Red-winged Blackbirds are Nesting!

Monday, June 5, 2023

Red-Winged Blackbirds are in the midst of their nesting season and males will aggressively defend their territories!

Keep an eye out for these feisty birds in our parks.

  • Males arrive in late winter/early spring, before the females, to set up, and defend, their territories.
    • They like wetland areas but can be found in drier habitats with grass-like plants, including the front of the nature center.
  • Females are brown and aren't noticed as often but sometimes fly out to defend their nest as well.
    • They weave intricate cup-shaped nest out of plant material.
    • The nests are usually close to water or the ground but hidden in dense vegetation ,like a bush.
    • Although the males seek out high perches in trees, the birds don't usually nest in trees.
  • Males make it a point to be seen and heard!
    • They find the highest point around to perch, then raise their red and yellow shoulder patches and belt out their signature 'conk-cha-ree" song.
    • A male Red-winged blackbird is on constant duty, guarding 5 to 15 females, and their nests, according to the BioKIDS website.
    • They may fly towards us, flutter above our heads and even dive bomb anyone that gets too close.
    • If you find yourself in this situation, just walk away from the area. (You can also way your hands above your head tp discourage them).
  • A Red-winged Blackbird family is currently nesting in a bush in front of the nature center as well as in a bush by the parking lot.
    • Signs have been posted to warn visitors heading towards the nature center and playground.
    • To get to the playground, feel free to bypass the main path in front of the nature center, by taking the sidewalk near the street which intersects with a paved trail that leads back to the playground.
  • As a migratory species, Red-winged Blackbirds, and their nests, are protected by law, so please give these native birds their space.


To learn more about Red-winged Blackbirds click here.

To learn how to avoid Red-winged blackbird territorial behavior each summer click here.