The Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus, is a medium-sized blackbird. Their breeding habitat is open and semi-open areas, often near water, across central and western North America. These birds are permanent residents in the west of their region. Other birds migrate to the south into Mexico during the cold of the winter months.
Adult males have black plumage and a bright yellow eye. The female has dark gray plumage and a darker eye. Adults in both sexes have a long pointed bill. They resemble the eastern member of the same genus, the Rusty Blackbird. However, this bird has a shorter bill and the male’s head is iridescent purple.
The Brewer’s Blackbird forages in shallow water or in fields, mainly eating seeds and insects, and some berries. They sometimes will catch insects in flight. Outside of the breeding season these birds feed in flocks and sometimes with other blackbirds. Their cup nest can be located in a tree, tall grass, or on a cliff. They often nest in colonies.
Brewer’s Blackbird is named after the ornithologist Thomas Mayo Brewer.
They are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.