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Bird Identification

Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus 8 ¾" (22cm)


play the song/call of the red-winged blackbird

Female rewings are dark brown above, heavily streaked below, and have lengthy, spikelike bills. They are obviously smaller than males, and in appearance, seem more akin to sparrows than blackbirds. They often occur in single-sex flocks, and without the giveaway males around, many novice birders conclude that the females are some sort of large sparrow.

Red-winged blackbirds can be seen almost everywhere in the lower 48 states and, during the breeding season at least, in much of Canada.

Abundant and agressive, they are found in huge flocks in winter. They nest in the thick vegitation of freshwater marshes and dry fields.

Their call is a chack note, and the female song is an explosive, harsh rattle.

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