Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered


Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus


enlarge +

Red-winged Blackbird, male
credit: Alan D. Wilson/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

All Images

7 articles:

Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Icteridae, Blackbirds and Orioles view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has mostly black plumage with red colorful "shoulder." In winter, black elements of plumage have subtle brown edges. ADULT FEMALE Brown overall and heavily streaked on back and underparts; plumage is palest on throat (sometimes washed pinkish buff) and has a pale supercilium. IMMATURE MALE Similar to winter adult, but with more extensive brown edging to feathers. IMMATURE FEMALE Recalls adult female, but lacks pinkish buff wash to throat.

Dimensions Length: 7-9 1/2" (18-24 cm)

Habitat Contender for North America's most abundant bird; favors farmland and wetlands. Present year-round across much of central and southern U.S., and summer range extends to fringe of Arctic. Northern birds move south in fall and winter range extends to Central America.

Observation Tips Hard to miss, even in suburbs.

Range Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Eastern Canada, New England, Alaska, Rocky Mountains, Texas, Southwest, Plains, Great Lakes, Northwest, Western Canada, California

Voice Song is harsh, grating and screechy; call is a sharp tchik.

Discussion Widespread and familiar bird. Forms huge foraging and roosting flocks outside breeding season. Sexes are dissimilar.