Yellow-headed Blackbird in Stamford, CT

Photo by Chris Bosak A Yellow-headed Blackbird perches in a tree at Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary in April 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Yellow-headed Blackbird perches in a tree at Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary in April 2014.

By now you may have heard about a Yellow-headed Blackbird that has been hanging around Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Stamford, Conn. If not, don’t worry. I was a little late to the game, too.

But on Sunday morning I took a trip over there to see if the bird was still around. A birder from Rowayton was already there looking at the bird, which was at the main feeding station within the sanctuary. It remained only a few seconds before taking off to the top of a nearby tree. It returned after a few minutes and fed on the ground under the feeders for several minutes.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are rare sightings in New England. They are western and Midwestern birds. I love my New England Red-winged Blackbirds, but Yellow-headed Blackbirds are even more colorful and much larger. Having never seen on in New England before, I was very impressed with the bird’s color, size, yellow rump patch and white wing patches.

David Winston arrived and said the bird had been there for several days and it frequented the feeding station. Suddenly the birds all darted off into the woods and other safe areas. While the bird was elsewhere temporarily, David Winston took the opportunity to make sure the feeders were filled and the ground underneath had plenty to offer. David is tireless in his efforts to promote and maintain the sanctuary.

Photo by Chris Bosak David Winston fills the feeders at Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary this weekend, hoping to keep a rare Yellow-headed Blackbird in the area.

Photo by Chris Bosak
David Winston fills the feeders at Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary this weekend, hoping to keep a rare Yellow-headed Blackbird in the area.

See more photos of the bird (taken by David Winston) by clicking here.

David spotted a Cooper’s Hawk in a somewhat distant tree, hence the apprehension for the feeder birds to stay at the feeder. Eventually the hawk flew off and the blackbirds came back. By now a few more birders had arrived and the star of the show returned.

In the field guide “Birds of North America” Kenn Kaufman mentions something about the Yellow-headed Blackbird’s “awful attempts to sing.” I can now vouch for that as the Stamford bird vocalized several times while I was there.

I returned very briefly this afternoon (April 28, 2014), but did not see the bird. Truthfully, I didn’t look that hard today. Time was short. Hopefully it’s still around and many other birders will be able to see it.

Another great rarity spotted at Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Yellow-headed Blackbird eats seeds under a feeder station at Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary in April 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Yellow-headed Blackbird eats seeds under a feeder station at Cove Island Wildlife Sanctuary in April 2014.

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3 thoughts on “Yellow-headed Blackbird in Stamford, CT

  1. I am lucky enough to live in a area where we have a lot of Yellow-headed Blackbirds. They truly are beautiful birds. You nailed it with the call though. It sounds something like I do when I try to sing! They almost sound prehistoric but you cant mistake that call for anything which makes them easy to recognize. Beautiful photos as always!

    Like

  2. My husband just told me he saw the yellow headed blackbird hanging out with bluebirds and a cardinal
    We live close to bell town road
    He said the colors were amazing
    6/17/17

    Like

  3. My husband saw the yellow headed blackbird
    In our garden hanging out with a few bluebirds and a cardinal.
    He said the color was amazing
    We live in the belltown area
    6/17/17

    Like

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