When 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.