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Brewer's Blackbird

A black bird with a whitish yellow eye perches on barbed wire.
Linda Tanner/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Category
Birds

Description

A little smaller than a robin, this bird has a long, sharp, dark bill. The male is glossy black with a green sheen on the body and a purple sheen on the head (visible in good light) with pale yellow eyes. The female has flat, brown plumage and usually has dark eyes. Brewer’s blackbirds are sometimes confused with several species but can be distinguished by the following features. The common grackle has a long, rudder-like tail. The brown-headed cowbird has a shorter tail and a cone-shaped bill. The European starling has a speckled appearance and dark eyes. The rusty blackbird has fall and early winter plumage with a rusty head, back, wings and tail and a rust-mottled belly.

Size

Approximately 8.3 to 9.8 inches in length. Wingspan of 14.6 inches.

Habitat

Brewer’s blackbirds can be found in pastures, feedlots, cultivated fields and riparian woodlands. These birds can be found nearly statewide in the winter, but are much more common in central and western Oklahoma.

Life Cycle

At feeders, this bird eats cracked corn, millet, milo and black-oil sunflower seeds. Away from feeders, they eat insects, seeds and some fruit.

How To Observe

Brewer’s blackbirds feed in flocks with other blackbirds. They prefer to feed on the ground.

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