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Red-wing blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus


A stocky, broad-shouldered blackbird with a slender, conical bill and a medium-length tail. Red-winged Blackbirds often show a hump-backed silhouette while perched; males often sit with tail slightly flared. Male Red-winged Blackbirds are hard to mistake. They're an even glossy black with red-and-yellow shoulder badges. Females are crisply streaked and dark brownish overall, paler on the breast and often show a whitish eyebrow. Male Red-winged Blackbirds do everything they can to get noticed, sitting on high perches and belting out their conk-la-ree! song all day long. Females stay lower, skulking through vegetation for food and quietly weaving together their remarkable nests. In winter Red-winged Blackbirds gather in huge flocks to eat grains with other blackbird species and starlings. Red-winged Blackbirds inhabit fresh and saltwater marshes, along watercourses, water hazards on golf courses, and wet roadsides, as well as drier meadows and old fields. In winter, you can find them at crop fields, feedlots, and pastures.


Above the drainage culvert that runs along the front of our land.


This guy was singing (or squawking!) his heart out - presumably he is staking out his claim to prime breeding territory as our drainage culvert is full of cattails which the red-wings love. Last year we had several nests in the ornamental grasses by our drive, & I got regularly dive bombed by the females when I went to get our mail from the mailbox!

1 species ID suggestions

Red Winged Black Bird
Agelaius Phoeniceus


KarenL 6 years ago

Thank you for pointing out my oversight Noah Citizen & Emma!

Noah Citizen
Noah Citizen 6 years ago

If you want to be particularly pedantic and have the full ID: Agelaius Phoeniceus. Rgds

Franklin, Tennessee, USA

Lat: 35.90, Long: -86.89

Spotted on Feb 26, 2012
Submitted on Feb 26, 2012

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