Agelaius Phoeniceus – Red-winged Blackbird

Distinguishing Features:

  • MALE (pictured) – Completely black with the exception of a characteristic red shoulder patch.
  • FEMALE – Very different from the male. Top parts, dark brown with greyish, rusty edges; light streak over eye and middle of the crown; underneath lighter, with blackish streaks; throat often pinkish or buff color.

  • Size – 19 – 25.5 cm
  • (7.5 – 10.25 in)

Red-winged Blackbird


Mainly in marshlands and water edges.


Loosely woven nest of marsh vegetation, lined with fine grass and feathers; supported by reeds, bulrushes, or other living vegetation.

Eggs, 3 – 4; pale bluish-green. Incubation period is 10 – 12 days.


The distinct male Red-winged Blackbird is hard to miss in its environment. It arrives earlier in the spring than the female.

Seeds of marsh plants are the primary source of food but in the summer, insects supplement the diet.

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