Friday, April 29, 2016

Yellow-headed Blackbird

John Holden and I photographed this Yellow-headed Blackbird at Dakota County’s 180th Street Marsh on 27 April 2016. Minnesota and Wisconsin are about as far east as this western species breeds. I have written about this species before, including in June 2014.

Males winter further north than do females. The males migrate one to two weeks before the females. The center of their wintering range is throughout the Mexican Central Plateau, but they are also abundant in the winter in southern Texas and New Mexico. Scattered winter records exist elsewhere, even in Minnesota. The species has been seen in Europe, though these vagrants may be escapes from captivity (Fraga 2016).

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