Yellow-Winged Blackbird: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

One of the interesting yellow-winged blackbird facts is that only the males have the eponymous yellow-winged shoulders.

The yellow-winged blackbird is endemic to the continent of South America. The bird is named for the yellow patch on the shoulder end of its wings. The male has a black body whereas the female has a mottled gray look.  Female birds are also known to have pale eyebrows and the young juvenile birds look similar to the adult females. Within its habitat range in South America, the yellow-winged blackbird is found in the nations of Argentina, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It does not undergo major migration outside the South American continent, even in the winter. It is a resident breeder in these countries except Uruguay. The yellow-winged blackbird is found near swamps, pastures, and intertidal marshes. It favors habitats near water and is also found near wetlands, lakes, reed beds, and fields. The yellow-winged blackbird is considered a species of 'Least Concern' by the IUCN and its population trends are stable. It is not under immediate threat by humans.

For more relatable content, check out these crested duck facts and kelp goose facts for kids.

Yellow-winged Blackbird

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects, beetles, caterpillars, berries, seeds, fruits, earthworms, snails, spiders

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

1-1.3 oz (27.5-35.7 g)

How long are they?

7-10 in (18-25.4 cm)

How tall are they?

Around 14 in (35.6 cm)

What do they look like?

Black, bright yellow, gray

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Humans, possibly cats, hawks, sparrows, foxes

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Swamps, pastureland, intertidal marshes


South America





Scientific Name

Agelasticus thilius





Yellow-Winged Blackbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a yellow-winged blackbird?

The yellow-winged blackbird is a bird.

What class of animal does a yellow-winged blackbird belong to?

The yellow-winged blackbird belongs to the 'Aves' class of animals.

How many yellow-winged blackbirds are there in the world?

The exact number of yellow-winged blackbirds in the world is unknown. Their population, however, shows a stable trend.

Where does a yellow-winged blackbird live?

The yellow-winged blackbird is endemic to the South American continent. Its range map includes the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is a resident breeder in all of these countries except Uruguay, where it is present only for the breeding season and not the winter.

What is a yellow-winged blackbird's habitat?

Within its range map, the yellow-winged blackbird is found nesting in swamps, pastureland, and intertidal marshes. It is never too far away from water in summer or winter and is seen nesting near wetlands, lakes, reed beds, and fields. The yellow-winged blackbird is found up to elevations of 12,108 ft (3,690 m).

Whom do yellow-winged blackbirds live with?

Yellow-winged blackbirds are mostly seen in a small flock with other birds near wetlands, but may also be seen alone or in pairs.

How long does a yellow-winged blackbird live?

Yellow-winged blackbirds may live for an average of 3.4 years, and their generation time length is 4.6 years.

How do they reproduce?

Yellow-winged blackbirds reproduce by mating and laying eggs. Males may use postures, calls, and vocalizations for attracting female birds. The pair mates and female birds lay 3-5 eggs. Wetlands within a range that of plentiful resources are defended by males and both parents take part in caring for the eggs and young chicks.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of yellow-winged blackbirds according to the International Union of Conservation of Nature is 'Least Concern'.

Yellow-Winged Blackbird Fun Facts

What do yellow-winged blackbirds look like?

Males of the yellow-winged blackbird species are solid black and have bright yellow shoulders. The females are mottled gray and they have blackish streaked, vestigial shoulders that are yellow. The irises are dark and the bills are pointed and blackish. The tails of yellow-winged blackbirds are square and long. The yellow shoulder on the wings of males sometimes gets hidden when perching but is very apparent in flight. Females also have pale eyebrows. The young, juvenile male and female birds look similar to adult females.

(Yellow-winged blackbirds have dark irises and blackish bills.)

How cute are they?

The yellow-winged blackbird may not look cute, but it has a very stark beauty about it. It is completely black in color, with the female being grayer. The defining feature as the name suggests is the bright yellow patch on its wings, near the shoulder that looks like a beautiful piece of ornamentation. They are known to visit water and food feeders put out by humans living close to their territories.

How do they communicate?

Yellow-winged blackbirds communicate via songs and calls. The song is a series of click-like sounds followed by grating chirps. Its calls sound like 'trile' or 'thili'.

How big is a yellow-winged blackbird?

Yellow-winged blackbirds are 7-10 in (18-25.4 cm) long and they have wingspans of around 14 in (35.6 cm) which makes them twice as big as verdins.

These birds are similar in size to Brewer's blackbirds and red-winged blackbirds.

How fast can a yellow-winged blackbird fly?

Like all medium-sized birds, yellow-winged birds fly around speeds of 25 mph (40 kph).

How much does a yellow-winged blackbird weigh?

Yellow-winged blackbirds weigh around 1-1.3 oz (27.5-35.7 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names used for the males and females of the yellow-winged blackbird species. But since they are birds, males may be called 'cocks' and the females may be called 'hens'.

What would you call a baby yellow-winged blackbird?

A baby yellow-winged blackbird is called a 'chick'.

What do they eat?

Yellow-winged blackbirds eat seeds, insects, beetles, caterpillars, berries, fruits, earthworms, snails, and spiders. It is a common sight to see a flock of yellow-winged blackbirds foraging for seeds.

The possible predators of these birds include cats, hawks, sparrows, and foxes.

Are they dangerous?

Yellow-winged blackbirds are not really dangerous, but they may defend their nests like any other bird.

Would they make a good pet?

It's unlikely that yellow-winged blackbirds would make good pets. These birds are wild creatures with thriving populations in their wild range. Humans living within their range may put out feeders for them.

Did you know...

Blackbirds with yellow wings include the yellow-winged blackbird, the yellow-shouldered blackbird, the red-winged blackbird, and the oriole blackbird. The yellow-shouldered blackbird looks very similar to the yellow-winged blackbird but is bigger and has a more prominent and bigger yellow patch around its shoulders which is outlined by a margin that is white. With red-winged blackbirds, males have a yellow wing bar that is pale, and female birds also have some yellow pigment on their shoulders. And there is a strip of yellow on the lower wing-coverts of the oriole blackbird.

The yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) is not a rare species. In fact, these birds are abundant in the North American continent and they show increasing population trends. The yellow-headed blackbird species is also classified as a species of 'Least Concern' by the IUCN.

The yellow-winged blackbird belongs to the order Passeriformes, family Icteridae, and genus Agelasticus.

The red-winged blackbird belongs to the Icteridae family, order Passeriformes, and genus Agelaius.

The rusty blackbird and the red-winged blackbird are both North American birds.

The scientific name of the yellow-winged blackbird, Agelasticus thilius can be said to have Greek and Chilean origins. Agelasticus comes from the Greek word for 'gregarious' and thilius comes from the Chilean word for the calls of these birds, 'thili'.

The Icteridae family consists of birds like the New World orioles, meadowlarks, cowbirds, grackles, caciques, oropendolas, the bobolink, and the New World blackbirds. Every species in this family is only distantly related to the common blackbird species, despite the name. The common blackbird belongs to the family of Old World thrushes, endemic to the Eurasian regions.

What does a female yellow-headed blackbird look like?

The coloration of the female yellow-headed blackbird is subdued compared to the bright yellow of the male's hood. The supercilium of the female is also a duller yellow, as is the throat and the breast. The female is grayish-brown whereas the male is dark black. The female also has white streaks that extend down the breast.

Do yellow-headed blackbirds migrate?

Yes, yellow-headed blackbirds undergo migration, specifically in the summer to west-central regions in the USA and Canada. It goes back to Mexico in the winter and sometimes Costa Rica as well. Yellow-headed blackbirds are quintessentially North American birds, staying in the continent for winter and summer.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these German nun pigeon fun facts for kids and red owl interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable tufted coquette hummingbird coloring pages.



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