Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus

In all of the alphabet there are only a few letters that are difficult for me to find a picture to represent. X is one of those letters. Fortunately it is a bit easier to find a scientific name that begins with an X. Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus is the scientific name for the yellow-headed blackbird. The yellow-headed blackbird is more closely related to meadowlarks then it is other blackbirds that is why it is in its own genus Xanthocephalus instead of Agelaius or Euphagus like most other blackbirds.
The yellow-headed blackbird breeds in the western United States and up into Canada. They inhabit prairie wetlands and cat-tail marshes. The nest is cup shaped and usually attached to the vegetation. Yellow-headed blackbirds nest communally. They typically also nest with in the same habitat as red-winged blackbirds. Since the yellow-headed black birds are larger then the red-winged blackbirds they usually get the better nesting spots. Yellow-headed blackbirds migrate down to the south western United States and Mexico for the winter.

9 comments:

Roger Owen Green said...

Yellow bird, very pretty!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

photowannabe said...

Beautiful birds with incredibly long names. I think you are the winner for the X word choice.

Kathy said...

You can also use this picture for next week! Great X contribution!

Kay L. Davies said...

I'll never forget the first time I saw a yellow-headed blackbird. I'm from the west coast, and our part of Alberta here doesn't have prairie wetlands, so we were in the car when I first saw them. I thought I was imagining things!
Your photos of them are spectacular. I also enjoyed your blog post about the loss of wetlands around the world. It is a big problem in British Columbia, I know, because people think nothing of building on bogs, wetlands, and fertile farmland.
Wishing you and the all-important wildlife habitat the very best for the coming year.
K

lotusleaf said...

Xcellent pictures!

Jo Bryant said...

such beautiful photos - and what a mouthful of a name

http://jobryantnz.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/x-is-for-xanthippe/

ChrisJ said...

I think I saw one of these many years ago when we lived in Canada.

kml said...

What a beauty he is with his bright color!

Happy New year!

zongrik said...

i love that yellow.

great find.

ornamented joshua