Red-Winged Black Bird

Alyssa Archer


Lives mostly in North and Central America. The red-winged black bird inhabits open grassy areas. It generally prefers wetlands and both freshwater and saltwater marshes particularly if cattail is present.

Color Patterns

The common name for the red-winged blackbird is taken from the mainly black adult male's distinctive red shoulder patches, or "epaulets", which are visible when the bird is flying or displaying. The female is blackish brown and paler below.
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Unusual behavior

Males have been known to swoop an humans who encroach upon their nesting territory during breeding season. They are omnivorous and will feed primarily on plant materials including seeds and waste grain.

Male, Female, and chick traits

The calls of a red-winged black bird are a throaty check and a high slurred whistle, terrr-eeee. The male's song accompanied by a display of his red shoulder patches, is a scratchy oak-a-lee. The female also sings, typically a scolding chatter.
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Nests are built loosely in cattails. Lined with mud and and bound to surrounding grasses or branches in the marshes. Beaks are pointy but sturdy for the seeds thy eat.
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