Jamaican Blackbird Nesopsar nigerrimus

  • © Rich Hoyer

The Jamaican Blackbird is a taxonomically and ecologically distinctive blackbird of highlands in Jamaica's Cockpit Country, and the John Crow and Blue Mountains. This species, uniquely among blackbirds, feeds by probing in the manner of a woodpecker, and is especially closely tied with bromeliads, but will also probe tree bark and cavities. This species is generally heard much more often than it is seen. Its very distinctive songs and call sound mechanical, and are reminiscent of the sounds of the motors of a film camera.  The Jamaican Blackbird is strictly arboreal, and occupies montane forest where the trees are heavily laden with epiphytic bromeliads, mosses, and lichens, where it hunts for insects and small mammals. The Jamaican Blackbird is endangered, with the greatest threat to their populations comes from habitat loss stemming from Bauxite mining development.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more


© Linda Macaulay

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

Recommended Citation

Jamaican Blackbird (Nesopsar nigerrimus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/jambla1