Agelaius phoeniceus

Common Names: Red-winged Blackbird
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Blackbirds, Meadowlarks, Cowbirds, Grackles and Orioles

The red-winged blackbird is sexually dimorphic; the male is all black with a red shoulder and yellow wing bar, while the female is a nondescript dark brown. The common name for the red-winged blackbird is taken from the mainly black adult male’s distinctive red shoulder patches which are visible when the bird is flying. At rest, the male also shows a pale yellow wingbar. The female is blackish-brown and paler below.

The red-winged blackbird inhabits open grassy areas. It generally prefers wetlands, and inhabits both freshwater and saltwater marshes. It is also found in dry upland areas, where it inhabits meadows, prairies, and old fields.

Edible Notes: Sources report the Red-winged Blackbird (and other blackbirds) as edible and have been eaten historically.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.