SCIENTIFIC NAME: Agelaius Tricolor
Males are entirely black with a bright red shoulder patch bordered by a white to cream-colored band.
Females are dark gray-brown overall with streaked bellies and backs. They have a cream-colored eyebrow.
Juvenile males are brownish-black overall with some gray mottling depending on their age.
BILL: long and conical.
SIZE: measures about 7.1 - 9.4 inches in length, with a wingspan of 10.2 - 13 inches.
WEIGHT: weighs about 40 - 75 grams.
COLOR: black, red, white, cream, gray-brown, brownish-black and gray.
Insects and spider during summer. Seeds and waste grain during winter.
Large freshwater marshes during the summer breeding season. A variety of open habitats where foraging opportunities exist, such as farm fields, pastures, wetlands, and grasslands.
The range is limited to the coastal areas of the Pacific coast of North America, from Northern California in the U.S. (with occasional strays into Oregon), to upper Baja California in Mexico.
CALL: A slightly more nasal than that of the Red-wing's - a nasal "kip" and a sharp "check".
SONG: A harsh descending gurgling series of notes. The male's song is a garbled "on-ke-kaaangh".
NEST: The female builds an open-cup nest with long leaves that are woven around plant stems.
EGGS: 3 - 4 pale blue eggs with reddish-brown splotches and wavy lines.
INCUBATION: 11 - 14 days, female only.
NESTLING PHASE: 11 - 14 days.
They are social birds, often seen in large compact groups year-round.
They nest in tight colonies and often travel away from the colony to find food.
During the nonbreeding season, they join flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and European Starlings.