The Brewers Blackbird of the Pacific Northwest
Watching the first Brewers Blackbirds to arrive at my feeders is such a joy. Sometimes there will be hundreds of mixed males and females and to watch the males take turns giving a short courtship dance one after another while they give the sharp trilling call that they are known for is almost like a comical play.
The brewer’s blackbird is a medium sized blackbird. Adults have a pointed bill. Adult males have black plumage and the female is dark grey. The male has a bright yellow eye, while 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.
Brewers blackbirds will nest in loose colonies and even sometimes practice polygamy when there are more females available than males. Even so, permanent pair bonds are formed. The pairs will reunite each spring after spending the non breeding season in separate migrating flocks. This robin sized blackbird is a common breeding bird in open and semi open country throughout western Canada including all of BC Coast, ranging east through the northern Great Plains to the western Great Lakes.
These are very friendly birds, quite beautiful as well. A neighbor of ours once had a young bird take a shine to her and practically moved in with her. She named him Jellybean. This bird quite often would fly over to our house, in through the kitchen window and land on the back of a chair. He would hang out whistling and hopping around as l went about doing whatever it was that i was doing at the time. I enjoyed his visits to my home immensely, we would be chattering back and forth, like we were a couple of old friends having coffee.