Yellow-headed Blackbird - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Yellow-headed Blackbird - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Yellow-headed Blackbird - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Yellow-headed Blackbird - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Yellow-headed Blackbird
Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

Blackbirds
Blackbird Family (Icteridae)

Size: Length: 20.5-28 cm

Description: A rare, but beautiful sight in the mountains, the bright head of the male yellow-headed blackbird can be mistaken for no other. Look for a jet black bird with a bright yellow head, neck, nape and upper breast. There is a dark patch in front of the eye. The rest of the bird is featureless black with the exception of two white patches on the side of the folded wings. Females are more subtle, mainly brown in colour with a white to yellow eyebrow line, and some white or yellow on the throat and upper breast. The remainder of the breast is white with some brown streaking, fading to brown on the lower belly. They are often found with red-winged blackbirds, clutching to cattails and other vegetation above the marsh. They collect seeds, insects and small invertebrates. The nest is usually attached to the marsh plants, woven from dead, water-soaked marsh plants. It almost looks like a suspended basket. The males may be polygamous, mating with numerous females. The call is less than musical. It sounds like fingers being scraped across a chalkboard, a metallic scraping sound. In some ways it is similar to that of the red-winged blackbird, but lower and louder.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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