The yellow-headed blackbird is medium sized blackbird that breeds in the wetlands of western North America. They often breed in the same wetland as red-winged blackbirds but because they are larger they will often force the red-winged blackbirds out of the best nesting locations.
Male yellow-headed blackbirds arrive at the breeding grounds first. The come from the wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America. The male will defend his territory from other yellow-headed males as well as red-winged blackbirds and marsh wrens. The male will sing to attract females to nest in his territory. He will often mate with multiple females but he will usually only help raise the first group of nestlings. Females are much less colorful then the males. Since they spend quite a bit of time on the nest it is to their advantage to have better camouflage
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