This handsome guy very kindly perched on the reeds right in front of our bench at Gamble's Pond in Kamloops. Taken during mating season this spring, these beautiful birds attempted to attract the females by shooting straight up into the air and then soaring back down into the reeds. During the breeding and nesting season the males are very territorial and spend much of their time perched on reed stalks and displaying or chasing off intruders.
The male birds are large and stocky with a bright yellow head and chest and a solid black body with a white wing patch just barely visible when the wings are folded. The adult female is mainly brown with a dull yellow throat and breast.
In the Midwest and West, look for Yellow-headed Blackbirds both in freshwater wetlands and in nearby farm fields. Though they are striking in appearance, these birds spend a substantial time perched out of view in cattails or reeds, so listen for their harsh check calls and bizarre grinding, buzzing songs in order to pinpoint their location.
June 7th, 2013
Viewed 1,532 Times - Last Visitor from New York, NY on 09/22/2023 at 3:43 AM