Yellow-headed Blackbird (#998)

Apr 21, 2013 | Birding

For several years I have tried to view the Yellow-headed Blackbird.  This past weekend in the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in central Kansas, we came across a large flock of Red-winged blackbirds.  Noticing flashes of white whenever the flock would lift out of the grass, we discovered that Yellow-headed Blackbirds have a large white patch on their black wings.


Description from Cornell’s All About Birds (

“With a golden head, a white patch on black wings, and a call that sounds like a rusty farm gate opening, the Yellow-headed Blackbird demands your attention. Look for them in western and prairie wetlands, where they nest in reeds directly over the water. They’re just as impressive in winter, when huge flocks seem to roll across farm fields. Each bird gleans seeds from the ground, then leapfrogs over its flock mates to the front edge of the ever-advancing troupe.”

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