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.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Unseasonable blackbirds

I have 2 red wing blackbirds at my feeder every day since fall. I thought they were migrating birds. Do you have these at your feeders also? I've noticed they are not chasing the finch birds away either.

Snow speckled Red-Winged Blackbird singing in a light squall.

While not common, Red-winged Blackbirds have been known to make appearances during the wintertime. Blackbirds usually leave Michigan soon after nesting season is over but they don't have to. Most fly to the southern and central states in huge male or female flocks, where they are abundant especially on farms.

But I also had some redwings at my feeder this winter. Warmer temperatures and a greater supply of food and water could be some reasons a few Red-winged Blackbirds are still around. The cold doesn't bother them as long as they can find enough food. Perhaps it is another result of climate change.

They are probably young males trying to stick it out so they will be the first ones back to claim a nesting territory in late Feb or early March.

You can view the normal Range Map at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-winged_Blackbird/id

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