Red-winged Blackbird

(Agelaius phoeniceus)

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5 - Secure

SNRB, SNRN - Unranked Breeding and Nonbreeding


not listed

Red-winged Blackbird




7 to 9½ in length

13 wingspan




Similar Species


Cattail marshes, wet meadows, agricultural fields.



Late February to mid-December









Abundant but decreasing migrant and breeder



The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map



Aves (birds)


Passeriformes (perching birds)


Icteridae (New World blackbirds and orioles)


Agelaius (red-winged blackbirds)


Subordinate Taxa

phoeniceus Group

Eastern Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus phoeniceus)

Florida Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus floridanus)

Giant Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus arctolegus)

Gulf Coast Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus littoralis)

Kern Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus aciculatus)

Nevada Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus nevadensis)

Northwestern Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus caurinus)

Petén Itzá Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus arthuralleni)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus brevirostris)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus bryanti)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus grinnelli)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus mearnsi)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus nelsoni)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus neutralis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus nyaritensis)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus richmondi)

Rio Grande Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus megapotamus)

Sonora Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus sonoriensis)

Thick-billed Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus fortis)


californicus Group

Central Valley Bicolored Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus californicus)

Coastal Bicolored Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus mailliardorum)


gubernator Group

Mexican Bicolored Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus gubernator)













Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this bird.


This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Greg Watson

Red-winged Blackbird  

Red-winged Blackbird

Dan W. Andree

Red-winged Blackbird    
Another sign of Springs Arrival    
Red-winged Blackbird   Red-winged Blackbird

Redwing Blackbird - adult male...

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


Gregory Gilman

Red-winged Blackbird    

Ramona Abrego

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

Lynn Rubey

Red-winged Blackbird   Red-winged Blackbird

Female Red-winged Blackbird in The Big Stone Wildlife Refuge perched on reeds in a marsh.

  Female Red-winged Blackbird in the evening landing on cattails in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.
Red-winged Blackbird   Red-winged Blackbird

Male Red-winged Blackbirds in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.

Perched on the top of a cattail swaying in the breeze.

  Male Red-winged Blackbird in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge in a small tree.

Wayne Rasmussen

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

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

  Joy Park & Preserve in Maplewood, MN

Tom Baker

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

Share your video of this bird.


This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.



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.


This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.

Greg Watson

Location: Wagon Wheel Trail, La Crescent, MN

Red-winged Blackbird
Kelley Nelson

Location: Duluth, MN (Clover Valley)

we had all 6 arrive at our bird feeder, they weren’t here long, at for a minute and two and left…..Very exciting to see them all arrive together

Dan W. Andree

a pond in Norman Co. Mn.

Another sign of Springs Arrival

Red-winged Blackbird

Ramona Abrego

Location: Becker County

Red-winged Blackbird

Lynn Rubey

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

Male Red-winged Blackbird in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge in a small tree.

Red-winged Blackbird

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

David Ayer

Location: Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Gregory Gilman

Location: Rochester, MN

Red-winged Blackbird Sightings

Anna Gronseth Prairie

Antelope Valley SNA

Avon Hills Forest SNA, North Unit

Baker Park Reserve

Big Woods Heritage Forest WMA

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Blue Devil Valley SNA

Blue Mounds State Park

Boot Lake SNA

Buck Family Memorial WMA

Bur Oak WMA

Butternut Valley Prairie SNA

Cambria WMA

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

Day Park and Earley Lake Trail

Des Moines River SNA

Dry Sand WMA

Edward Velishek Memorial WMA

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 Preserve

Glynn Prairie SNA

Gneiss Outcrops SNA

Great River Bluffs State Park

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hampton Woods WMA

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Hastings SNA

Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

Holthe Prairie SNA

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Jensen Memorial WMA

John Murtaugh Memorial WMA

John Peter Hoffman Spring Brook Valley WMA

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Joy Park

Keller Regional Park

Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Kellogg Weaver Unit

Kensington Rune Stone Park

Kilen Woods State Park

Laible Woods

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

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 Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, 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

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Otter Tail Prairie SNA

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Plover Prairie, East Unit

Prairie Coteau SNA

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Racine Prairie SNA

Regal Meadow

Rice Lake State Park

Rieck’s Lake Park and Campground (Alma, Wisconsin)

Ripley Esker SNA

Ritter Farm Park

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

Rockville County Park

Roscoe Prairie SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

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

Spring Lake Regional Park

Springbrook Nature Center

Staffanson Prairie

Sunfish Lake Park

Swedes Forest SNA

Tamarack Nature Center

Thompson County Park

Tiedemann WMA

Townsend Woods SNA

Tribute WMA

Twin Valley Prairie SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Valley View Park

Verlyn Marth Memorial Prairie SNA

Vermillion Highlands Research Recreation and WMA

Vermillion River WMA

Westwood Hills Nature Center

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitney Island SNA

William O’Brien State Park

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodbury WMA

Woodland Trails Regional Park

Yellow Bank Hills SNA






Last Updated:

© All rights reserved.

About Us

Privacy Policy

Contact Us