Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Code 4

RWBL

Code 6

AGEPHO

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Red-winged Blackbird is found throughout North and Central America. Breeding habitats spread from Alaska, Newfoundland and Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico and Guatemala. Some populations may also be found in El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. Winters may be spent in Pennsylvania and British Columbia, but northern populations usually migrate south to Mexico and the southern United States. This species typically feed on seeds and insects. These birds also nest in small colonies and migrate in single-sex flocks. Nests are built in cattails, grasslands or willow bushes. The conservation rating for the Red-winged Blackbird is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Red-winged Blackbird: Small blackbird with jet-black body and bright red shoulder patches edged with yellow on bottom. Runs or hops while foraging on the ground. Eats seeds, grains, berries, fruits, insects, caterpillars, spiders, snails, grubs and mollusks. Strong direct flight on rapid wing beats.


Range and Habitat

Red-winged Blackbird: Breeds from Alaska east across Canada to Newfoundland and south to northern Baja California, central Mexico, the Gulf Coast, and Florida. Spends winters regularly across the U.S. north to British Columbia, Great Lakes, and Pennsylvania. Preferred habitats include fresh and saltwater marshes, sedge meadows, alfalfa fields, and other croplands.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"o-ka-leeee", "konk-a-ree"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Red-winged Blackbird is native to North America.
  • During migration the Red-winged Blackbird can travel at over 30 mph.
  • Each pair of Red-winged Blackbirds raise 2-3 broods per season. Each time they build a new nest, which keeps the nest from becoming infected with parasites that could kill the baby birds.
  • A group of blackbirds has many collective nouns, including a "cloud", "cluster", and "merl" of blackbirds.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Red-winged Blackbird

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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ShoulderX
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X