Red-winged Blackbird
Agelaius phoeniceus

Photo courtesy Pete Williams, Gulf Breeze, Florida
April 10, 2008
Copyright (c) 2008 Pete Williams

Photo is an Internet photo by Peter S. Weber, featured on the USGS web site.

To identify the Red-winged Blackbird, look for a bird that is between 7 and 10 inches long. The male is black with a yellow-bordered red shoulder patch. The female is dark brown and heavily streaked. The immature male looks like a female but will have the red patch. The preferred habitat is swamps, marshes, open areas, and farmlands.

The male Red-winged Blackbird's song is a herald of spring, Con-ka-ree, as if proclaiming victory over winter.

Red-wings feed and roost in flocks, but in late summer the flocks vanish. They have retired to a marsh, where the birds hide in the vegetation, molt their flight feathers, and grow new ones. The flocks then reappear and head south.

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