In early spring, the males fly to their breeding grounds to stake out a territory. A couple weeks later, the females arrive. Typically, one male attracts three females to his territory.
Favored habitats of the Red-winged Blackbird are ponds, open fields, marches, shorelines. The female builds a nest in thick vegetation, in shrubs or among reeds and grasses. She weaves grasses to make the nest, located about 3-8 feet off the ground.
The female does all the incubation and most of the nestling feeding. Once the youngsters are fledged the male helps out with feeding. RwB eat bugs, seeds and plants, especially aquatic plants.
Both parents guard the nest and surrounding area. They can be quite aggressive about it too, as anyone who has ever wandered remotely near a RwB nest can attest. Their main predators are Crows. Sometimes males will join forces to chase away a Crow.
Some Red-wing Blackbird Facts
- broods per year (females): 1
- eggs per brood: 3-5
- incubation: 11 days
- nestling: 11 days
- fledgling: 7-10 days
- length: 7-9.5 inches
- wingspan: 12-15.5 inches
Around September the birds molt. Around October large flocks gather, usually segregated by sex, sometimes along with Grackles and Cowbirds, fly south to their winter territory.
|A Red-winged Blackbird dive bombing your head is worth two in a bush.|