Yellow-Headed Blackbird

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

Closely related to meadowlarks, the Yellow-headed Blackbird breeds in reedy marshes overmuch of the western and north central USA. These highly migratory birds spend summers in North America from the Great Lakes into Canada’s prairie provinces, and west to central Washington, Oregon, eastern California, Nevada, and most western USA, including the northern Mississippi Valley. When winter approaches, most of these birds head south into Mexico, while some will stay in the USA just north of the border.

Today, science considers the Yellow-Headed Blackbird monotypic (no subspecies recognised).

I’ve enjoyed meeting these birds in the western USA during my travels. I usually find them in cattail marshes, though in Arizona I’ve found them at feed lots and freshly tilled agricultural fields.

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