Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hide 'n' seek with the yellow-heads.

Yellow-headed Blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus, Iona Beach Regional Park, Richmond, BC. May 2008.

As soon as you arrive at Iona Beach Regional Park at this time of year, your ears tell you there's an unusual bird around. From the cat-tail and bulrush marshes you can hear the clucks, brays and squeaky-hinge calls of the Yellow-headed Blackbird.

This is a bird of the central plains of North America, and, in British Columbia, is a locally common summer visitant in the South and Central Interior. It typically breeds in colonies, which can contain up to several hundred nests.

The small colony at Iona Beach Regional Park, which is just north of Vancouver International Airport, is the only sustained colony on the southern coast of BC.

Here the yellow-heads share space with the ubiquitous Red-winged Blackbird. This one, giving me the eye, is perched on Scotch broom, lamentably also ubiquitous; it's a vigorously invasive shrub. The billows of yellow behind the bird in the third picture are masses of Scotch broom on the far side of the marsh.


Chrisss said...

Never saw these before, they are beautiful.

Sandpiper said...

These are beautiful. I like your blog.

Texas Travelers said...

Love YHBB.
Great post.
Terrific photos.

I try to visit regularily,
but don't always leave comments.
Too many good blogs,
so little time.

Alaska Sunday is posted.
Come visit,
Troy and Martha