Brewer's Blackbird
(Euphagus cyanocephalus)


Picture of bird
© Chuck Kling
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Brewer's Blackbird is an adaptable species inhabiting a wide range of human-modified and natural open habitats from central Ontario to the west coast. Although far more common today than pre-European settlement, results from the Breeding Bird Survey show that populations have decreased substantially and are now over 70% lower than they were in 1970. Reasons for the decrease are not well understood.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Partners in Flight (North America)Common birds in steep decline2017 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLarge DecreaseHighBelow Acceptable Level

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada5,000,000 - 50,000,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between mid-April and late May and ends between early July and mid-July, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.

Conservation and management

Originally a bird of the west, the species has followed corridors of roads, railways and forest clearings eastward as far as central Ontario (Martin 2002, Dunn and Gordon 2007). Although not known as a cropland pest, it is sometimes a victim of control programs due to its habit of flocking with other target members of the blackbird family (Martin 2002). Competition with the Common Grackle has had varying effects on populations (Martin 2002). Agricultural intensification and urbanization in the last 30 years and reversion of open habitat to forest in the eastern portion of the blackbird's range may all play a role in the population decrease.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type