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Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus

Description:

9 in. Male glossy black, with red shoulder epaulets bordered by yellow; yellow and much of red less visible in late summer and fall. Females heavily streaked brown; crown and yey line dark brown; eyebrow buffy. Bill fairly long, pointed; eyes black; tail fairly long and rounded. This species, robins and grackles are the earliest returning birds in spring. Frequently in flocks out side breeding season. Voice; Song: gurgling "conk-a-ree" Calls: Harsh "check", High "tee-eek". Calls from trees, shrubs and tall reeds.

Habitat:

Marshes, swamps, fields Range: Late February- November (not that long here in Maine. I think they were gone by August here this year); all New England December- mid-february; some in Southern New England

Notes:

The females I have found look a LOT like Sparrows. The markings on the female Red-wings are more defined, the tail longer and fan- like. They also have black legs. I wouldn't be surprised if some of my photos in my collection marked "Sparrow" are actually Female Red-wings. I enjoy visiting the pond when I walk in the City Forest and watching the males on their perches yelling at us, or just calling out (which is how I found the bird photographed here). The females blend in with the background more, so I don't have a lot of pix of them.

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Bangor, Maine, USA

Spotted on Jun 10, 2012
Submitted on Oct 10, 2012

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