RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)

The Red-winged blackbird should more aptly be called the Red-epaulet or red-shoulder blackbird, because the only red on the wing is on the shoulder. (The French name, carouge à épaulettes, correctly reflects this.) That being said, it is the adult male that shows those bright colors in an otherwise black plumage. This bird is widespread and is easily attracted to bird feeders. It is found in wetlands and its typical spring call is a familiar sound. It is omnivorous but in the fall it associates with other black birds such as common grackles and cowbirds and can become an agricultural pest. It is protective of its nest and can swoop down on humans who come too close to it.

Red-winged blackbird at Elizabeth Park, Hartford, CT. It is a juvenile because the shoulder has no red yet, only yellow feathers.
Red-winged blackbird at Elizabeth Park, Hartford, CT. It is a juvenile because the shoulder has no red plumage yet, only yellow and orange.

This video shows the same male juvenile:

BACK TO THE TOP