Nestling Diets of Red-Winged and Yellow-Headed Blackbirds on Playa Lakes of West Texas

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) Science Article 3


Red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and yellow-headed blackbirds (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) are abundant breeding birds on the playa lakes of the Panhandle of Texas. Earlier studies have described the foods of nestling icterids in areas supporting wetlands undisturbed by agriculture (Willson 1966, Robertson 1973, Orians and Hom 1969), but comparable data are lacking from agricultural areas. Accordingly, we report the food habits of nestling red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds on playa lakes encircled ‘by agricultural lands and the amount of dietary overlap between the two species.

David H. Fischer and Eric G. Bolen, Department of Range and WildlifeManagement, Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas

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