Red-Winged Blackbirds

Red, Winged, Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
Red, Winged, Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus

Female Red-Winged Blackbird

The male Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is a ubiquitous sight in the GTA, especially near marshland; given how common they are, it’s hard not to get a bit blasé about these rather splendid creatures.

The main thing that struck me, the first time I saw them, was that a calling male does look rather as though he’s trying to make himself explode! This is a regular sight, especially during the times when their thoughts turn to making more Red-Winged Blackbirds – the males find a nice exposed spot and start calling (to describe it as ‘singing’ would, alas, be somewhat over generous) out over the surrounding neighbourhood.

The females, by contrast, are an awful lot less flashy than their consorts; their camouflage makes them rather less obtrusive than the males, especially when on their well-disguised nests in the reed-beds.