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Yellow-headed Blackbird

Posted on Apr 30, 2017

Here is a bird you do not see too often around these parts – the Yellow-headed Blackbird! This immature male, found a few weeks ago by Stefan Martin, should ordinarily not be farther east than Illinois or Wisconsin. However, it took a wrong turn during migration and ended up all the way on the Atlantic Coast with us at Stratford Point, CT. He has been hanging out with Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Brown-headed Cowbirds while feeding on seed we put out plus whatever insects it can find.

The bird has started singing, too, perching on various trees, snags, wires, and shrubs while hoping to find a mate. Good luck with that one, friend, because you are going to need it.

He recently had a close call with a Peregrine Falcon, and apart from having to avoid those talons, things have been going well as he acclimates to his new (temporary) home. Hundreds of birders and visitors have enjoyed this increasingly gregarious creature all over the property. However, at the time of this writing it now seems that recent cooperative winds have pushed him to move back to the west, or at least to another region in hopes of discovering that mate, as he has not been seen since Sunday, April 23. Good luck to you, friend!

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator