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Brewer's Blackbird

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

Brewer's Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus, photo © by Michael Plagens

This male Brewer's Blackbird was observed poking around a parking lot north of Yuma, Arizona, Feb. 2011.

Brewer's Blackbirs often gather in large flocks and arrive in the Sonoran Desert usually by late fall where they especially like lawns, pastures and agricultural habitats. The females are brown and drab, but the males are irridescent, glossy black with a very bright yellow eye. Depending on the light direction purple and green colors show in the feathers due to refraction. Brewer's Blackbird looks a bit like a grackle, but is smaller and the tail is stubby by comparison.

Mostly Winter Resident - migration from the northwestern portions of North America

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 10 February 2011