Brewer's blackbird

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Brewer's Blackbird)
Jump to: navigation, search
Brewer's blackbird
Female blackbird protects her young.jpg
E. cyanocephalus female, San Francisco Presidio
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Euphagus
Species: E. cyanocephalus
Binomial name
Euphagus cyanocephalus
(Wagler, 1829)

Euphagus affinis (Shufeldt, 1892)

The Brewer's blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) is a medium-sized New World blackbird, named after the ornithologist Thomas Mayo Brewer.


Adults have a pointed bill. Adult males have black plumage; the female is dark grey. The male has a bright yellow eye; the female's is dark. They resemble the eastern member of the same genus, the rusty blackbird; however, the Brewer's blackbird has a shorter bill and the male's head is iridescent purple.[2] This bird is often mistaken for the Common Grackle but has a shorter tail. The call is a sharp check which is also distinguishable. This bird is in a different family from the Eurasian blackbird.


Their breeding habitat is open and semi-open areas, often near water, across central and western North America. The cup nest can be located in various locations: in a tree, in tall grass or on a cliff. They often nest in colonies.

These birds are often permanent residents in the west. Other birds migrate to the southeastern United States and Mexico. The range of this bird has been expanding east in the Great Lakes region.[3]


They forage in shallow water or in fields, mainly eating seeds and insects, some berries. They sometimes catch insects in flight. They feed in flocks outside of the breeding season, sometimes with other blackbirds.

Protected Status[edit]

The Brewer's blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.[4]



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Euphagus cyanocephalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Peterson, Roger Tory; Peterson, Virginia Marie (2002). Birds of Eastern and Central North America (5 ed.). New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin. p. 310. ISBN 0-395-74047-9. 
  3. ^ Stepney, P. H. R.; Power, Dennis M. (December 1973). "Analysis of the Eastward Breeding Expansion of Brewer's Blackbird Plus General Aspects of Avian Expansions" (PDF). The Wilson Bulletin 85 (4): 452–464. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Martin, S. G. 2002. Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus). In The Birds of North America, No. 616 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

External links[edit]