Brewer's Blackbird

Scientific Name:

Euphagus cyanocephalus

Type:

Bird

Habitat:

Open areas such as agricultural fields, golf courses and parks for foraging, with a preference for riparian areas and areas with more dense vegetation for nesting

Range:

Native to the Great Basin, common through much of North America, from Minnesota to the west coast and from northern Canada south into Mexico

Status:

Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Male Brewer’s blackbirds are, as expected, black in color with bright iridescence of purple and blue on their heads and green on their bodies. They have bright yellow eyes. Female Brewer’s blackbirds are a plain brown, with dark eyes. Brewer’s blackbirds have long tails and are about 9 inches in size. Unlike red-wing or yellow-headed blackbirds, Brewer’s blackbirds are solid black in color, and they have relatively long legs. Brewer’s blackbirds use their long legs to walk around city sidewalks and picnic areas in parks scavenging for crumbs. The diet of these birds is quite varied; as ground foragers, they will eat grasshoppers, crickets and other insects, seeds and leftover grains, and berries when available.

Fast Facts:

  • Female Brewer’s blackbirds are the nest builders of the family, constructing a cup shaped nest out of grasses, twigs and mud; but both parents feed the baby birds.

  • The eggs of Brewer’s blackbirds are varied in appearance. It is thought that the color and pattern of the eggs changes to blend in with the background, camouflaging the eggs.

  • Brewer’s Blackbirds are quick to notice new food sources and can be helpful in curbing outbreaks of pests such as grasshoppers, weevils and termites.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Regina Hockett (research & content)

Alex Shahbaziz (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

June 23, 2021, 11:09:59 PM