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Brewer's Blackbird


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird to be seen in the full sun, the male Brewer’s Blackbird is a glossy, almost liquid combination of black, midnight blue, and metallic green. Females are a staid brown, without the male’s bright eye or the female Red-winged Blackbird’s streaks. Common in towns and open habitats of much of the West, you’ll see these long-legged, ground-foraging birds on sidewalks and city parks as well as chuckling in flocks atop shrubs, trees, and reeds.


Both males and females sing two kinds of rather rudimentary songs. The first is a shrill, rising squee that lasts about 0.8 second, with a metallic sound. It’s reminiscent of the ree part of the Red-winged Blackbird’s conk-la-ree call. The second song is a nonmusical rushing gurgle, also lasting less than a second.


  • Song, calls
  • Courtesy of Macaulay Library
    © Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Brewer’s Blackbirds often make a tchup or chuk similar to the calls of other blackbirds, and used in a manner scientists have called “conversational in nature.” A more intense, slightly higher pitched version of this call is used as an alarm, to chase off intruders, and when carrying food for young. Males make a clear, descending whistle, about 0.5 second long, when they sight hawks or large birds. Quarreling females chatter at each other with a kit-tit-tit-tit call.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Backyard Tips

Brewer’s Blackbirds readily come to feeders, though they’re a bit clumsy when perching. You’re likely to get the best results by scattering seed on the ground or using an open platform feeder. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

Find This Bird

Look for Brewer’s Blackbirds in two places: meandering along open ground, eyes peeled for crumbs, seeds, and insects; and perched up high, particularly on utility lines and in groups in the tops of trees.

Hear sounds and see videos of Brewer's Blackbird from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library archive

Get Involved

Check Project FeederWatch results for Brewer’s Blackbird sightings in your area. Then join the project and contribute your own sightings!

eBird needs your sightings – of Brewer’s Blackbirds, their rarer counterpart the Rusty Blackbird, and other birds. Help us understand the status and distribution of birds in North America.



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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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