The Red-winged Blackbirds are Back

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Red-Winged Blackbirds males are back and singing up a storm!

For staff at the nature center, it's one of the first signs of spring!

  • In late winter/early spring, males fly back to wetland areas, before the females, to set up, and defend, their breeding territories.
  • They are considered short-distance migrants in our area, overwintering in the southern states and unlike their behavior in spring, males (and females) congregate together in large flocks visiting crop fields, pastures and grasslands.
  • During the spring breeding season, males make it a point to be seen and heard!
    • They 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 up to 15 females, and their nests!
    • Males, and sometimes females, may flutter above people and other animals and even dive bomb anyone that gets too close.

  • Females are brown and aren't noticed as often as the males.
  • 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.

As a native, migratory species, Red-winged Blackbirds, and their nests, are protected by law.

To learn more about Red-winged Blackbirds visit here.