Red-winged Blackbird

(Agelaius phoeniceus)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

Red-winged Blackbird


N5 - Secure

SNRB, SNRN - Unranked Breeding and Nonbreeding


not listed


Abundant but decreasing migrant and breeder


Cattail marshes, wet meadows, agricultural fields.


7 to 9½ in length

13 wingspan












Late February to mid-December




March 15, 2011 – First appearance in spring; bird feeder

March 9, 2012 – First appearance in spring; bird feeder; 2 males

10/11 to 10/12/2012 – Migrating birds at feeder



Passeriformes (perching birds)



Icteridae (blackbirds, orioles, and relatives)

Subordinate Taxa

Bicolored Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus gubernator)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus aciculatusarctolegus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus arctolegus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus arthuralleni)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus brevirostris)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus bryanti)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus californicus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus caurinus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus floridanus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus fortis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus grinnelli)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus littoralis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus mailliardorum)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus mearnsi)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus megapotamus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus nelsoni)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus neutralis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus nevadensis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus nyaritensis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus phoeniceus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus richmondi)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus sonoriensis)











Visitor Photos

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Wayne Rasmussen

  Red-winged Blackbird   Red-winged Blackbird

Urban parks host a large variety of wildlife if you really spend some time observing.

  Red-winged Blackbird    

Joy Park & Preserve in Maplewood, MN

  Red-winged Blackbird    

Dan W. Andree

Redwing Blackbird - adult male...

Near a pond in Norman Co. Mn. April 2018.

  Red-winged Blackbird    

Tom Baker

  Red-winged Blackbird   Red-winged Blackbird
  Red-winged Blackbird   Red-winged Blackbird




  Red-winged Blackbird   Red-winged Blackbird
  Red-winged Blackbird    






  Red-winged Blackbird
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Red-winged Blackbird  
  Red-winged Blackbird
JMC Nature Photos
  Red-winged Blackbird  
  Red-winged Blackbirds
  Red-winged Blackbirds  




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

  Red-winged Blackbird
The Music of Nature

Uploaded on Jul 12, 2010

The Music of Nature proudly presents "Red-winged Blackbird," a delicious video portrait of a male in full song. The Red-winged Blackbird is common across North America, Breeding in marshes and meadows. Excited males puff out their red epaulets (shoulder pads) as they sing.

© 2010 Lang Elliott

  Red-winged Blackbird Portrait

Published on Jun 15, 2012

The Red-winged Blackbird is abundant throughout North America. It migrates from Canada to United States for winter. It breeds in thick vegetation of marshes, brushy swamps, sloughs dry fields; forages in hayfields, orchards, woodlands.

The male is an all black bird with a bright red shoulder patch, often bordered with yellow. The female or immature males are a dark brown above and heavily streaked below. They may show a red patch on the wing or shoulder or a pink wash on throat.

The song is a harbinger of spring. It's a distinctive "konk-ah-LEEEE!" and a "chack" call.

  How Nature Works: Red-winged Blackbird Display

Uploaded on Apr 15, 2010

An up-close look at the territorial displays and Breeding behavior of the Red-winged Blackbird. Learn more about Red-winged Blackbirds on All About Birds:

  Red-winged Blackbird - HD Mini-documentary
James Knott

Uploaded on Sep 10, 2010

Transcript: "The Red-Winged Blackbird is found throughout most of North and Central America. Northern populations of the species are migratory.

Males and females look different. The male is mostly black with a distinct red shoulder and yellow wingbar. The female has a brown woodsy, speckled look. These Blackbirds are polygynous. A male will defend up to 10 females in its territory.

These birds prefer wetlands and open grassy areas. Their nests can be found in the cattails, rushes, grasses and bushes. Each clutch will consist of around three or four eggs. The females incubate the eggs and the babies hatch within 11-12 days.

Their diet consists mainly of seeds and insects."

  Red-winged Blackbirds

Uploaded on Aug 21, 2007

A stake-out requires being inconspicuous, but not so for red-winged blackbirds.

Showing off and making noise is the main objective of their stake-out.

Male red-winged blackbirds have already staked-out their territories in wetlands and around ponds and lakes.

Their red-and-yellow shoulder patches add glints of color to the dull landscape.

And male red-wings don't hesitate to show their colors.

When other birds invade the red-wing's territory, he spreads his tail, droops his wings, and lets out the gurgling Song. (nat)

In February and March, male red-wings come north from their southern wintering grounds and find good spots for nesting and feeding.

They are probably our most numerous songbird.





Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this bird.

Wayne Rasmussen

Location: Maplewood Nature Center

Red-winged Blackbird

Dan W. Andree
April 2018

Location: Near a pond in Norman Co. Mn.

Red-winged Blackbird

Wayne Rasmussen

Location: Maplewood Heights Park

Urban parks host a large variety of wildlife if you really spend some time observing.

Red-winged Blackbird

Wayne Rasmussen

Location: Joy Park & Preserve in Maplewood, MN

Red-winged Blackbird

Tom Baker


Red-winged Blackbird

Tom Baker


Red-winged Blackbird

Tom Baker


Red-winged Blackbird

Tom Baker


Red-winged Blackbird

David Ayer

Location: Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA



Anna Gronseth Prairie

Antelope Valley SNA

Avon Hills Forest SNA
North Unit

Baker Park Reserve

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Blue Devil Valley SNA

Blue Mounds State Park

Boot Lake SNA

Butternut Valley Prairie SNA

Cannon River Turtle Preserve SNA

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Carver Park Reserve

Cedar Mountain SNA

Cedar Rock SNA

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crosstown West Park

Crystal Spring SNA

Des Moines River SNA

Dry Sand WMA

Earley Lake Park

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Felton Prairie SNA
Bicentennial Unit

Felton WMA

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Fort Ridgely State Park

Fort Snelling State Park

Frontenac State Park

Glacial Lakes

Glynn Prairie SNA

Gneiss Outcrops SNA

Great River Bluffs State Park

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Hastings SNA

Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

Holthe Prairie SNA

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Joy Park

Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA
Kellogg Weaver Unit

Kilen Woods State Park

Lake Alexander Woods SNA
South Unit

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lester Lake SNA

Liable Woods

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Lundblad Prairie SNA

Malmberg Prairie SNA

Maplewood State Park

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

Miller Prairie
West Unit

Minneopa State Park

Minnesota Valley NWR
Black Dog Preserve Unit
Rapids Lake Unit

Moose Lake State Park

Morton Outcrops SNA

Mound Prairie SNA

Mound Spring Prairie SNA
North Unit

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Myre-Big Island State Park

Ney Nature Center

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR
Touch the Sky Prairie Unit

Otter Tail Prairie SNA

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Plover Prairie
East Unit

Prairie Coteau SNA

Racine Prairie SNA

Regal Meadow

Rice Lake State Park

Rieck’s Lake Park

Ripley Esker SNA

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Roscoe Prairie SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix State Park

Savage Fen SNA

Schaefer Prairie

Schoolcraft State Park

Sedan Brook Prairie SNA

Seminary Fen SNA

Seven Sisters Prairie

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

Shetek WMA
East Unit

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Sibley State Park

Staffanson Prairie

Sunfish Lake Park

Swedes Forest SNA

Townsend Woods SNA

Twin Valley Prairie SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Valley View Park, Oak Park Heights

Verlyn Marth Memorial Prairie SNA

Vermillion Highlands

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitney Island SNA

William O’Brien State Park

Woodland Trails Park

Yellow Bank Hills SNA




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