The Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) is a medium-sized blackbird.
Adults have a pointed bill. Adult males have black plumage; the female is dark grey. The male has a bright yellow eye; the female's is dark. They resemble the eastern member of the same genus, the Rusty Blackbird; however, this bird has a shorter bill and the male's head is iridescent purple. This bird is often mistaken for the Common Grackle but has a shorter tail. The call is a sharp check which is also distinguishable. This bird is unrelated to the European Blackbird.
Their breeding habitat is open and semi-open areas, often near water, across central and western North America. The cup nest can be located in various locations: in a tree, in tall grass or on a cliff. They often nest in colonies.
These birds are often permanent residents in the west. Other birds migrate to the southeastern United States and Mexico.
They forage in shallow water or in fields, mainly eating seeds and insects, some berries. They sometimes catch insects in flight. They feed in flocks outside of the breeding season, sometimes with other blackbirds.
The range of this bird has been expanding east in the Great Lakes region.
This bird is named after the ornithologist Thomas Mayo Brewer.
The Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
- Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
- Martin, S. G. 2002. Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus). In The Birds of North America, No. 616 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
- Horn HS. Ph.D. (1966). COLONIAL NESTING IN THE BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (EUPHAGUS CYANOCEPHALUS) AND ITS ADAPTIVE SIGNIFICANCE. University of Washington, United States -- Washington.
- Stepney PHR. Ph.D. (1979). COMPETITIVE AND ECOLOGICAL OVERLAP BETWEEN BREWER'S BLACKBIRD AND THE COMMON GRACKLE, WITH CONSIDERATION OF ASSOCIATED FORAGING SPECIES. University of Toronto (Canada), Canada.
- Bradford DF. (1991). Mass Mortality and Extinction in a High-Elevation Population of Rana-Muscosa. Journal of Herpetology. vol 25, no 2. p. 174-177.
- Brown DJ, Hubert WA & Anderson SH. (1996). Beaver ponds create wetland habitat for birds in mountains of southeastern Wyoming. Wetlands. vol 16, no 2. p. 127-133.
- Brush AH & Power DM. (1970). Electrophoretic Studies on Hemo Globins of Brewers Blackbird Euphagus-Cyanocephalus. Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology. vol 33, no 3. p. 587-599.
- Butler RW. (1981). Nesting of Brewers Blackbirds Euphagus-Cyanocephalus on Man-Made Structures and Natural Sites in British-Columbia Canada. Canadian Field Naturalist. vol 95, no 4. p. 476-477.
- Crase FT & Dehaven RW. (1976). Selected Bibliography on the Food Habits of North American Blackbirds. U S Fish & Wildlife Service Special Scientific Report Wildlife. vol 192, p. 1-20.
- Crase FT & Dehaven RW. (1978). Food Selection by 5 Sympatric California USA Blackbird Species. California Fish & Game. vol 64, no 4. p. 255-267.
- Crins B & O'Donnell S. (1993). Breeding habitats of Brewer's Blackbird in Central Ontario. Ontario Birds. vol 11, no 3. p. 113-117.
- Devitt OE. (1969). 1st Nesting Records of Brewers Blackbird Euphagus-Cyanocephalus for King Township and Simcoe County Ontario. Ontario Field Biologist. vol 23, p. 41-42.
- Deweese LR, McEwen LC, Hensler GL & Petersen BE. (1986). Organochlorine Contaminants in Passeriformes and Other Avian Prey of the Peregrine Falcon Falco-Peregrinus in the Western USA. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. vol 5, no 7. p. 675-694.
- Deweese LR, McEwen LC, Settimi LA & Deblinger RD. (1983). Effects on Birds of Fenthion Aerial Application for Mosquito Control. Journal of Economic Entomology. vol 76, no 4. p. 906-911.
- Erskine AJ & Davidson GS. (1976). Birds in the Fort-Nelson Lowlands of Northeastern British-Columbia Canada. Syesis. vol 9, p. 1-12.
- Furrer RK. (1975). Breeding Success and Nest Site Stereotypy in a Population of Brewers Blackbirds Euphagus-Cyanocephalus. Oecologia. vol 20, no 4. p. 339-350.
- Greek TJ, Paw UKT & Weathers WW. (1989). A Comparison of Operative Temperature Estimated by Taxidermic Mounts and Meteorological Data. Journal of Thermal Biology. vol 14, no 1. p. 19-26.
- Grummt W. (1972). Breeding of Brewers Blackbird in the Berlin Zoo Euphagus-Cyanocephalus. Avicultural Magazine. vol 78, no 5. p. 153-154.
- Hansen AJ & Rohwer S. (1986). Coverable Badges and Resource Defense in Birds. Animal Behaviour. vol 34, no 1. p. 69-76.
- Harms KC, Beletsky LD & Orians GH. (1991). Conspecific Nest Parasitism in Three Species of New World Blackbird. Condor. vol 93, no 4. p. 967-974.
- Horn HS. (1968). The Adaptive Significance of Colonial Nesting in the Brewers Blackbird Euphagus-Cyanocephalus Food Supply Importance. Ecology. vol 49, no 4. p. 682-694.
- Hudon J & Muir AD. (1996). Characterization of the reflective materials and organelles in the bright irides of North American blackbirds (Icterinae). Pigment Cell Research. vol 9, no 2. p. 96-104.
- Kennedy PL, Stahlecker DW & Fair JM. (1995). Organochlorine concentrations in potential avian prey of breeding peregrine falcons in North-Central New Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist. vol 40, no 1. p. 94-100.
- Koenig WD. (1985). Dunking of Prey by Brewer's Blackbirds Euphagus-Cyanocephalus a Novel Source of Water for Nestlings. Condor. vol 87, no 3. p. 444-445.
- Martin SG. (2002). Brewer's Blackbird: Euphagus cyanocephalus. Birds of North America. vol 616, p. 1-31.
- Matson RH. (1989). Distribution of the Testis-Specific Ldh-X among Avian Taxa with Comments on the Evolution of the Ldh Gene Family. Systematic Zoology. vol 38, no 2. p. 106-115.
- Patterson CB, Erckmann WJ & Orians GH. (1980). Experimental Study of Parental Investment and Polygyny in Male Blackbirds. American Naturalist. vol 116, no 6. p. 757-769.
- Power DM. (1971). Range Expansion of Brewers Blackbird Phenetics of a New Population. Canadian Journal of Zoology. vol 49, no 2. p. 175-183.
- Powers LR & Wheeler MJ. (1987). Brewer's Blackbird Feeding on a Barn Swallow. Wilson Bulletin. vol 99, no 2. p. 294-295.
- Pylypec B. (1991). Impacts of Fire on Bird Populations in a Fescue Prairie. Canadian Field Naturalist. vol 105, no 3. p. 346-349.
- Quinn JS, Guglich E, Seutin G, Lau R, Marsolais J, Parna L, Boag PT & White BN. (1992). Characterization and Assessment of an Avian Repetitive DNA Sequence as an Icterid Phylogenetic Marker. Genome. vol 35, no 1. p. 155-162.
- Richards JM & Peck GK. (1968). Nesting of Brewers Blackbird Euphagus-Cyanocephalus in Ontario and Durham Counties. Ontario Field Biologist. vol 22, p. 25-27.
- Riemann HP, Behymer DE, Franti CE, Crabb C & Schwab RG. (1979). Survey of Q Fever Agglutinins in Birds and Small Rodents in Northern California USA 1975-1976. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. vol 15, no 4. p. 515-524.
- Saveraid EH, Debinski DM, Kindscher K & Jakubauskas ME. (2001). A comparison of satellite data and landscape variables in predicting bird species occurrences in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, USA. Landscape Ecology. vol 16, no 1. p. 71-83.
- Smith JK & Zimmerman EG. (1976). Biochemical Genetics and Evolution of North American Blackbirds Family Icteridae. Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology B. vol 53, no 3. p. 319-324.
- Sodhi NS. (1992). Comparison between urban and rural bird communities in prairie Saskatchewan: Urbanization and short-term population trends. Canadian Field Naturalist. vol 106, no 2. p. 210-215.
- Spicer GS. (1978). A New Species and Several New Host Records of Avian Nasal Mites Acarina Rhinonyssinae Turbinoptinae. Journal of Parasitology. vol 64, no 5. p. 891-894.
- Stepney PHR. (1975). Tree Nesting Sites and a Breeding Range Extension of Brewers Blackbird in the Great Lakes Region. Canadian Field Naturalist. vol 89, no 1. p. 76-77.
- Stepney PHR. (1975). Wintering Distribution of Brewers Blackbird Historical Aspect Recent Changes and Fluctuations. Bird Banding. vol 46, no 2. p. 106-125.
- Stepney PHR. (1979). Brewers Blackbird Breeding in the Northwest-Territories Canada. Canadian Field Naturalist. vol 93, no 1. p. 76-77.
- Stepney PHR & Power DM. (1973). Analysis of the Eastward Breeding Expansion of Brewers Blackbird Plus General Aspects of the Avian Expansions. Wilson Bulletin. vol 85, no 4. p. 452-464.
- Verbeek NAM, Butler RW & Richardson H. (1981). Interspecific Allo Preening Solicitation in Female Brewers Blackbirds Euphagus-Cyanocephalus. Condor. vol 83, no 2. p. 179-180.
- Walton K. (2000). First verified nesting of Brewer's Blackbird in Muskoka District Municipality. Ontario Birds. vol 18, no 1.
- Warkentin IG & Reed JM. (1999). Effects of habitat type and degradation on avian species richness in Great Basin riparian habitats. Great Basin Naturalist. vol 59, no 3. p. 205-212.
- Westmoreland D & Kiltie RA. (1996). Egg crypsis and clutch survival in three species of blackbirds (Icteridae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. vol 58, no 2. p. 159-172.
- Wiggins DA. (1990). Brewer's Blackbird Parasitizes Tree Swallow. Wilson Bulletin. vol 102, no 1.
- Yezerinac SM, Loughed SC & Handford P. (1992). Measurement error and morphometric studies: Statistical power and observer experience. Systematic Biology. vol 41, no 4. p. 471-482.
- Zakrajsek EJ & Bissonette JA. (2005). Ranking the risk of wildlife species hazardous to military aircraft. Wildlife Society Bulletin. vol 33, no 1. p. 258-264.