Red-Winged Blackbird

Scientific Name: Agelaius phoeniceus

Diet: Red-Winged Blackbirds are omnivores. They eat mostly seeds and insects, and They eat more insects in summer and more seeds in winter. About 75% of the Red-Winged Blackbird’s diet is seeds. They also eat mollusks, fruit, worms, and spiders.

Habitat: The Red-Winged Blackbird inhabits a variety of wetlands including ponds, swamps, and freshwater and saltwater marshes. They also live in fields, meadows, pastures, orchards, and suburban areas.

Range: Red-Winged Blackbirds live in almost all of Washington year round, but in the north-eastern corner they can only be found during the summer. They live across most of the U.S. year round, and in the northern U.S. and most of Canada during the breeding season.

Sound: The Red-Winged Blackbird’s song is a scratchy whistle that sounds like chur-leeeeee!

Nesting: Red-Winged Blackbirds nest in marshes and ponds and place their nests among the vegetation. The nest is made of cattail and rush stems, leaves, and mud, and it is lined with grass. When the nest is finished it is 4 to 7 inches across. Red-Winged Blackbirds breed from March to July, and there can be up to 15 female Red-Winged Blackbirds in a single Male’s nesting territory! They lay 3 to 5 eggs which the female incubates for 11 or 12 days.

Behavior: Red-Winged Blackbirds travel in large flocks outside the breeding season, but even during the breeding season they nest in loose colonies. They forage on the ground and in shrubs and trees.

Description/field marks: Male Red-Winged Blackbirds are black all over except on the shoulder. On the shoulders the males have bright orangish red with a yellow line under the orangish red. The females are brown, and they are streaked with dark brown, light brown, and some black all over and especially on the underside. Both the males and the females have black feet, bills, and eyes. Red-Winged Blackbirds are about 7 to 9 inches long, and have wingspans of about 12 to 16 inches.

How To Attract: To attract Red-Winged Blackbirds put out a seed feeder or a suet feeder.

Red-Winged Blackbirds at a suet feeder

Male Red-Winged Blackbirds

Red-Winged Blackbirds

Male Red-Winged Blackbirds

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1 Response to Red-Winged Blackbird

  1. mom says:

    I love red-winged blackbirds. Thank you for your informative website!

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