Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Conspicuous, wetland-dwelling herald of spring.  Abundant throughout the US year-round and into Canada in summer.  Prefers wetlands; also in open areas and feeders in winter and migration; may form large mixed flocks in winter.  Sleek, all black, with variable red and yellow shoulder patch; female plumage streaked brown and sparrow-like; conical bill.  Spring males sing territorial “conk-a-ree” song throughout the day.  Diet mainly insects in summer, seeds in winter.  Nests polygamously, with males having up to 15 female partners; typically build nests in low marsh vegetation.  Lifespan up to 15 years.  Population ~ 190 million and stable.  


Posted on

January 24, 2015