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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Brewer's Blackbird -- Euphagus cyanocephalus

RANGE: Breeds from southwestern and central British Columbia to southern Ontario, south throughout the northern United States; resident in the Pacific Coast, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain states. Winters from southern British Columbia, east-central Montana, and the northern portions of the Gulf States, south to Baja California, northern Mexico, southern Texas, the Gulf Coast, and Florida.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Prefers to be near water in habitats such as riparian woodlands, aspen groves, parklands, cultivated lands, and marshes; often found around human habitation. Uses bulrushes and pines for roosting and daytime resting places and displays from the tops of pine trees. In winter, frequents pastures and fields.


NEST: Nests singly or in loose colonies on the ground or in trees and shrubs 20 to 30 feet above the ground. Places the cup-shaped nest usually at or near the end of a branch.

FOOD: Consumes a diet of about 68 percent vegetative and 32 percent animal material gleaned mostly from the ground. Commonly follows plows searching for insects.

REFERENCES: Beal 1900, Terres 1980, Williams 1952.

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