Red-winged Blackbird

In the last couple of days, Red-winged Blackbirds have arrived at the Fox River in downtown Waukesha, WI. It sure sounded like spring was in the air this morning when I saw and heard 5 Male Red-winged Blackbirds along the river walk. They were perched high in trees and on the ground foraging for food. The birds were displaying on and off and acting as if they were taking territory. I did not see any females. By early afternoon the Red-winged Blackbirds had disappeared along the river as this flock may have moved on. Photographs were taken on March 18, 2014.

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird

Binomial name: Agelaius phoeniceus

Category: Blackbirds

Size: 8.75” long, 13” wing span

Weight: 1.8 oz.

Habitat:  The cattail marsh is the most commonly used, but other habitats used are wet and dry meadows, swamps, marshes, wooded or bushy swamps, hayfields, salt marshes, canals used for irrigation and roadside ditches.

Diet: Insects and seeds forging on the ground, sometimes trees.

Nesting:  The nest is bowl shaped 4”-7” across. It is constructed of woven plant material on close upright stems in marsh vegetation or a bush. It includes the base platform of wet decaying wood, leaves, and vegetation.  The inside is lined with mud and later fine grass. The male helps in choosing the nest location. Typically the female incubates 3-7 eggs pale blue-green to gray in color.

Facts: Although sometimes Red-winged Blackbirds are considered pests, they eat harmful insects in agricultural fields from which farmers benefit. This species is considered by some the most abundant native bird in North America. Red-winged Blackbirds on occasion swoop at people’s heads, they are merely protecting their territory and nest during breeding season.

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M - displaying

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Red-winged Blackbird - M

Red-winged Blackbird – M – displaying

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

2 Responses to Red-winged Blackbird

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *