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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: 2007-04-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/11, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-05-04 5:06
Viewed: 3007
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This Yellow-headed Blackbird was captured at Murray Lake just before sundown. This marshy area has come alive with hundreds of Yellow-headed Blackbirds singing and display. The choosing of nesting sites and mates will come very soon. This male was viewing the area from a willow tree, I liked the clear blue sky as a background with the new leaves coming and of course the sharp contrast of the birds colors.

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.

lovenature, PaulH, JORAPAVI, MMM, jaycee, SkyF, Luis52, ridvan, demeve, marieproue has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ralfsworld: Hi RalfAdanac 1 05-04 09:14
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Rick.
Nice shot of Yellow-headed Blackbird. I have workshop for you.

Hello Rick,
This is a beautiful capture of a bird that I have never seen in real. Its colors are amazing and this is a very good composition with nice details, exposure and beautiful natural environment :) Well done and TFS,

Hi Rick
I love the look of the Yellow-headed Blackbird. I don't see them around Cochrane but do see them while in Red Deer occasionaly.

A nice portrait of this little guy as he sits in the willows. Colours, lighting and detail are great.
TFS Janice

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-05-04 8:16]

Hi Rick,

good shot of this striking bird, the light in his eye is very nice. I wish we had such vividly marked birds in abundance here!

have a good weekend,


Hello Rick , very good colors and comp. TFS.

Hola Rich,
Una imagen muy bella con bonitos colores y excelente definición. Saludos
José Ramón

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2007-05-04 9:21]

Hi Rick
Excellent capture what a nice bird ,I never saw them before .Very sharp image with beautiful colors,I like the cath light of the eye.
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-05-04 10:32]

Hi Rick,

I have never seen a yellow headed blackbird before. What a beautiful bird. The colors are beautiful and I like his eye.


  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2007-05-04 12:52]

Hello Rick, what a wonderful shot of this blackbird, amazing POV, great composition, and explendid BG..Well done..

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-05-04 14:36]

Hello Rick,
Good capture of the Yellow-headed Blackbird, well composed in a pleasing natural setting. I would have given you credit for the quality of this shot irrespective of Ralf's WS, which does improve the sharpness and tidies it up.
TFS and have a nice weekend.

  • Great 
  • juanjo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 167 W: 8 N: 27] (1142)
  • [2007-05-04 15:20]

hello Rick

stunning colourful bird well framed between the branches



  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-05-04 17:13]

Hi Rick,
wow this one we don't see here to often, amazing those colors of this bird. Did great capturing this beauty, despite the many branches you did an excellent job focusing in on the bird. POV, sharpness and colors are great.

Nice capture , Rick . I haven't seen too many of these guys around this year , good eye on this one . The budding leaves touch this shot off , and focus on the bird is excellent . Hope I can get one to co operate as well with me . TFS , Kevin .

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-05-04 20:55]

Hi Rick.- I had never seen one of this colorful birds. This photo is very clear and focus. Nice Bg Luis52.

Hi Rick,
nice handsome fellow you have put up today.I have got me a few shots of these this year as well so ya beat me to the punch.You have excellent colour in this one and very good focus and the contrast in colours is very good as well.I like your shot and the workshop version really does help it along as well so Tfs. Bob

Hi dear Rick ,
very nice image with great composition.
vivid colours and excellent sharpness.
very well captured
thanks for sharing
besrt wishes

Hi Rick, splendid composition with beautiful bird and lovely BG, wonderful colors, well done, have a great week end,

Magnifique couleurs et composition.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-05-09 23:23]

Hi Rick

I love these birds ,they are very attractive.I wish we had them here.Very nicely captured with excellent eye contact and catch light.The lighting is very well handled.Nicely composed in the shrub .TFS


Hello Rick,
Great shot of this bird. Never seen one myself, good pov, and great color. TFS

Thanks for your comments on my photo " Spring Wildflowers (32)" :o)

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