Female Yellow-headed Blackbird with food for her chicksFemale Yellow-headed Blackbird with food for her chicks – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 250, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Female Yellow-headed Blackbirds are often overlooked by casual viewers and bird photographers because they aren’t as flashy as the males. But that isn’t a bad thing. Their drabber coloration makes them less conspicuous and draws less attention than the males which in turn is helpful when nesting, brooding and rearing her young.

This female was taking prey to her young when I photographed her in June of 2009 at Farmington Bay WMA which was before I had moved to Utah and was only here on a short visit.

A female Yellow-headed Blackbird looking for preyA female Yellow-headed Blackbird looking for prey – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

But as a bird photographer I realize I should photograph them more often than I do because they are quite lovely even if their colors are subdued compared to the males. The female above was photographed in May of this year at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover June 7, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I like these images, which will help me identify them on my next outing. Nature knows best.

  2. Elephant's Child June 7, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    She is beautiful. I am a big fan of the little brown jobs. They all repay closer looks – muted magic.

  3. Patty Chadwick June 7, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I’ll bet she’s hell on grasshoppers…a lot of the female birds have such a subtle beauty…like this little lady and the female cardinal outside my window right now…glad you appreciate them….

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