Kelly Vaughn

If we’re being painfully honest, yellow-headed blackbirds (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) don’t have the loveliest call in the animal kingdom. They make up for it, though, with their stunning coloration. Found at different times of year across Arizona, the brightly colored birds nest in shrubs near wetlands and forage on the ground for insects. In winter, massive flocks of yellow-headed blackbirds are often seen over farm fields. Interestingly, these blackbirds share habitat with their red-winged counterparts, but they don’t always get along. The larger yellow-headed blackbirds are frequently aggressive toward red-winged blackbirds — sometimes going so far as to displace them from their nests.