Yellow-headed Blackbirds Are Back In Numbers

Flock of male Yellow-headed BlackbirdsFlock of male Yellow-headed Blackbirds

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are back filling the marshy areas of Utah with their odd mechanical calls once again as the males court the females for their annual spring fling. If you have never heard their calls you can listen to it here (about halfway down the page).  I photographed this small flock of male Yellow-headed Blackbirds last April on Antelope Island Sate Park.

Male Yellow-headed BlackbirdMale Yellow-headed Blackbird

The auto tour route at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge is a terrific location to get up close to Yellow-headed Blackbirds where during the peak of breeding season you can see thousand of them flitting about or perched on the top of cattails, grasses and rushes. The males are easily identified by their black bodies and namesake yellow heads.



  1. Mia McPherson May 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks for the comments, these Yellow-headed Blackbirds are great fun to photograph

  2. Sam Brunson April 20, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Amazing birds!

  3. Ingrid April 20, 2013 at 1:08 am

    How I’d love to encounter the scene in your first photo! Just beautiful … a window into this vibrant avian community.

  4. Bob Bushell April 20, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Beautiful, my favourite is the first one, superb.

  5. Nicole April 19, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    oh, they are GORGEOUS!!!!

  6. Rohrerbot April 19, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    So that’s where they’ve all gone:)! They slowly disappear now. From thousands to hundreds to none:)

  7. Bryce Robinson April 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    So cool! Still waiting for my FOY Yellow-headed Blackbird… Living vicariously through your photos is pretty nice though.

  8. Eileen April 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Ow wow, the first shot is very cool! Great captures!

  9. Julie Brown April 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    What a great-looking group in their environment, Mia. Nice portrait of the individual male as well. They really are very striking birds.

  10. Merrill Ann Gonzales April 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    We don’t have yellow-headed blackbirds here..just the red-wings…. But the first sounds of their calls sends up great joy as the flocks arrive here for when you hear them you know for sure spring is here… the hard part of winter is over. I don’t know if you have the same joy with the yellow-headed blackbirds. But they surely are beautiful enough to bring joy… all those bobbing spots of sunlight on that ridge. Just lovely.

  11. eric c11 April 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    wow, very nice, it s a good luck to have a group like that, well played mia ☺

  12. Prairie Birder April 19, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Excellent photos, Mia! Yellow-headed Blackbirds are such beautiful birds, I can’t wait for them to return!

  13. Erin Duke April 19, 2013 at 9:16 am

    What gorgeous birds! I don’t think I’ve ever seen these. Looks like a westward trip is in order. 🙂

  14. Lynn Koch April 19, 2013 at 7:34 am

    These birds are really lovely! This is the first time I’ve seen/heard them. You’re photographs are beautiful!

  15. Susan April 19, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Oh my what beauties, I have never seen these ones before. Great photos:)

  16. judy watson April 19, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Wonderful! Love these guys!

  17. Beverly Everson April 19, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Wow! That group shot is amazing!! Have only seen them one at the time.

  18. Kathleen April 19, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Very cool! It would be a life for me!

  19. Kathleen Finnerty April 19, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Mia – these are very striking! Your images are always amazing. I wish I could come out west and have you be my photo tour guide!

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