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Red-winged Blackbird Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A stocky, broad-shouldered blackbird with a slender, conical bill and a medium-length tail. Red-winged Blackbirds often show a hump-backed silhouette while perched; males often sit with tail slightly flared.

    Relative Size

    About three-quarters the size of a Common Grackle

    Relative Sizerobin sizedrobin-sized

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 6.7-9.1 in (17-23 cm)
      • Weight: 1.1-2.7 oz (32-77 g)
      • Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in (31-40 cm)

Regional Differences

There’s subtle variation in Red-winged Blackbirds across the country. The most obvious race is the “bicolored blackbird” of coastal California, which shows no yellow border on the red shoulders.