Skip to content

Red-winged Blackbirds… And Their Nests

Red-winged Blackbirds are found in most of North and much of Central America, and are familiar sights in our wetlands. There have been claims that it is the most abundant, and most well studied bird in North America. The males, glossy black with scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches, puff up or hide depending on their level of confidence. In our marshes, they’re quite brave (or protective, in defense-mode), doing as much as they can to get noticed, and belting out their conk-la-ree songs.

Male Red-winged Blackbird

Male Red-winged Blackbird Sings

The female is a subdued brown, with streaks of lighter colorations — and much shyer than her male counterpart. Her brownish coloring serves to camouflage her and the nest, while she’s incubating. Females stay low in the vegetation, searching for food (eating primarily seeds and insects), and weaving their amazing nests. Constructed entirely over the course of three to six days — with no help from the males — the nests are located in cattails, rushes, grasses, or in alder or willow bushes. Located near the water’s surface, the nest is a basket constructed of grasses, sedge, and mosses, lined with mud and bound to surrounding grasses or branches. I’ve watched for nearly an hour in awe, as a female patiently gathered her grasses — and even longer as another intricately wove her basket-nest. It’s beautifully mesmerizing (and believe me, I’m no birdwatching crackerjack!). Red-winged Blackbirds nest in loose colonies, and their predators include snakes, raccoons, and other birds, even the small marsh wrens — and in our area, iguanas. Males serve as sentinels to guard the nest, using various calls to denote the type and severity of danger.

Female Red-winged Blackbird Builds Her Nest

Female Red-winged Blackbird Builds Her Nest

Female Red-winged Blackbird in the Marsh Grasses

Red-winged Blackbird Nest Under Construction, Green Cay Wetlands, Florida

This clutch consists of three eggs — typical for the species (2 to 4). They’re oval and smooth, of a pale bluish coloring, and marked with brown and/or black markings. The eggs are incubated by the female alone, and will hatch within 11 to 12 days. Red-winged Blackbirds are born blind and naked, but are ready to leave the nest 11 to 14 days after hatching.

Red-winged Blackbird Nest with Eggs

More pictures of the most amazing and lovely Blackbirds:

Female Red-winged Blackbird in the Marsh Grasses

Female Red-winged Blackbird in the Marsh Grasses

For More Information:

241 Comments Post a comment
  1. You are an amazing photographer 🙂 I don’t think I could ever take such amazing photos 🙂

    April 16, 2012
    • THANKS so very much — what a kind thing to say! I wish I had a *certain* kind of lens to get the intricate details of these critters, but you could definitely do this… I have a lovely canvas. 🙂

      April 16, 2012
  2. davidda2001 #

    wow…GREAT pics.

    April 16, 2012
  3. just loved these, especially of her building the nest. i often brush my hair outside, and later on when storms knock out nests I notice the birds here use it to build their nest.

    April 17, 2012
    • thanks so very much! those are my favorites, too… the patience, the patience! i’m always enthralled. when i see nests knocked out, i try to re-position them — *sometimes* it works, lol! 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  4. i see those blackbirds a lot. didn’t know their name though.

    April 17, 2012
    • it took me a bit, too — especially with the females, who are so different!

      April 17, 2012
  5. Laura #

    Great pictures! I love looking for red winged blackbirds on the swaps near my home 🙂

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I’m always looking for any bright spots of colors in our swamps & marshes too, and these guys are so incredibly patient (or territorial?!) — they’re great subjects. 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  6. Laura #

    Great pictures! I love looking for red winged blackbirds in the cattails near my house! 🙂

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! They’re such lovely and patient subjects… And so bright against our marshes & swamps (no cattails here!). 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  7. Great photos. I really love watching little birds. God makes wonderful things. Connie
    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I totally agree, the tiny birds are so very lovely… Nature is a most divine and beautiful thing.

      April 17, 2012
  8. So glad you “freshly pressed”! This is my all-time favorite bird – it brings back fond memories of summers at my grandmother’s house in coastal Mississippi. (I even included a fascination with this bird in my children’s novel!!) Thanks for sharing your knowledge and beautiful pictures. ❤

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! Ditto… Despite that “most abundant” status, I can’t help but love this bright little songbird. And they’re in your children’s book? Ohhhh… Now I get to visit your site — fun!! (I worked in educational publishing for a decade-and-a-half, and have a few books on my computer…only.) 🙂

      April 17, 2012
      • It wasn’t a plug for the book, really! It’s just that this bird has so much meaning in my life – I had to translate that to my character. But thanks for visiting my blog – so glad to have found yours. ❤

        April 18, 2012
      • Oh no, I didn’t take it as such! I’m just thrilled to meet authors — especially of genres in which I’m interested. It’s amazing how we feel connected to different critters — of course, much has been written on *that* topic, too. 🙂

        April 18, 2012
  9. I love how nature protects females by making them subdued colors — while making the males targets through their glorious colors. Too funny!

    Beautiful birds — and gorgeous pix…

    April 17, 2012
    • Thank you so much!! They really are adorable songbirds. And… *hah*! I’m always cracking up at how nature camouflages the females and brightens the males. So many don’t even realize that these are female blackbirds. We were recently at a sanctuary with free-roaming peacocks (not a totally uncommon thing in Florida neighborhoods), and that observation was just even more hysterical. Female peacocks? Can’t compare to their male counterparts.

      April 17, 2012
  10. Beautiful photos. I love birdwatching. 🙂

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I’ve become more an accidental birdwatcher, in photographing them on our hikes… It’s been quite a lesson! Fortunately, I’ve met some insanely knowledgeable Audubon enthusiasts. 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  11. Beautiful photos! I enjoy your blog so much. You’ve created a window for us into this part of nature.

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much — that truly is the *utmost* compliment, and is thoroughly encouraging as I drag my camera around on our hikes (in occasionally not the most amenable spaces)!

      April 17, 2012
  12. Jonathan Hontz #

    I love these birds. They’re an excellent signal that water is nearby, and bodies of water just don’t seem complete without that familiar call. I live near a lake that must have hundreds of them nesting in the cattails along the shore. The birds may be common, but they’re one of my favorites.

    April 17, 2012
    • Ditto!! I adore them, despite their “most abundant” status. It’s amazing and inspiring to see how so many people associate them with water ecosystems, and the [good] feelings that these songbirds/natural spaces provoke.

      April 17, 2012
      • Jonathan Hontz #

        Despite liking them so much, I’ve never bothered to figure out where they nest, so I’m glad you took pictures of that. I’ll have to make sure to look closer to the water line when we walk around the lake. I always see the males up at the top of the cattails, making themselves known, but I suppose that’s precisely why they’re up there.

        April 17, 2012
      • Ah, I’m so glad the images helped — I wasn’t going to include some of them, but it really is amazing to see the nest-building process. Look for those baskets woven around the vegetation (in our area, stalks, not cattails), a few inches to 2 feet above the water’s surface. The males are definitely making themselves known… Sometimes they’re just hanging out, but sometimes they’re acting as sentinels for the nesting females, warning of potential danger. Guard birds! 🙂

        April 17, 2012
  13. helenefg #

    Nice Blog =o) I will follow you. You have good pictures =o)

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I hope to improve on them… Am always trying!! 🙂

      April 17, 2012
      • helenefg #

        🙂

        April 28, 2012
  14. its a nice & a hard work done by you, i appreciate your work, nice collection, i really like your blog. you are amazing ….

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much for your kind words!

      April 17, 2012
  15. Beautiful bird! Love the way they make their nests: so tidy and accurate, and actually endurable if you think of it. Thanks!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! Their nests are *amazingly* tidy and accurate, you’re exactly right. To see a female blackbird weave her nest is a mesmerizing process… Nature is astonishingly strong.

      April 17, 2012
  16. We have a cloud of red-winged blackbirds that live in the marsh by our house. I always know it’s spring when I hear their distinctive call. I’ve even had a couple come visit my bird feeder from time to time. Thanks for highlighting these beautiful creatures.

    April 17, 2012
    • You’re so welcome! It’s amazing it took me this long, honestly… For years I’ve been photographing them, admiring their nests, transfixed by their devotion — they’re such lovely little songbirds.

      April 17, 2012
  17. I love birds. I’ve always thought they were such beautiful and adorable creatures (although, when I was younger, I used to hate them with a seething passion). Your photographs are very beautiful and taken well. Your blog is also informative, and I’m happy to learn more about the derfs (read:birds) of the world. Will be following you!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I’m glad the provided info helped… I’m fortunate to live in an area with so many birds (derfs?) — and while I’m primarily a hiker with a camera, a little research helps, as do the insanely knowledgeable Audubon enthusiasts! 🙂 I’m glad you outgrew your hatred of them, lol!

      April 17, 2012
  18. Just incredible. The nest photos are my favorite! Such delicacy and strength at the same time.

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! What a perfect way of putting it — delicacy and strength. The process and patience of the nests’ construction is amazing, a thoroughly mesmerizing thing to witness, and the end result is simply Nature at Her finest.

      April 17, 2012
  19. Beautiful photos – Congrats on being FP!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thank you! I honestly didn’t quite realize what was happening until the inordinate amount of emails hit my inbox, hah!

      April 17, 2012
  20. That’s really nice work.

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much — I definitely have a lovely canvas. 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  21. Sarah D. #

    You must have a great deal of patience to be able to get such lovely, intimate shots of a birds’ nest. Loved looking at these.

    April 17, 2012
    • I’m so thrilled — thanks so much! It was a real joy to watch these guys, honestly. Totally mesmerizing, to observe the process of these beautiful creatures… And immediately afterwards I ran into baby gators; who’s cuter? 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  22. These photographs are beautiful, and the subject matter just stunning….. Living in England, I have never seen red-winged black birds, only our slightly plainer, (but just as beautiful) black birds. Thank you for sharing these, it makes me want to hop across the pond to see them for myself x

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! We have the other blackbirds as well, and they’re equally stunning with their ebony sheen. Speaking of hopping across the pond… I would change places with you in a HEARTBEAT! Drop EVERYTHING! I just looked at your garden — GASP. My dream.

      April 17, 2012
      • Awww shucks, you’re too kind. It is only small, and a rented house, so I make of it what I can until I have my own house with giant garden, vegetable patch, pond, wood, it’s own moat etc…. (You know the usual) 😉 te he he! Anyhoo, I shall be eagerly following your blog 🙂

        April 18, 2012
      • Heh…. That’s most of the reason why I joined Pinterest — to check out + pin the amazing fairy-garden homes!! WOW. Dream…Dream…Dream! 🙂

        April 18, 2012
  23. For some reason these birds always swoop down and attack my head when I pass them. Even when I am with a group of people, I get singled out and attacked. It’s odd.
    But your photographs are incredible. They are ‘National Geographic’ worthy photos!

    April 17, 2012
    • How incredibly kind — thanks so very much! And I’m so sorry… But your story made me guffaw!! Don’t feel alone though; our mockingbirds do the same to me every time I *dare* to leave the house or venture near my car — which is actually quite often, go figure. Each spring they make their nests in our bougainvillea, and each spring it’s the same game…. This tree-hugger is obviously their arch-nemesis.

      April 17, 2012
  24. Reblogged this on Voices and Visions.

    April 17, 2012
  25. Though a very prolific species in North America, I really love these birds. Your photos also do them justice.

    April 17, 2012
  26. Though I am mostly a raptor lover, these are some of my favorite birds and your photos do them justice. Thanks.

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I, too, adore the raptors… They’re tough to photograph without a bigger lens, unfortunately. But it’s hard not to see the beauty in these tiny songbirds. Or any of the critters for that matter — and I try to photograph / post as many as I can, heh!

      April 17, 2012
  27. womanwifemotherchild #

    Incredible photos! I, too, look for these birds every spring in a certain swamp in town. Could you share info on the camera and lens that you used?

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! These lovelies are hard to miss in our area, but then again — I live in what was, sadly, the Everglades. Absolutely, I should provide that information… It’s a Canon Rebel, 55mm – 250mm telephoto lens. I had it at full telephoto for some of the shots, since the girls were far in the swamp. It’s tough on our hikes; I need more distance, but now I’m also hankering for a *macro* for the close-ups. Ah, the quandary. 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  28. No time to read but I loved the photos! I’ll come back for a read later. Cheers and thanks for the smile I now have on my face!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! *Yay* for the smile from the blackbirds! 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  29. Love your pictures! Thanks for the smile on my face now.

    April 17, 2012
  30. Carlie Chew #

    Beautiful photos. The blackbird eggs are so pretty.

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! The eggs really are amazingly beautiful and varied. I just popped onto your blog — I can’t wait to check it out more; such beautiful work!

      April 17, 2012
  31. you must love taking pictures

    April 17, 2012
    • Heh… Well, I love to hike, and I’m a lifelong lover of the arts. Photographing where we hike is a natural progression, I think. 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  32. Beautiful photographs. I love the detail.

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! Of course, I’m craving more detail (macro, macro, macro)… Sometimes they’re hard to catch in the marsh weeds. 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  33. This was so informative! We recently moved to a place where we have a “swamp” as we affectionately call it in our back yard and we have been watching the males posture and call. Thanks for the up-close shots! Amazing!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much — I’m glad it was helpful!! They’re great fun to photograph, the males especially with their posturing. And when it’s nesting/baby season, I become completely mesmerized by the patience and diligence of the females… It’s nice that you now have them in your space! 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  34. This is one of my favorite birds.

    April 17, 2012
    • It’s amazing how long I’ve been photographing them, their images piling up on my computer… Long overdue! Such little lovelies. 🙂

      April 17, 2012
  35. Nice pictures and background on this bird species. Sadly, I am not a fan of these birds – esp the males, who have swooped in and pecked me on the head while I’ve been out running along the water on several occasions. Now, whenever I see them gathered in the branches along these grassy wetlands, I immediately feel uneasy and want to sprint out of the park and take cover!?.. They are not all aggressive, but I don’t want to hang around to find out if I will be treated as friend or foe either…

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! Don’t feel alone though; our mockingbirds do the same to me every time I *dare* to leave the house or venture near my car — which is actually quite often, go figure. Each spring they make their nests in our bougainvillea, and each spring it’s the same game…. This tree-hugger is obviously their arch-nemesis! They — and your blackbirds — are being extra-territorial over their nesting females. We’re obviously quite dangerous!!

      April 18, 2012
  36. marialla #

    Thank you for the beautiful eye into the world of birds right now we too are witnessing a new life just outside our window of how two Canada Geese are starting their new family as the rest of the world is trying to just do their job of repairing a roof. You can find it on utube under roofers and geese. Keep up the good work

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I *love* those geese… I know some areas have sadly done their best to eradicate them — but who are we to interrupt the flow of Nature?!? How wonderful for you to bear witness to such an amazing event! Take pictures (and I’ll be sure to visit YouTube)! PS, there are blackbird babies in the more recent posts, in another nest — they’re so funny in their bald, chirping selves. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  37. I’m amazed at how close you got to these birds! great photographs!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I’m really lucky I’m able to get as close as I do to the males (they’re probably not thrilled about it, but they’re used to it I think)… But the females + their nests are a bit tougher, for sure. Zoooom lens!

      April 18, 2012
  38. They are cute little creatures. You’ve got nice photos!! 🙂 I’ve enjoy the post. Keep up the good work!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s great fun — and they really are adorable. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  39. I’ve never seen a female red-winged blackbird so closely before, thank you for the opportunity to get into their secret lives! And the eggs, so amazing!

    April 17, 2012
    • What a wonderful compliment, thank you! They’re surprisingly shy (and tend to stay closer to the water’s edge and surface, or in the vegetation). And the eggs… Aren’t they lovely? I wish I had a clearer shot through the marsh!

      April 18, 2012
  40. Excellent photos!!!!!!!!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much — I have a lovely (and easy) canvas! 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  41. No words, is beautiful 🙂

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much!! I have a great canvas. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  42. Excellent work!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much!! They’re easy and fun to capture, so bright and perfect. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  43. Wonderful images! Just two weeks ago I saw my first pair at my feeder in Central Virginia. What a thrill! They were just passing through, as do the Cedar Waxwings, therefore I appreciate these birds highly. Please visit my blog and see my novice images from my kitchen this spring. Birds are difficult to photograph, therefore kudos to you! D.

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! How wonderful… I’ve never been an avid birdwatcher, but I’m definitely more on my game since I started snapping them! I get *so excited* when the winter migrations occur down here — new bright songbirds to glimpse. 🙂 Photographing birds has been great practice, and believe me, there are plenty of confused images on my computer. But it’s all about learning…

      April 18, 2012
  44. Fantastic shots. I have ever thought about focusing on birds with my photography but after seeing these photos I have a greater appreciation for this genre. Thank you for sharing.

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! Ditto, I honestly rarely shot birds until recently — I drag my camera everywhere on our hikes, and love the trees and landscapes. The birds began to creep in, go figure! They’re great practice for those action shots, which I’m still learning.

      April 18, 2012
  45. These birds live at the pond near my mom’s house in Pennsylvania. I was never able to find their nests but I was always looking in the thin trees where I always saw the males perching. I guess I should look down. Their distinct call is one of my favorite parts of walking around that pond, although my family’s terrier does seem to put them on edge.
    Just because something’s common doesn’t mean it isn’t pretty. I love to watch pigeons, especially when they have the irridescent feathers, and they’re as common as dirt in NJ.

    April 17, 2012
    • You’re totally right…. I had been taking pictures of these guys for years, and the images were building up on my computer. After being mesmerized in watching the female build her nest the other day, I finally did something with them. Just because they may be the “most abundant” species, doesn’t make them any less lovely or *amazing*. Definitely, look down for their basket-nests, intertwined in the reeds (or probably cattails, in your area?)… The males are up high doing their sentinel-thing — guarding the nests! 🙂

      April 18, 2012
      • I definitely can’t wait to see their nests. They haven’t returned from the winter yet, I’m hoping they’ll be back when I visit home for summer.
        We do have an adorable nesting pair of geese and a couple of pairs of ducks. The geese get a little mental when the ducks get too close. Luckily, it’s only two geese, too many of them can foul up a nice area very quickly.
        Thanks for following my blog. :]

        April 18, 2012
  46. Fantastic photos of the “family” – congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! It took me a bit to realize what was happening, hee — quite lovely. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  47. I have redwing blackbirds coming to my feeder but I can’t say I’ve ever seen a female before your photos. Thanks for some really great nature shots.

    April 17, 2012
    • How wonderful, I’m so glad that you can now identify them! It’s amazing how different they are from their male counterparts… Thanks so much for your kind words. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  48. Randomly stumbled upon your blog and loving all your entries! Everyone who’s commented above is right,these pictures are pretty amazing!

    April 17, 2012
    • You’re so kind — thanks very much! It’s wonderful to have such a lovely canvas (it makes things *very* easy!). I’m glad you were able to take a peek at the other entries as well… 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  49. Dee #

    Awesone photos.. so clear and close… I love the male feather color.. red + black is a nice combination.

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so much! The males really are incredibly striking, and hard *not* to photograph! The shock of red + yellow against their black sheens are gorgeous…

      April 18, 2012
  50. Fantastic pics. After reading your post, I’m intrigued and want to read more about this bird’s amazing behaviors. I’m definitely an amateur birder but I aspire for greatness. Even in the heart of Chicago, my home, we have a wide array of bird species. Do yunu ever watch cardinals? They’re a favorite of mine.
    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed!!!

    April 17, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I’m thrilled that the post has inspired you to delve deeper into this little bird’s nature. 🙂 I don’t think I could even call myself an amateur birder — I love them, and adore photographing them — but I’m lucky to be surrounded by some insanely knowledgeable Audubon enthusiasts! I *adore* cardinals…. We even have them here, in the depths of Florida, near the Everglades! But I haven’t been able to get a great shot of one — they’re quite shy. But they’re totally fascinating birds; how long they can live in the wild, etc.

      April 18, 2012
  51. I never would have recognized the female as a red-winged blackbird! And how did you ever get close enough for that shot of the eggs without being chased away?

    I do love your photos; they are so clear and expressive. And you’ve done an excellent bit of reporting, too! It’s clear you enjoy watching these birds and learning about their habits. Stay curious and keep sharing your observations! 😀

    April 18, 2012
    • What a wonderful and inspiring compliment(s), thanks so much!! I actually began photographing birds on our hikes, after taking hundreds upon hundreds of shots of trees and landscapes. The birds crept in, go figure! It’s such a joy to drag my camera around with me on these ventures, and even greater fun when I actually catch something. And, isn’t it amazing how different the female red-wing blackbirds are from their male counterparts, both in personality and appearance? For the shot of the eggs, I made sure I caught it while the female was feeding — I had sight of her nearby. A telephoto lens helps, too. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
      • I will have to take my little camera along on some hikes this summer. I won’t be able to get photos like yours, but who knows? I may end up with something good! 😉

        April 18, 2012
      • Oh, absolutely, do so!! I used to bring my little camera EVERYWHERE on my hikes… (Now it’s just a bit bigger.) You’d be surprised with what you can capture — their quality is amazing!

        April 18, 2012
  52. I love the photographs. They are beautiful and makes me smile to see the fine details of mother nature at work. Well well well done ! 🙂

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much for your kind words, and you’re absolutely right — it’s the most amazing thing to see Mother Nature at her finest!! I was completely mesmerized by these birds’ patience and diligence, and the solid structure of their creations. It’s just amazing. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  53. Angie G. #

    These are such amazing photographs. I’ve never seen red-winged blackbirds, but that’s probably because I live in Australia. I’d like to see them one day though! They seem so interesting! 🙂

    April 18, 2012
    • Ah, you’re in my (former) neck of the woods! I was raised in Micronesia…. No Red-wing Blackbirds there either, hah! Thanks so much for your kind words; they’re apparently the “most abundant” species on this continent, so if you make it over here — you’re bound to see ’em near water!

      April 18, 2012
  54. We have a feeder with a cage to deter squirrels. The red tips don’t fit so they wait below while the finches knock seeds on the ground. Teamwork or sloppy finches? Who knows, but it’s fun to watch either way.

    April 18, 2012
    • Heh, I like that!! It’s probably a combination of both, like everything… Teamwork + sloppy songbirds! We have the same tandem relationships here, and you’re right — it’s always fun to watch. The shy buntings will wait, if there’s no room at the feeders, and partake in the overflow below — until they’re scared to the feeder itself. It’s hysterical. Back and forth, and back and forth….

      April 18, 2012
  55. Wonderful pictures! Did you study photography? I especially love the last one where the female is looking down in worried concentration at something below. I used to live near Great Meadows, near Concord, MA – one of the most spiritual places I know. The Great Blue Heron on my twitter profile is from there. Took that with my iphone. 🙂 The setting sun turned the snow filled marsh into a golden corn field and he stood majestically resplendent in the light. I can only imagine how beautifully you would have captured the scene and him.

    Good Luck and thanks for sharing your gift.

    April 18, 2012
    • What a most lovely and inspiring compliment — I can’t thank you enough for such kind words! We have so many Great Blues in our area (of course, we’re surrounded with swamp) — I adore them! I “don’t do the twitter,” LOL… But I wish I could see your image! I posted some Great Blues nesting, recently. WOW, for such graceful and elegant birds, that’s brutal witness. The chick that’s born first is stronger and more learned in the feeding process — so the younger and weaker chick is fiercely put in his/her place through a struggle. Nature.

      April 18, 2012
      • You’re right. Nature is indeed a great teacher in so many ways. I don’t know how to mail you the picture. It doesn’t paste here and I am new to the blogging scene. I love the GB too. Will you post a link to your post on them? Would love to read. And again, you really have a beautiful gift. Brought me a lot of peace today – just looking at your photographs. Thank you!

        April 18, 2012
      • No worries — I’m relatively new to the process myself! If you go to the main page of Serenity Spell, there are pages at the top. Hover on Wildlife, and click on Great Blue Herons… Inside that article, more links will be provided! Thanks so much again; it truly is an utmost and inspiring compliment.

        April 18, 2012
  56. wow amazing photographs beautiful ..post very informative

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks very much! I’m so glad the content was helpful as well — they’re such amazing little songbirds. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  57. Brilliant photographs and congratulations on being ‘freshly pressed’. We don’t have those here in Ireland, just the ordinary plain black blackbirds and the females are not quite as Thrush like and these.

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! We have the “plain” blackbirds (I realize there are a few species) as well — which are equally as gorgeous, with their ebony sheens! I just couldn’t find their nests, heh…. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  58. really nice pics.
    ship management

    April 18, 2012
  59. transplantednorth #

    I love the call of the redwinged blackbird, it reminds me of childhood because I grew up near an open field. thanks for posting these wonderful photos!

    April 18, 2012
    • You’re so very welcome, and many thanks for your kind words! It’s amazing how hearing and seeing these little beauties can bring back such wonderful memories…. Nature certainly has that way. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  60. Thanks for the lovely pictures and especially for the insight into the female of this species. Red-Winged Blackbirds are among my favorite birds, but you do rarely see the females and — even when you do — you’re often left to wonder if it’s really of the same species. I was especially impressed to see the nest! Great job.

    April 18, 2012
    • You’re so welcome, and many thanks for the kind words! You’re exactly right; for the longest time I passed the females on my hikes, simply because they were so shy and different. We’re fortunate to have protected wetlands with several nesting colonies, making them easier to spot. The nests can be tricky, but wow, to see one in creation is truly amazing — and a spectacular feat of Nature.

      April 18, 2012
  61. Goodness, I don’t know how to tell you how stunning these photos are. They leave me nearly breathless.

    Congrats on FP. I’m one of your fellow’s–also FP yesterday. Pretty crazy, isn’t it?

    Take care,
    Katrhy

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much for your kind words, what a compliment! Congratulations to you as well with your FP blog — I can’t wait to check it out! It was definitely a lovely surprise — I didn’t think all those emails in my inbox were just for *me*, hee! 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  62. mamadestroy #

    What incredible photos! I live in Brooklyn, New York and the red-winged blackbird is a common sight here in Prospect Park. So interesting that they can flourish in such different environments!

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! They really are such amazingly adaptable birds (like so many, I guess) — but your area, at one time, had swampy spots! (Perhaps it still does?) They know where to go…

      April 18, 2012
  63. I enjoyed this so much! Just this past weekend I was teaching my 7-year-old son what little I know about redwing blackbirds. We see a lot of them at our park, which surrounds a small wetland. I’d love to share this post on my blog, with your permission.

    April 18, 2012
    • I’m so thrilled — what perfect timing! Absolutely, feel free to add a pingback to this content on your blog, with whatever else you’d like… There’s also a more recent post on this blog, showing Red-wing Blackbird hatchlings in another nest. They’re adorable in their naked chirping selves… 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  64. Thanks for the great photos of the female! I watched a bird in our local marsh off and on for days trying to ID it until it finally occurred to me to check out the Female red-wings markings.

    April 18, 2012
    • You’re so welcome, and many thanks! Isn’t it amazing how different they are from the males of the species? I often strolled right by them myself, on our hikes… They’re so shy, it doesn’t help!

      April 18, 2012
  65. Amazing photos! You got so close to them (or possibly just have a great zoom-lens on your camera – either way, great shots!), and I’ve never seen one of their nests before. congrats on fp 🙂

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I knew the WP community was open and kind, but it really is exceptionally so. Yes, a telephoto lens was definitely needed for these shots, especially for the females, who like to stick close to the marsh vegetation… 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  66. Red winged blackbirds are such lovely birds. I love their song!

    April 18, 2012
    • Isn’t it amazing to hear them? They’re such beautiful songbirds — as one other person noted, just because they’re common doesn’t make them any less lovely. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  67. Suyang #

    😍love love love the bird.

    April 18, 2012
    • They’re such beautiful little songbirds!! I’m glad these guys were so patient (or territorial…). 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  68. The clarity of your photos is really really good. I have noticed that even animals can sense
    your innate goodness and not fly away

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so much, you’re very kind! I do believe animals have a sense with people…

      April 18, 2012
  69. Great post, and congratulations on your “fresh-pressed” accomplishment! That isn’t likely to happen for me, as I post video guitar licks/solos and songs with tablature. Once again, congrats!

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I was quite surprised honestly, unsure as to where the sudden influx of emails was originating from, hah! I knew the WP community was open and kind, but it really is exceptionally so. But see, my guy would *love* your blog (he’s a bassist)… 🙂

      April 18, 2012
      • Last year, I moved from Florida (lived there for 30 years), and don’t have a single nature photo I took during that time that would compare to yours. Quite a talent you’ve developed.

        April 18, 2012
      • Aw, that’s so kind… But I bet that’s not true in the least! People are always hardest on their own work. I love most of what I’ve seen. I wasn’t going to post *any* of my images, until my own family prompted me to do so. We’re our own worst critics (especially those who are artistically-minded, wow!)….

        April 18, 2012
  70. I’ve seen these birds in my backyard! I live in Southwest Florida.

    April 18, 2012
    • Ah, nice! I’m on the opposite coast as you, in Southeast FL… Hullo!! 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  71. I agree with the others, those images are amazing. I have never heard of the Red-winged Blackbird but what a nice surprise with the red. =) Thanks for sharing and you really are an amazing photographer.

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much for the kind words — I really do have a lovely canvas, and that’s the most important thing. It’s definitely been a learning process, and I’ve been enjoying every moment. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  72. I grew up in Lompoc California and we had Red Winged Black Birds! I was so jealous of those people back east who had so many colorful birds! I live in the Pacific North West now and miss the Lovely Red Winged Kings of Lompoc! They are aggressive and also rude. But seeing your pictures of the females is amazing! I lived so close to their habitat and had no idea.
    They love to be fed bread and whatever seed you have! I was in Lompoc two years ago and was happy to see my childhood friends! My mom has to have a system for feeding. Open front for the crows…then the regular blackbirds and sparrows. In the back the Colorful fruit eaters eat in front of a picture window. AND in the back are the Red Winged Blackbirds! They own the grass, the terrace. The catch the bugs like pros and streak Red across the greens and browns of a temperate climate. A joy much missed!

    April 18, 2012
    • Aw, that’s wonderful!! I knew a woman in England who fed SO MANY different types of birds, and she had a similar system… I was in awe!! They all liked different things, and they all had their own feeding patterns. How lovely to work so closely with Nature. I’m so jealous that you’re now in the PNW — I lived for a bit in Seattle, and miss it terribly!!! 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  73. We see many of those here in Toronto near High Park as well as in the Kawarthas at our other home. Where there is marsh and cat tails you will see Red Winged Blackbirds! Thanks for sharing.

    April 18, 2012
    • You’re so welcome! It’s amazing how widespread these beauties are, throughout North America… But as so many have noted, just because they’re common doesn’t make them any less lovely. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  74. Amazing! I love your blog and photos!!!! I can’t wait to view all your previous posts and the new ones!!!

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much for following, and reading this chaos!! 🙂 I have a lovely canvas with the Everglades — it’s such a unique ecosystem, totally special.

      April 18, 2012
      • I am sure the everglades are amazing. I have never been but I have snapped shots of the local creatures that visit my yard here in north Houston. I will be sharing those soon!

        April 18, 2012
      • Fantastic!! I can’t wait… 🙂

        April 18, 2012
  75. I love red-winged blackbirds, Thanks for sharing!

    April 18, 2012
    • You’re so welcome, many thanks for visiting! They really are lovely little songbirds. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  76. Great, well written story! They are so widespread, and common even in Northern California. I absolutely love their song, and often see/hear them while riding my bike through rural back roads and cattle grazing lands. Thanks.

    April 18, 2012
    • Ah, I adore Northern CA! Have family there, and would love, love, LOVE to live there! Thanks so very much for your kind words + visit… It’s wonderful to listen to their songs, I agree — and it’s great to hear how they live in such radically different environs throughout the continent.

      April 18, 2012
  77. I’ve never seen a female Red Wing Black Bird til now. Thank you. I live in Michigan and surprisingly, they were the first birds we saw back this Spring, even before the Robbins!

    April 18, 2012
    • Ah, how wonderful! They look — and act — so differently than the males, that they’re easy to miss. Between their shyness and their natural camouflage, they definitely blend with their environs. Now maybe you’ll see their nests too! 🙂

      April 18, 2012
      • I was so excited- I went out for a walk at lunch by our retention pond, and there was a female, hanging out in the grass! Awesome!

        April 19, 2012
      • Oh yay! I bet there was a nest nearby, too! It’s that time. 🙂 I strolled around our wetlands last night, and every time I spotted a female, I hung around a bit longer… And found her nest! (Of course the pics are still on the camera…)

        April 19, 2012
  78. Very well photographed. 🙂 Thank you for posting. 🙂

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! They’re fun to capture. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  79. Great close-ups. Interesting to see them building nests.

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so much! That was definitely a mesmerizing event — the patience and diligence of the females, in building these amazing constructs…. 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  80. The conservation of animal species should be a key part of the environmental policies of countries. Birds, in particular, are susceptible to changes in its ecosystem. In Costa Rica, for example, populations of birds in Monteverde have decreased considerably due to the growth of the community of Santa Elena and climate change of the place.

    Beautiful pictures.

    April 18, 2012
    • I totally, thoroughly, wholeheartedly agree with you… On all points. If we can’t care for species that have existed on this planet for tens of millions of years — or more to the point, if we continue to destroy their habitats and diminish their populations with other human ills (poaching, etc.) — we’re going to find ourselves in a none-too-happy situation. I do see more groups organizing and fighting to protect the animals and land, though — I don’t know if it’s my hope, but there seems to have reached a breaking point and/or a general realization in some areas of the world, that change and protection/preservation is simply *needed*.

      Thanks so much for visiting, and the kind words!

      April 19, 2012
      • Thank you for considering these issues in your site 🙂

        April 20, 2012
  81. Amazing job, the colors are so brilliant, expecially the red of the male, is really powerful!
    Thank you for sharing,
    Artphalt (http://artphalt.wordpress.com)

    April 18, 2012
    • You’re so welcome, and thanks very much! They really are hard NOT to photograph, with their lovely coloring — especially during nesting season!! 🙂

      April 19, 2012
  82. Wow! These are wondeful photographs. I love redwinged blackbirds. They tell us Spring is truly here. Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive and well photographed piece about them.

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much, for the kind compliments! I love to learn a bit about what I’ve been shooting as well, if I don’t already know — they’re all so amazing and lovely.

      April 19, 2012
  83. lijiujiu #

    Excellent post.
    Red-winged Blackbirds are so cute, I love them, thanks for sharing.

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I’m glad you enjoyed. I adore them too, they have such lovely little personalities (just saw a bunch this evening, fell in love again)… 🙂

      April 18, 2012
  84. Great Post. I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas and there were numerous Redwing Blackbirds way back then. Now you hardly see them. Your post transported me back to my younger day. Thanks…

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so much — I’m glad you enjoyed them! It’s amazing how so many reconnect with these lovely little songbirds. But wow, that’s such a shame that you don’t see them as much any longer along the Gulf Coast!! Do you know why…? Habitat loss? Human development?

      April 19, 2012
      • I’m not sure exactly why there are fewer birds. I’m sure there are a number of reasons. It’s not just the Redwing but all birds like it. I grew up on a cotton farm and when the flock of birds in the field would take off you could hardly see the sky. Now the flocks of birds are numbered in the hundreds instead thousands. A shame…

        April 19, 2012
      • How interesting… There has to be a reason, of course. Pesticides? I’m sure environmentalists and scientists would know why their (and other birds’) habitats have been so drastically affected. Like you said — what a shame.

        April 19, 2012
  85. Hi Miss FeyGirl! I have loved watching birds since I was very small. I’m from Texas and I have never seen your red-winged blackbirds. I am so thrilled that my first encounter was with your photos. They are incredible, fresh, compelling; it’s like you really understand birds and are able to capture their true nature and personalities in your pictures. I especially loved seeing the female bird with her beak full of her chosen materials for their nest. Even the lives of little birds can awe and inspire us. Thank you for bringing such beauty to us all. 🙂

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks very much — those are the utmost compliments!! I’m so glad I was able to provide a little snapshot into their amazing little lives — I’ve been photographing these lovelies for so long, and haven’t done anything about it. Your choice was my favorite, too… While the males are so intense and spectacularly bright, I fall in love with the females each spring. And when I’m lucky enough to see one building her nest? Wow. They really are the most amazing constructs of Nature — as one fellow blogger put it, “delicacy and strength combined.” I just saw that half-constructed nest last night, and it’s been completely finished, totally perfect. 🙂 One of your fellow Texas natives just commented that he used to see them along the Gulf Coast as a child, but not as much any longer….

      April 19, 2012
  86. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed them! They’re hard not to share, with their fabulous colorations and personalities… 🙂

      April 19, 2012
  87. i really love red-winged birds…nice pic’s

    April 19, 2012
    • Thanks very much! It’s amazing how this little bright, common songbird grabs the hearts of so many…

      April 19, 2012
  88. Red Winged Blackbird was my mom’s favorite bird. There are so many in the lakes and waterways near Denver – I loved to take walks with mom and listen for their call!

    April 19, 2012
    • How wonderful! It’s amazing how comforting their calls can be — as so many others have also said. I’m sure it has to do with the peace and serenity of being around water (which is usually where these lovelies can be found)… 🙂

      April 19, 2012
  89. Reblogged this on elephantbeads inspire blog and commented:
    The Red Winged Blackbird was my mom’s favorite bird – sometimes I think her spirit speaks to me when I hear their call! I love the photos in this post – such intimate portraits of the birds!

    April 19, 2012
  90. Lotto Results #

    WoW! Brilliant pictures. They are so beautifully taken. Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

    April 19, 2012
    • Thanks so very much for your kind words! These lovelies are great fun to photograph… 🙂

      April 19, 2012
  91. yosephvera #

    cute bird

    April 19, 2012
    • Aren’t they? They try to be tough, alas… 🙂

      April 19, 2012
  92. Great pictures!

    April 19, 2012
  93. Beautiful pictures! just wonderful. Ironically earlier today I posted something about a poetry/picture book my 4 yr old & I did together and its all about birds. The very first poem in the book is in fact about the Red-Winged Blackbird! It’s always been my favorite since I was a little girl. Nice work

    April 19, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! What a *wonderful* concept, a children’s rhyming book on birds! It’s amazing how many people identify with these little lovelies. 🙂 Much luck on your book!!

      April 19, 2012
  94. Wow – these shots really are amazing and beautiful.

    April 21, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! Sometimes they can be tough to catch — the nests are always so well hidden in the marsh/swamp vegetation. But I love these guys. 🙂

      April 21, 2012
  95. ElizaDreams #

    These are beautiful pictures! I love listening to those birds in my backyard.

    elizadreams.wordpress.com

    April 21, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I adore them; they have such vibrant personalities. I’m glad you get to enjoy them, too. 🙂

      April 21, 2012
  96. Thank you for wonderful pictures!

    April 25, 2012
    • You’re so welcome! Thanks much, and for the visit + follow!! 🙂

      April 25, 2012
  97. amediumslife #

    Beautiful Photos!

    April 26, 2012
  98. panscapricorns #

    Naturally you are a lover of nature as myself the photos are wonderful to look at

    April 28, 2012
    • Absolutely!! I run to nature to regroup, decopmpress…you name it. Thanks so much for your kind words! 🙂

      April 28, 2012
  99. These are so beautiful pic’s…looks so beautiful

    April 29, 2012
    • Thanks so very much! I’m lucky to have close access to several natural areas; and many water/wading birds make their homes here… 🙂

      April 29, 2012
  100. I love your pages! Always an education done beautifully. Today I learned about the Mrs. Quite a pretty bird on her own. I’ve seen many males, but never knew about the females. And the nests are clever with delightfully designed eggs. Almost like artwork — change that — they ARE artwork. Great stuff.

    April 30, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I totally agree — those eggs are an artwork unto themselves. I’m so glad I was able to provide a wee bit of info! I love to learn about the critters when I go out myself, photographing… It took me awhile to realize those were females, too. 🙂

      April 30, 2012
  101. This is informative. I have encountered red-winged blackbirds in marshy areas of western Washington (State), but I have known little about the birds. I read a memoir once, can’t remember the name of the author or the book, about a New Yorker’s relationship with a particular red-winged blackbird in Central Park.

    May 31, 2012
    • I’m so glad you found this useful! We’re surrounded by these little lovelies here in South Florida, with the wetlands, swamps, and Everglades, so I had to give them their appropriate due. 🙂 I love to hear them when I’m out-and-about, and seeing the males’ bright spots of color. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this book — I’ve never heard of it!

      June 1, 2012
  102. Gorgeous pics. We have these in our area and love admire them as well. 🙂

    July 29, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I love these bright and lovely little songbirds. It’s hard not to focus on them when I visit our local wetlands — they’re such a prominent (and vocal) part of the scenery.

      July 30, 2012
  103. Such a fabulous post that truly deserved being fresh-pressed. Your photos are so spectacular, that I have nothing but bird photo envy every time I look at one of your captures. Who needs a fancy lens when you have become a master already!

    September 22, 2012
    • Aw, you’re SO incredibly kind!!! Incredibly lucky here, to be surrounded by such fantastic opportunities and models — and now that the worst of the heat is breaking….? Hoorah! Next time you’re down, you must visit the rookeries!!

      XOXO!!!!

      September 24, 2012
  104. Ray Stroud #

    I live in Schertz TX and saw a strange looking bird. The bird had a black head wings and tail with a small yellow spott on the tip of its tail. The wings had the red and yellow strip and when it opened up its wings it had a lot of red but the back was like a female and colored like a sparrow anyone know what that may be.

    October 1, 2012
  105. You have a beautiful blog. I shared the Audubon photos on facebook. I hope you don’t mind if I do this again.

    June 6, 2013
    • I’m so very sorry for the late response… The VERY late response, hah! I’ve been offline with my blog, sadly, due to work. But absolutely, please – feel free to share away! 😉 I’m honored! XO, -Christina

      July 18, 2013
  106. LOVE these birdies!! They are amazing!

    August 8, 2013
    • Aren’t they the sweetest? I missed them this year… The babies, that is. I was so sad!

      August 9, 2013
  107. Beautiful photographs and loved your narrative too.

    May 17, 2014
    • Thank you so very much! It was a treat to witness, and learn about them — such amazing creatures! And their nests are beautiful creations.

      June 13, 2014
      • Have you ever read about the red-winged blackbird George in Central Park, Manhattan? I read a book about a man’s discovery of red-winged blackbirds and his special bird, George. I can’t recall the name of the book or the author, but I remember George.

        June 13, 2014
      • Omigosh, you know… I have! Either someone else mentioned it to me, or I stumbled across the title (I studied art in NYC) by chance. I’m going to have to look it up, now! 🙂

        June 13, 2014
      • It’s a fun book.

        June 13, 2014
  108. It looks like I’m viewing your post again–a deja vu experience! Your photos are amazing. I’ve never been able to get photos of the red-wing blackbird though I have tried. They’re often hidden from sight at the marsh I visit. I can definitely hear their signature call though.

    May 24, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Red-Winged Blackbird in Cape May, N.J. | I see beauty all around by rob paine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: