, although the intensity of the color may differ between the sexes.

13. Rock Ptarmigan

Scientific NameLagopus muta
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethroughout most of Alaska

The Rock Ptarmigan is a plump, short-tailed bird that lives in the Arctic tundra. It has white feathers that help it to blend in with the snow, and black feathers on its wings and tail. The Rock Ptarmigan also has a black stripe above its eye, known as an “eyebrow”.

14. Streak-Breasted Scimitar Babbler

Scientific NamePomatorhinus ruficollis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeBangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Vietnam

The Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler has a black streak that starts from its beak, and goes all the way up to its eyebrow. This stripe is quite thin, and is bordered by white feathers.

The Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler also has a black cap, and the rest of its body is brown. This bird is quite small, and only grows to be about 15 cm in length.

15. Varied Thrush

Scientific NameIxoreus naevius
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeconiferous forest of various types, but most common in the dense, wet forests near the coast, in areas of fir, hemlock, and spruce with dense understory

The varied thrush is a North American bird that is easily recognizable by its unique plumage. The head and upperparts of the bird are a deep blue-gray color, while the breast and belly are a rusty orange. One of the most striking features of the varied thrush is the wide, dark stripe that runs from above its eye, down to its bill.

16. White-Browed Coucal

Scientific NameCentropus superciliosus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesub-Saharan Africa

The White-browed Coucal is a bird that is found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. It has a black body with white stripes running down its back. The most distinguishing feature of this bird is the white stripe that goes from its beak, above its eye, and finishes at the back of its head.

17. White-Browed Fantail

Scientific NameRhipidura aureola
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeacross tropical regions of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia

This small bird is found in woodlands and forests of Australia and New Guinea. The white-browed fantail has a black eyebrow that is quite noticeable, as it contrasts starkly with the bird’s white forehead.

It is thought that the black eyebrow may help to deflect sunlight away from the bird’s eyes, reducing glare and making it easier for the bird to see.

18. White-Browed Wagtail

Scientific NameMotacilla maderaspatensis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouth of the Himalayas, east of the Indus system, and to the west of Bangladesh

The white-browed wagtail is a small songbird that is found in Eurasia and Africa. The bird gets its name from the white stripe that runs above its eye.

The white-browed wagtail is mostly grey and white, with a black stripe running down its back. The bird feeds on insects, and can often be seen wagging its tail from side to side.

19. White-Throated Sparrow

Scientific NameZonotrichia albicollis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada and the northern boundary of the United States in coniferous and deciduous forests

The White-Throated Sparrow has a white eyebrow that is easy to spot. This bird is found in North America and is a common backyard bird. The white stripe above its eye helps this sparrow to stand out from its brown-and-white counterparts.

20. Yellow-Throated Warbler

Scientific NameSetophaga dominica
Type of AnimalBird
Rangecentral and northern North America

The yellow-throated warbler has a black stripe that starts at the base of its beak and extends above and behind its eye. This stripe is more prominent in males than females and is thought to play a role in mate selection.


Birds with eyebrows play an important role in attracting mates, intimidating rivals, and camouflage themselves. These feathers are used to communicate with other birds and potential mates. While some birds use their eyebrows for camouflage, others use them to attract attention.

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