Red-Winged Blackbird

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Agelaius Phoeniceus 

Red-winged Blackbird

Males have glossy black plumage, with conspicuous orange-red shoulders patches, bordered below by narrow yellow edge.

Females are brown on the upperparts and have heavily streaked underparts. On the head, is a pale eyebrow, may have a pinkish tinge on chin and throat, and there is a trace of the male’s colored shoulders.

Both sexes have a sharp, pointed, conical bill. Legs, claws, eyes and bill are blackish.

Juvenile males look like adult females, but darker, with an orange shoulder patch bordered with white.

Juvenile females look like adult females.

BILL: black and cone-shaped.

SIZE: measures about 6.7 - 9 inches in length, with a wingspan of 12.2 - 15.75 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 32 - 77 grams.

COLOR: black, orange-red, yellow, brown, and white.

Seeds, insects, spiders, molluscs, worms, mussels, snails, crayfish, frogs, lizards, bird eggs and nestlings; fruit and berries.

Nests in thick vegetation, in freshwater marshes, wetlands and grassy areas; forages in surrounding fields, orchards and in open patches in woodlands.

BREEDS: from Southeastern Alaska across Canada and the United States, and southwards to Central America.

WINTER: from Southern Canada, British Columbia, Southern Ontario and Nova Scotia, and southwards to Costa Rica.

CALL: Most common call is a “chack” note.

Both males and females have a large variety of calls.

Alarm call is a whistled “cheer” or “peet”.

Females have short shatter or sharp scream.

Both sexes utter a pre-mating call “ti-ti-ti”.

SONG: A musical gurgling “konk-la- reee”, ending in trill.

NEST: The female builds a cup with cattail stalks woven together and lines it with fine, dry grasses.

It is often situated in wetland or agricultural areas, attached to growing marsh vegetation.

EGGS: 3 - 7 pale blue-green eggs, spotted with dark and purple.

INCUBATION: 11 - 13 days, female.

NESTLING PHASE: 11 - 14 days.

They spend much of the breeding season sitting on a high perch over their territories and singing their hearts out.

They are an active feeder. They glean insects and seeds on ground and in vegetation and hawks insects in the air.

The oldest recorded Red-Winged Blackbird was 15 years, 9 months old.

Red-winged Blackbird





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