Red-winged Blackbird - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Red-winged Blackbird - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Red-winged Blackbird - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Red-winged Blackbird - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Red-winged Blackbird
Agelaius phoeniceus

Blackbirds
Blackbird Family (Icteridae)

Size: Length: 19-24 cm Wingspan: 31-37 cm

Description: The red-winged blackbird is one of the Rockies most common wetland birds, often spotted hanging onto the side of long cattail stem. Males are entirely black with the exception of an orange-red patch on the shoulder. The lower edge of this colourful patch is outlined in white.

The females are drab, brownish-black edged with buff. Their mottled face has a light eyebrow line and a dark eye-streak. The undersides are light, heavily streaked with dark brown, while the throat has a buffy tint and is less heavily streaked. Often, the shoulder has a patch of rusty-orange visible.

The call is a rasping "kank-a-ree", a sound intimately connected to our wetlands.

Similar Species: No other black bird has the red patch on the wing of the male. Females are more difficult to distinguish from other black birds. The heavy streaking visible on the wings and breast help make it unique in appearance.

Range: 

Habitat: 

Diet: They feed on ground based insects, seeds and berries. They also catch insects on the wing.

Nesting: The nest is woven from, and usually attached to, cattails and other marsh plants. A single male may mate with several females, all of whom will protect the area around their particular nest from other females. Busy during the nesting season, they often are double brooded, and occasionally, triple brooded.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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