About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

When black birds fly south

I live in upstate NY, 14 miles from Lake Ontario, in the country. We have had numerous redwinged blackbirds since early spring and now, in one day...they are gone!
Red-winged Blackbird female
The majority of Red-winged Blackbirds winter in the central states, especially in agricultural areas and some populations of Red-wings can even migrate as far south as Central America. They flock with other blackbirds, grackles, cowbirds, and starlings, feeding in open fields and roosting in flocks of thousands or millions of birds.

Red-winged Blackbird male
Now that breeding season is over for red-wings, they will begin to gather in flocks of all male or all female birds. The Red-winged Blackbird male is unmistakable for most people. The pure black bird with bright red shoulder patches edged in yellow is hard to miss. The female and juvenile are less obvious. They have heavily streaked under parts and mottled brown upperparts and can look like large sparrows.
Beginning as early as August, many birds are feeling a sudden restlessness as they prepare to move south. By mid-October to December the birds have settled into their winter territories. Red-winged Blackbirds eat mainly insects in the summer but switch to mainly seeds found in fields or feeders, in the winter.

Related articles:
- Fun Facts on Red-winged Blackbirds: http://bit.ly/q05Bos
- All about the Red-Winged Blackbird: http://bit.ly/qAeiyj
- Red-winged Blackbird info http://bit.ly/yQPs61  
- Blackbird Battle http://bit.ly/xFsHIN
- Red-winged blackbirds attack hawk http://bit.ly/yaudwu 
- Singing Birds Herald The Arrival of Spring http://bit.ly/xibvfI

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