Yellow-Headed Blackbird

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Xanthocephalus Xanthocephalus 

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Males have a bright yellow head, neck and breast, and a white wing patch on the primary coverts and outer greater coverts.

They have black lores and chin. The body is black.

Females are smaller and duller, more grayish-brown overall, yellow is distinctly duller and a restricted supercillium.

The throat and breast have a whitish streaking on the lower breast and there is no white wing patch.

Juveniles are similar to females. 

Both sexes have sharply pointed black bill, and blackish legs and feet.

BILL: black, pointed and sharp.

SIZE: measures about 9.44 inches in length, with a wingspan of 14.96 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 65 grams.

COLOR: yellow, white and black.

Insects, seeds, spiders and grass; aquatic insects.

Freshwater marshes and damp fields during the summer; open, cultivated lands, fields and pastures during migration and winter months.

SUMMER: North to the west-central parts of Canada and the United States.

WINTER: California to Texas, as well as in Mexico, and casually in Costa Rica.

SONG: Begins with a harsh, rasping note, ends with a long, descending buzz.

CALL: A “croak”

NEST: The female builds a bulky woven nest of wet vegetation, in the reeds over the water. It shrinks, tightening its support on the emergent vegetation where is attached as the nest’s materials dry.

EGGS: 3 - 5 greenish-white eggs with dark marks.

INCUBATION:  11 -13 days, female.

FLEDGLING PHASE: 9 - 12 days.

They breed in loose colonies. The males mate with several females. They eat insects and aquatic invertebrates during the breeding season.

They form huge flocks in winter, often mixing with other species of blackbirds, and feed on seeds and grains in cultivated fields.

The oldest Yellow-headed Blackbird on record was at least 11 years, 8 months old.

Yellow-headed Blackbird Infographic





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