Scarlet-headed blackbird

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Scarlet-headed blackbird
Scarlet-headed blackbird (Amblyramphus holosericeus).JPG
in the Pantanal, Brazil
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Amblyramphus
Leach, 1814
A. holosericeus
Binomial name
Amblyramphus holosericeus
(Scopoli, 1786)
Amblyramphus holosericeus map.svg

The scarlet-headed blackbird (Amblyramphus holosericeus) is an icterid found in the South American wetlands.


This species is about 24 cm long. The bill is oddly shaped: long, slender, and very sharp, looking almost upturned. Adults of both sexes are described by their name. Juveniles have entirely black plumage; orange-red feathers first appear on their breast and throat, later spreading to the neck, head, and thighs. The song is given as "loud, clear, and melodic, a ringing 'cleer-cleer-clur, clulululu'." Calls are simpler but have a similar quality.[2]

Scarlet-headed blackbirds occur in pairs in large reed beds in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil; Bolivia has an isolated population living at an altitudes of about 600 m. They often perch conspicuously on top of stems. They are uncommon, particularly away from the coast.[2]

They eat mainly fruit, supplementing it with seeds and invertebrates, especially insects. They use their bill as a hammer to open food items.[3]

Scarlet-headed blackbirds are monogamous, and territories are grouped together. The nest is an open cup placed in the crotch of a shrub or woven into vegetation, in which they lay two eggs.[3]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Amblyramphus holosericeus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Ridgely, Robert S.; Tudor, Guy (1989). The Birds of South America: The Oscine Passerines. University of Texas Press. p. 345. ISBN 0-292-70756-8. Retrieved 2007-02-19.
  3. ^ a b "Scarlet-headed blackbird". Meet the Animals. Toronto Zoo. Archived from the original on 2006-11-11. Retrieved 2007-02-19.

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