Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)


French: Quiscale de Brewer German: Purpurstärling Spanish: Zanate de Brewer

P[sarocolius]. cyanocephalus


, 1829,

Temascaltepec, Mexico




S Canada from N British Columbia E across S Northwest Territories, Alberta and Saskatchewan to S Ontario, throughout W USA S to California and New Mexico and E to W Nebraska and Michigan, and in NW Mexico (N Baja California). N breeders migrate to SW parts of breeding range and S to S USA and S Mexico.

Descriptive notes

Male 23 cm, 60–73 g; female 21 cm, 50·6–67 g. Male is glossy black, with purple iridescence on head and neck, greenish to bluish iridescence on rest of... read more


Song, by both sexes, a brief but varied “skwéé” or a “schrlup... read more


Original inhabited clearings and edges of several forest types, ranging from chaparral to montane... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists of invertebrates, small vertebrates, seeds; more rarely, fruits. Stomach contents of 285 birds from California mostly insects... read more


Season Apr–Jul; in resident populations (coastal California) courtship and pair-forming starts in Jan and takes 5–12 weeks, but... read more


Resident along Pacific coastal region, from SW British Columbia (Canada) S to N Baja California (... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant. Since early decades of 20th century has expanded into E parts of North America, most of this spread 1920s–1940s, but... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2020). Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).