Monday, April 28, 2008

The Red-winged Blackbird ~ Nature Study

Welcome to the newest feature to my running blog... Nature Study on the Run. Thank you to Kara, for the inspiration. :D

red-winged blackbirdWhen the kiddos and I were out with the jogger yesterday, we ran down along the river to one of the parks they enjoy. As we approached the play structures, we spotted a pair of Red-winged Blackbirds. One of the most abundant birds in North America, they are found in wetlands and agricultural areas across the continent. The male (shown here) can hide the brilliant red shoulders or show them off in a dazzling display. The female looks strikingly different than the male and could almost be mistaken for a large dark sparrow.

They feed upon insects, seeds, and grain. Probing in vegetation for insects, spreading the bill to look in plants and under objects. In doing so, it also gleans seeds from ground.

Interesting Fact: The Red-winged Blackbird is a highly polygynous species, with one male having up to 15 different females making nests in his territory. In some populations 90% of territorial males have more than one female. But, from one quarter to up to half of the young in "his" nests do not belong to the territorial male. Instead they have been sired by neighboring males.


  1. Wow.. I never knew that about the Blackbird! Great feature to add to the blog.

  2. I'm sorry I missed this post. I've not been my usual self lately. But feeling brighter today...
    In the cold of winter this year I had a few visit my bird feeder.
    And in Canada I spotted a Yellow-headed blackbird!
    Love your blog.


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