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Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Eos 300D Digital Rebel, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-10-20 0:29
Viewed: 6405
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 38
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi All,
This Yellow-headed Blackbird was captured at Elkwater Lake in the Cypress Hills.
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

General Description

By Gustave J. Yaki

The distinctively-marked Yellow-headed Blackbirds breeds in western Canada and USA, south to northern Arizona and New Mexico. In Alberta, wherever there are large cattail marshes you will find this easily-identified bird. It is absent only in the high mountain country or the far northern reaches of the province.

The first males arrive in southern Alberta, from as far as south central Mexico, in very early April. They occupy large wetlands in both rural and urban areas.. Most Yellow-headeds leave Alberta by the end of September, but in some years a few remain, finding sustenance in large cattle feedlots.

During the nesting season, the female searches the moist substrate of the marsh for insect food for her young; beetles, waterbugs, dragonflies, snails and other invertebrates. At other times their diet usually consists of seeds.

The males are polygynous, mating with as many females as can occupy their territory, sometimes up to six. Their fairly bulky cup nest is attached to live bulrushes or other emergent vegetation growing in deep, open water. Usually four eggs are laid and incubated for 12 to 13 days. The young fledge in 9-12 days. Two broods may be attempted. After the breeding season, adult males may gather in single-sex flocks, often with other male blackbird species.

giacomosg, siggi, PeterZ, cataclysta, CeltickRanger, eqshannon, jaycee, vanderschelden, Maite, Evelynn, MMM, NinaM, lise, uleko has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jaycee: Hi JaneAdanac 1 10-20 18:42
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Critiques [Translate]

marvellous bird.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-10-20 1:07]

Hello Rick,
Great bird capture .
Very beautiful color contrast and most wonderful details, pose of the bird.
Superb clarity, sharpness and exposure
Best wishes, Siggi

Hi Rick

Great capture of this attractive species
Like the composition
Good sharpness and DOF


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-10-20 4:01]

Hello Rick,
Last night I prepaired a photo for TN of a Yellow-headed Blackbird. What a coincidence.
Great photo in beautiful contrasting colours. Good sharpness, DOF and composition. Very nice pose.

Hi Rick
First of all a great bird that I have never seen before. Good sharpness, perfect OOF background with nice texture created by plants. Very good job

Fantástica imagen de éste espectacular pájaro no existente en mi país.

hello Rick

beautiful image of the Yellow-headed Blackbird, fine POV
and appropriate vertical framing, with excellent sharpness
and details of the plumage, not easy the black colored plumage, TFS


You sure have some great strong contrasting colours here Rick...Well focused and well composed... Your images are very strong when needed and done artistically at times...very nice,...snow coming on this side of the Rockies soon...tonight in the wilderness!

Hi Rick,

Wow - those colors are magnificent. I don't think I have seen this bird before. A wonderful pose showing off the beauty of this Blackbird. Interesting plant - what is that? Colors, clarity and composition are excellent.


  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-10-20 10:28]

This is lovely Rick, your POV has created a superb backdrop to this bird. DOF is also excellent and the pose very well caught - great work mate.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2008-10-20 11:04]

Hi Rick
Perfect shot of a beautiful bird. Very nice colours and background.
Regards Jiri.

Very good focus and content, Rick.
Extraordinary bird species, this Yellow-headed blackbird through its colors.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-10-20 12:55]

Hello Rick
I can't drop in as much as I would like but it's a pleasure to drop in and see marvels like this one. How beautiful!!! I love the bird and I love the picture, so sharp and clear in a lovely vertical composition. Marvellous rich tones of the yellow-headed and the reed.
Congratulations and thank you very much for sharing.
Best regards

I love these birds...I suppose partly because our avian variety is fairly limited out here in the west. It is a nice capture. I finally got a couple of shots of them last spring. I'll have to go find them. Organizing all my photos is becoming a challenge!

Evelynn ; )

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-10-20 14:41]

Hi Rick
Fine capture .Good POV and sharp image.I like that pose and the nice OOF BG
TFS Michel

Hello Rick

What a wonderful and colourful capture.This bird has such beautiful plumage.
The wisps of grasses and rushes in the BG add to the beauty of the image.
Very good focus and detail.
I am told that this species has been spotted in this region,but it is a rarity.Perhaps it chums with the wrong bunch on the way back north.They do inhabit Southwestern ON.
I would love to see one in the wild.
Just a pleasure to view.


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-10-21 5:43]

What a beautiful bird!


  • Great 
  • lise Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 169 W: 48 N: 548] (2877)
  • [2008-10-21 16:24]

Hi Rick,
I always like this bird but I believe it could only be found in the prairies, we don't have any in the East.
Wonderful subject, great colours and POV.
Very well done

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-10-26 8:10]

Hello Rick,
What an impressive capture of this beautiful bird in a fine pose on the Rush! Fantastic contrasting colours and great sharpness. A very fine background too! Well done!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Great! That is beautiful bird! I like your work. My congratulations, Rick!

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