Fun Brewer's Blackbird Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Shikha Sharma
Brewer's blackbird facts are about a North American bird species.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

The Brewer's blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) is a small-sized bird belonging to the family Icteridae. They are closely related to the common grackle, rusty blackbird, and red-winged blackbird. They are found in North America and reside in different kinds of habitats. Some of their populations are migratory and travel to other places for wintering.

This species of birds were named after naturalist Thomas Mayo Brewer. They are highly social in nature and live in flocks. They are also seen foraging in flocks for seeds, grains, and insects.  The birds usually form monogamous pairs for breeding. The males have a glossy and iridescent body while the females have a brown body with darker brown wings. The male and female Brewer's blackbird call is quite similar and used by them depending on the situation. These birds are protected under the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Though they are very commonly seen in their native habitats, including urban and suburban habitats, their population has been dwindling. This species is highly territorial in nature and displays aggressive behavior towards possible intruders.

To learn more about Brewer's blackbirds, continue reading below! If you find this article interesting, you can also check out the harpy eagle and the pileated woodpecker.

Brewer's Blackbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Brewer's blackbird?

Brewer's blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) is a bird native to North America. They are a similar species to the rusty blackbird.

What class of animal does a Brewer's blackbird belong to?

These birds are part of the class Aves. They belong to the order Passeriformes, family Icteridae.

How many Brewer's blackbirds are there in the world?

Though the exact number of Brewer's blackbird population is not known, the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN has marked a decreasing trend in the population of this bird species. Their numbers are thought to be decreasing at a rate of nearly 2.1% per year. They are, however, classified as a species of Least Concern thus far by the IUCN.

Where does a Brewer's blackbird live?

Brewer's blackbird range covers a wide area in North America. They usually spend the breeding season in places like Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, and so on. In the winter seasons, the birds living in central North America migrate to the southern states and Mexico. Some populations also migrate to British Columbia and Washington. They can be seen all year long in places like California, Nevada, and Oregon in the west.  

What is a Brewer's blackbird's habitat?

The habitat of Brewer's blackbird covers a range of different kinds of areas. These birds are mostly seen in open habitats of different types. They can live in forests, mountains, grasslands, tundra, marsh, and so on. However, these birds are much more accustomed to living in urban and suburban habitats. So, they can be commonly seen in parks, parking lots, golf courses, and fields. These birds are known to nest in colonies and usually find a treetop or a shrub to make their nest using grass, twigs, and other materials.

Who do Brewer's blackbirds live with?

This bird species is highly social in nature and can be seen in flocks. Their nesting also takes place in colonies and each colony can have around 100 birds.

How long does a Brewer's blackbird live?

The average longevity of a Brewer's blackbird is 11 years in the wild. In captivity, this ranges 8 to 12 years. The longest time survived by a bird in this species is 12.5 years.

How do they reproduce?

Brewer's blackbird breeding behavior is mostly monogamous in nature. However, polygamy is displayed when there are more female birds. The male bird uses vocalizations to attract the female during courtship. These birds start pairing and nesting from late winter to early spring. The female lays and incubates up to seven eggs. The Brewer's blackbird eggs usually have different colors and patterns. Once the young chicks hatch out, they are dependent on both parents for food. Brewer's blackbird fledgling stays in the nest for 12 to 16 days before leaving. However, the juvenile Brewer's blackbird is continually cared for by its parents even after they have left the nest. This behavior is common to most blackbirds.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Brewer's blackbird has been marked as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, their numbers are decreasing.

Brewer's Blackbird Fun Facts

What do Brewer's blackbirds look like?

Brewer's blackbird participates in breeding from April to May.

Brewer's blackbirds can be characterized as being small North American birds with long tails. The male Brewer's blackbirds have feathers that look glossy black with a green iridescence. They also have a purplish or blue sheen on their heads. The female birds appear brown in color. The eye color is also different for the two. While the males have yellow eyes, the females have dark brown eyes. The young birds are light brown in color. When compared to a common grackle who belong to the same family as Brewer's blackbirds, the latter seems to have a much shorter yellow beak.

How cute are they?

This species of bird appear really cute and beautiful. The male Brewer's blackbird characteristics especially appear quite attractive because of their iridescent coats of feathers. The young birds are also very adorable.

How do they communicate?

This species of bird are known to communicate through body movements and a range of calls and vocalizations. They have different calls for mating, warning, flocking, and so on. The male and female birds seem to share mostly the same range of vocalizations. Common Brewer's blackbird calls are 'tchup' or 'chuk'. The male Brewer's blackbird calls also include whistles when they catch a glimpse of any bigger bird. A Brewer's blackbird female song is the same as that of a male and is either a 'squee' sound or a rushed non-musical sound lasting not more than a second.

How big is a Brewer's blackbird?

The Brewer's blackbird species have a length ranging from 7.8-9.8 in (20- 25 cm). Their wingspan measures 14.5 in (37 cm) on average. These birds appear smaller than other members of their family due to their short beaks and comparatively shorter tails. The common grackle birds appear much larger than Brewer's blackbirds.

How fast can a Brewer's blackbird fly?

The exact Brewer's blackbird flying speed is not known. However, these birds are migratory in nature and travel very long distances during winter. The birds which reside in the central region of North America fly nearly 1,500miles (2414 kms) to spend the winter season in the southern United States and southern Mexico. These birds use gliding movements right when they are about to land.

How much does a Brewer's blackbird weigh?

The weight range in Brewer's blackbirds is from 1.7-0.3 (50- 86 g). The male Brewer's blackbirds are larger than the females. The females usually do not weigh more than 2.3 oz (67 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female birds of this species are known as male Brewer's blackbird and female Brewer's blackbird, respectively.

What would you call a baby Brewer's blackbird?

A Brewer's blackbird baby is known as a chick, hatchling, or fledgling.

What do they eat?

These birds are omnivorous in nature and feed on a variety of insects along with seeds, rice, corn, grains, and so on. They are usually seen foraging in flocks.

Are they aggressive?

Brewer's blackbirds are known to show aggressive behavior towards humans. There have been reports of these birds attacking people. They usually only attack when they perceive someone has come too close to their nest, during the breeding season. The males are much more aggressive in terms of such attacks. An easy way to get rid of these blackbirds from your own garden or backyard would be by placing statues of predatory animals that can scare them off or using sharp noises.

Would they make a good pet?

The Brewer's blackbirds are protected under the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Hence, it is not possible to keep them as pets without a license.

Did You Know...

Since Brewer's blackbirds and rusty blackbirds have a wide overlapping range, it can be difficult to differentiate the two. However, there are subtle differences you can point out in a rusty vs Brewer's blackbird. The beak of Brewer's blackbird is more conical when compared to the rusty blackbird. The males also have the characteristic iridescence which is not that prominent in the rusty blackbirds. In the females, Brewer's blackbirds have brown eyes, while the rusties have yellow eyes.

In general, blackbird species are symbolic of wisdom, mysteries, and beauty. If you see a blackbird, according to Brewer's blackbird symbolism, spiritually it could be a symbol prompting you to aim higher.

How did the Brewer's blackbird get its name?

The Brewer's blackbird's name was given to the species after the name of Thomas Mayo Brewer, who was a naturalist and ornithologist of the 19th century. He worked alongside J.J. Audubon who was also an ornithologist and naturalist. It was Audubon who saw this blackbird in the field and decided to name it after Brewer.

How do Brewer's blackbirds choose nests?

In Brewer's blackbirds, the female birds who arrive first choose the site for nesting. The other female birds follow this and pick areas nearby to build their nest as well. These birds live in large colonies in their habitat. They are known to build their nest using twigs, grass, weed, and so on. They also use hair, rootlets, and grass to line the nest. The nests can often be found in trees but also on the ground. This nesting preference can change every year. The Brewer's blackbird male has no role in building the nests.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the red kite and the moorhen.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Brewer's Blackbird coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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