July 2009 - Yellow-headed Blackbird
 
Yellow-headed Blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
Yellow-headed Blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

It's not too hard to see how the Yellow-headed Blackbird got its name! It is easy to spot this beautiful marsh-loving bird with the splash of male's bright yellow plumage and white wing patches catching the sunlight. The female lacks the intense yellowness. It is generally a dusty brown all over with faint hints of yellow on the face and breast.

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Yellow-headed Blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus
The Yellow-headed Blackbird breeds in colonies. In the winter, the males congregate together and the females and juveniles flocking together. It feeds by foraging on the ground near water or in fields eating snails, larvae, grains, seeds and insects.

The range of the Yellow-headed Blackbird stretches from the Great Lakes, west across the plains of North America, into the mountains and south across the American Southwest, into parts of California. Most overwinter in Mexico.
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