I had a chance to dig through some birding photos from 2012 and stumbled across some images I completely forgot about. Here are a few of images from my yellow-headed blackbird stash.
If you have never heard these birds they aren’t hard to recognize. They nest in marshes which are also home to red-winged blackbirds. While most of us recognize the sound of a red-winged blackbird the single scrappy tone of the yellow-headed black bird is easily distinguished. In case the bright yellow head of the males isn’t quite visible.
During mating season there is plenty of excitement to go around. Males and females are polyamorous however the male bird will stick around to feed just one of the families in his territory, usually the first one with nestlings.
Yellow-headed blackbirds muster the best nesting spots in marshes forcing the red-winged blackbirds to forego the prime real estate. Because Yellow-headed Blackbirds always build their nests over the water, nestlings sometimes fall in and have to swim short distances to vegetation.
And for the fun fact of the day, the oldest Yellow-headed Blackbird on record was at least 11 years, 8 months old. It had been banded in Saskatchewan and was found in Nebraska.
While these birds are seen in the NWT occasionally, these images were taken in central Alberta when I was home visiting my mum.