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Bird Gallery

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbirds
Yellow-headed Blackbirds

© Ben Hulsey. Photographed during a Houston Audubon sponsored bird count at Willow Waterhole on April 16, 2011.

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

Family: (Icteridae) Blackbirds and Orioles

Preferred Habitat: Marshes, open habitats.

Seasonal Occurrence: Rare September through May

Notes: A western blackbird, the Yellow-headed Blackbird is only rarely found on the Upper Texas Coast. It breeds in marshes; in winter it may be found in any open habitat, such as fields and farmlands. Males are strikingly patterned with bright yellow heads, black bodies and white wing patches which are prominent in flight. Females are smaller than males; in coloring, they are sooty rather than black with less yellow and no white wing patches. The call of a Yellow-headed Blackbird sounds like a loud, rusty hinge.
- Susan Billetdeaux