Merlin Bird Graphic

Merlin Bird ID

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    Red-winged Blackbird Identification

    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.