Yellow-winged Blackbird Agelasticus thilius

  • Yellow-winged Blackbird male (subspecies petersii)
  • © Cláudio Dias Timm

The Yellow-winged Blackbird is largely a species of South America’s southern cone, although there is also a highland population in the Altiplano of Bolivia and Peru. This blackbird is dependent on marshes, particularly during the breeding season. In winter it may range to open areas near marshes, particularly muddy fields. However, it is particularly tied to marshes with Scirpus sp. as opposed to other emergent vegetation. The male is all black with a yellow epaulet and yellow wing linings, although when not displaying it can easily hide all of the yellow and look entirely dark. The females on the other hand are brown and strongly streaked below, and show a noticeable pale supercilium. The general color patterns of both sexes parallel that of the Red-winged Blackbird and at one time these two species were in the same genus, but these similarities along with the marsh-nesting behavior are entirely convergent. There are two song types that the Yellow-winged Blackbird gives and one of them is a long drawn out Trileeee. Interestingly it has been suggested that this song type, once common in the huge marshes that used to be found near Santiago, Chile gave the country its name! The Yellow-winged Blackbird is largely resident, although in the southernmost part of the range there is a distinct move northward.

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© Theodore A Parker, III

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Yellow-winged Blackbird (Agelasticus thilius), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: