Common Bird Species of Northwestern Ontario





Agelaius phoeniceus
Red-winged Blackbird


Distinguishing Features - MALE (pictured) - Completely black with the exception of a characteristic red shoulder patch.
FEMALE - Very different from the male. Top parts, dark brown with greyish, rusty edges; light streak over eye and middle of crown; underneath lighter, with blackish streaks; throat often pinkish or buff colour.

Red-winged Blackbird Size - 19 - 25.5 cm (7.5 - 10.25 in).


Mainly in marshlands and water edges.


Loosely woven nest of marsh vegetation, lined with fine grass and feathers; supported by reeds, bulrushes or other living vegetation. Eggs, 3 - 4; pale bluish-green. Incubation period 10 - 12 days.


The distinct male Red-winged Blackbird is hard to miss in its environment. It arrives earlier in the spring than the female. Seeds of marsh plants are the primary source of food but in the summer, insects supplement the diet.

The song is a cheerful Konk-ke-ree.

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