Beware of Attack Blackbird!

Female Brewer’s Blackbird in flight at the regional office in Rancho Cordova.

If you live in the greater Sacramento area, chances are you’re familiar with the Brewer’s Blackbird.

These birds require open ground to forage on and dense vegetation for nesting, which makes urban areas prime real estate for a Brewer’s Blackbird community. Our regional office in Rancho Cordova is no exception!

We have a resident community of blackbirds year-round and currently we find ourselves at the peak of breeding season.

Our parking lot has become a source of amusement for passive onlookers as well as a source of humiliation to those at the receiving end of the blackbird attacks. While this behavior will eventually wind down as the season progresses, we caution anyone brave enough to enter our doors – beware of the attack blackbird … he has a nest to protect.

Spring is always a busy time of year for animals and the Wildlife Investigations Lab alike. Animals are not only becoming more active after a restful winter season, but many are also caring for young.

Blackbird couples are monogamous and both the male and female will care for their chicks, typically having 1-2 broods a year with a clutch size of 3-7 eggs. During this time, the male is extremely territorial and will harass, dive-bomb, and chase anything that poses a threat … including people!

Adult males are easily identified by their iridescent black plumage and bright yellow eyes. Adult females are a little more discrete and are a dull brown color with darker wings and tail.

These colonial birds are very habituated to people and are commonly seen roosting, nesting, and feeding in urban and agricultural areas.

A male Brewer’s Blackbird keeps a vigilant eye on passers-by at CDFGs Region 2 Office in Rancho Cordova.

For more information on the Brewer’s Blackbird or other birds in our area, please visit:

A nest of Brewer’s Blackbird chicks at the Region 2 office.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brewers_Blackbird/id

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birding/brewers-blackbird/

http://birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/brewers_blackbird

Fish and Game would like to remind people to be wildlife aware. Please observe wildlife and their young respectfully and at a safe distance. For more information, follow the link:

http://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/dfg-reminds-the-public-to-leave-young-wildlife-alone/

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