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, June 29, 2014

Large sparrow like bird

The Red-winged Blackbird male is unmistakable for most Michigan residents. 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.
Female Red-winged Blackbird
As one of the most common, widespread, and numerous birds in North America, little is done to protect red-winged blackbirds from the effects of development. They thrive in wetland areas but it is likely that this species will begin to feed more at bird feeding stations with the loss of natural habitat.

Male & female Red-wings from Wikimedia Commons
As highly generalized foragers, they can have a great impact on their environment. For the most part, red-winged blackbirds feed on whatever they can find, feasting on insects and feeding on seeds and plant material. This helps control insect populations and weed populations through the consumption of seeds.

However, red-wing blackbirds have also been known to cause great agricultural damage due to their colonial roosting habits and taste for agricultural products.

After breeding season is over for red-wings, they will begin to gather in flocks of all male or all female birds. Northern populations will begin to migrate south to the southern United States and Central America as early as August.

Related Articles:
- Red-winged Blackbird facts http://bit.ly/yQPs61
- Blackbird Battle http://bit.ly/xFsHIN
- Red-winged blackbirds attack hawk http://bit.ly/yaudwu

- Watch for the Red-winged Blackbird to announce spring http://goo.gl/ADQLp3