When it comes to bird songs, the Yellow-headed Blackbird won’t win a Grammy. It does not have a sweet and melodious song. In fact, the Audubon website describes it this way, “The male Yellow-headed Blackbird is impressive to see, but not to hear. It may have the worst song of any North American bird, a hoarse, harsh scraping.” Yet, this makes it easy for me to identify this species by its song. I can’t confuse it with any other bird. (See link at the bottom of this post to hear its song.)
The male blackbird has a harem of up to 9 females and actively patrols and defends its territory against other males.
This member of the blackbird species nests in wetlands. Therefore, a good way to observe it is via a kayak or canoe.
The nest is affixed to either dead or alive vegetation like cattails or rushes. Amazingly, it withstands the pounding rains and strong winds of our summer storms.
The nest overhangs the water. Sometimes the young tumble into water and have to swim to some floating debris for safety.
Yellow-headed Blackbirds feed primarily on insects during the summer.
To listen to the song of the Yellow-headed Blackbird, copy and paste this YouTube video address into your browser. Note, this is not my video.