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Brewer's Blackbird

Euphagus cyanocephalus

Length: 9 to 10 inches Wingspan: 14 to 16 inches Seasonality: Summer / Migrant
ID Keys: Glossy black with whitish eyes (male), shorter tail than Common Grackle

Brewer's Blackbird - Euphagus cyanocephalusThe Brewer's Blackbird is a common sight in the open country of the western U.S., although it has also expanded its range into the Great Lakes area.  As with the Common Grackle, they have become accustomed to a human presence, and are a common sight in residential areas.

Habitat: Can be found in a variety of open to semi-open habitats, including shrubby fields, riparian areas, farmland, shrubby grasslands, woodland edges, and even along the coastline.

Diet: Feeds on a wide variety of insects and spiders, as well as consuming a large amount of seeds and waste grain.  Will also feed on snails and small crustaceans.

Behavior: Primarily forages by walking along the ground.  Will occasionally wade in shallow water, and also will capture flying insects in mid-air.  Gregarious outside of the breeding season, often forming large winter flocks.

Nesting: June and July

Song: A short rough buzzy z-kzzzzzz.

Migration: Summers throughout much of the western U.S., western Canada, and the Great Lakes area.  Winters in the southern half of the U.S. and southward.

Interactive eBird Map: Click to access an interactive eBird map of Brewer's Blackbird sightings

Similar Species: Rusty Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird

Conservation Status:  Generally stable and widespread.  Has expanded its range since historic times to include the Great Lakes region.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Brewer's Blackbird

2) WhatBird - Brewer's Blackbird

3) Audubon Guide - Brewer's Blackbird

Photo Information: December 18th, 2008 - San Francisco, California - Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Brewer's Blackbird photos.


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Brewer's Blackbird - Species Range Map
South Dakota Status: Common summer resident in the far western part of the state, rare in the northeast.  Locally common migrant. 

Additional Brewer's Blackbird Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
 Brewer's Blackbird - Euphagus cyanocephalusBrewer's Blackbird - Euphagus cyanocephalusBrewer's Blackbird - Euphagus cyanocephalusBrewer's Blackbird - Euphagus cyanocephalusBrewer's Blackbird - Euphagus cyanocephalus