Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus




Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Blue green with black, brown and purple marks

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

11 - 12

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground., Near or over water., In cattails, bushes, trees.

Nest Material:

Dried cattail leaves and sedges, lined with fine grasses and rushes.





Red-winged Blackbird: Small blackbird with jet-black body and bright red shoulder patches edged with yellow on bottom. Female and juvenile are heavily streaked dark and pale brown overall, have dark eye and malar stripes, and brown throat; 1st summer male is usually darker and may show red and yellow shoulder patches.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Red-winged Blackbird: Three to five pale blue green eggs marked with dark brown and purple are laid in a well-made cup of marsh grass or reeds and attached to emergent vegetation or built in a marsh shrub. Incubation ranges from 11 to 12 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Red-winged Blackbird: Feeds on insects, small fruits, seeds, waste grain, and small aquatic invertebrates. Runs or hops while foraging on the ground. Although regarded as a pest because it eats grain in cultivated fields, the farmer also benefits from consumption of harmful insects.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Nut Meats, Suet, Millet


Red-winged Blackbird: Song is a rich, musical "o-ka-leeee" or "konk-a-ree."

Similar Species

Red-winged Blackbird: Tricolored Blackbird has white bordered red shoulder patch. Female has darker belly.

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