Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius pkoeniceus

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius pkoeniceus

The familiar Red-winged Blackbird forms large flocks with the similar Tricolored Blackbird (A. tricolor) of western California and southern Oregon. The red shoulders of the Tricolored are bordered with white, and the bird has glossier plumage and a thicker bill than its cousin. Both birds nest in marshes; they frequent farm areas and open country after the breeding season.

Identification Male black with bright red shoulder patches. Female and juveniles have heavy dusky brown streaks.

Voice Song a liquid, musical oh-ka-lee! Also various chuck and kink notes.

Habitat Usually nests in marshes and other wetlands, especially areas with cattails; also in moist thickets, pastures, and meadows.

Range Breeds from S. Alaska, N. Alberta, and Ontario to Maritime Provinces, south through entire United States. Winters in southern two-thirds of United States, including the temperate Northwest; absent from southern Appalachians.

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