Brewer's blackbird

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Brewer's blackbird
Brewers Blackbird Esquimalt Lagoon.jpg
male
Euphagus cyanocephalus -San Luis Obispo -California-8a.jpg
female
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 cyanocephalus map.svg
Range of E. cyanocephalus      Breeding range     Year-round range     Wintering range
Synonyms

Euphagus affinis (Shufeldt, 1892)

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

Description[edit]

Adult males have black plumage with an iridescent purple head and neck and glossy bluish-green highlights on the rest of the body. The feet and legs are black and the eye is bright yellow. The female is brownish-grey with slight hints of the male's iridescence. The female's eye is dark brown. Overall, 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.

Standard Measurements[3][4]
length 8–10.3 in (200–260 mm)
weight 63 g (2.2 oz)
wingspan 15.5 in (390 mm)
wing 121–133 mm (4.8–5.2 in)
tail 95–102.5 mm (3.74–4.04 in)
culmen 20.4–24 mm (0.80–0.94 in)
tarsus 29.5–33.5 mm (1.16–1.32 in)

Habitat[edit]

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.[5]

Feeding[edit]

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.[6]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ Godfrey, W. Earl (1966). The Birds of Canada. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada. p. 359. 
  4. ^ Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf. p. 514. ISBN 0-679-45122-6. 
  5. ^ 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". The Wilson Bulletin 85 (4): 452–464. 
  6. ^ "List of Migratory Bird Species Protected by the MiGratory Bird Treaty Act as of December 2, 2013". US Fish & Wildlife Service. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Martin, S.G. (2002). Poole, A.; Gill, F., eds. "Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)". The Birds of North America (616). Philadelphia, PA: The Birds of North America, Inc. 

External links[edit]