Pond Boss: The Red-winged Blackbird

June 21, 2013

Pond Boss

Pond Boss, photo by MichaelinA2

I grew up by a marsh that was filled with Red-winged Blackbirds, and their song has always felt like lazy summer days to me. All About Birds entry for Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus says:

One of the most abundant birds across North America, and one of the most boldly colored, the Red-winged Blackbird is a familiar sight atop cattails, along soggy roadsides, and on telephone wires. Glossy-black males have scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide depending on how confident they feel. Females are a subdued, streaky brown, almost like a large, dark sparrow. In the North, their early arrival and tumbling song are happy indications of the return of spring.

Male Red-winged Blackbirds do everything they can to get noticed, sitting on high perches and belting out their conk-la-ree! song all day long. Females stay lower, skulking through vegetation for food and quietly weaving together their remarkable nests.

Read on for more including video and blackbird calls. The Red-winged blackbird entry on Wikipedia has more, including a photo of the aforementioned red wing blackbird nest which I have to admit looks very cool!

Check this out bigger and see more in Michael’s 2013 birds slideshow.

More birds on Michigan in Pictures!

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