I was driving the auto tour road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma when I spotted this male Red-winged Blackbird near the road in an area known as Tuff Pond. It was on the opposite side of my pickup, so I had to photograph it through the passenger side window, which I was able to roll down without scaring the bird. I was able to capture the territorial display and call of the male Red-winged Blackbird.
Red-winged Blackbirds are a common sight in North America, and they are known for their distinctive black and red plumage. The males have a bright red epaulet on each shoulder, which they spread wide when they are singing or defending their territory.
Red-winged Blackbirds are found in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural fields. They are omnivores, and they eat a variety of insects, seeds, and fruits.
Red-winged Blackbirds are social birds, and they often form large flocks outside of the breeding season. They are also known to be quite vocal, and their loud calls can be heard throughout the spring and summer.
The male Red-winged Blackbird in my photograph is singing a territorial song. This song is designed to attract mates and to warn other males to stay away from his territory. Males are known for their aggressive behavior during breeding season. They fiercely defend their territory, which can be as small as a few square feet, from other males using a combination of vocalizations, displays, and physical attacks.
The male Red-winged Blackbird is a beautiful and interesting bird. I was lucky to be able to capture a photograph of him singing, and I hope that you enjoyed learning more about this fascinating species.
Here is a side view of a male Red-winged Blackbird I photographed a few years ago: Red-winged Blackbird Territorial Display
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: March 27, 2023 (08:54 A. M.)
- Exposure Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f8
- Shutter speed: 1/1250
- ISO: 650 (Auto)
- Exposure Compensation: +1/3
- Focal Length: 500 mm
Thank you, Steve! One of my favorites seen out in the country.