Yellow-headed Blackbird Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus



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Adult male

Large blackbird with a stout body, a large head, and a long, conical bill. Adult males have a bright yellow head and breast and a black body. Note white patch on wings, obvious in flight.


Large blackbird with a big head. Females are brown instead of black, with a duller yellow head and breast.

Immature male

Immature males are brownish black above with a paler yellow head and breast.


Large, stocky bird with a conical bill. Females are brownish with a yellow throat and a patchy yellow head.


Juveniles have buffy heads and underparts with a buffy and black scalloped-looking back.

Adult male

Males sing a song that sounds like a rusty farm gate opening.

Adult male

In flight, note white patches at the bend in the wing.


Breeds and roosts in freshwater wetlands with dense, emergent vegetation such as cattails. Often forages in fields, typically wintering in large, open agricultural areas.

Recommended Citation

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: