The Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is a passerine bird of the family Icteridae found in most of North and much of Central America. It breeds from Alaska and Newfoundland south to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, and Guatemala, with isolated populations in western El Salvador, northwestern Honduras, and northwestern Costa Rica. It may winter as far north as Pennsylvania and British Columbia, but northern populations are generally migratory, moving south to Mexico and the southern United States. 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. Seeds and insects make up the bulk of the Red-winged Blackbird’s diet.
(From Wikipedia, May 17th, 2010)
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Easily distinguished by their glossy black feathers and red and yellow epaulets at the shoulder, males are the more brightly colored of the two sexes. Females tend to be dusty or brownish in color with dark stripes on their undersides. Females resemble large sparrows and are often recognized by their off-white eyebrow markings. Both males and females have dark legs and claws. The beak of male red-winged blackbirds tends to be totally black, whereas the beak of female red-winged blackbirds is dark brown on top with lighter brown on the underside. Both males and females have sharply pointed beaks. (Cleary, 2002; Jennings, 2000; Kirschenbaum, 1996; National Wildlife Federation, 1996; Neff, 1997; Yasukawa and Searcy, 1995)
Both male and female adult red-winged blackbirds are approximately 22 cm long, weigh 41.6 to 70.5 g and have a wingspan of 30 to 37 cm. Young males and females resemble adult females in coloration. Males undergo a transitional stage in which red epaulets appear orange in color before reaching their adult coloration. Olson (1994) showed that the average basal metabolic rate for adults in his experiments was 656 cm cubed/oxygen per minute and that the rate for three-day-old birds was 296 cm cubed/oxygen per minute. (Jennings, 2000; Kirschenbaum, 1996; National Wildlife Federation, 1996; Olson, 1994; Olson, 2001; Yasukawa and Searcy, 1995)
(From EOL via Animal Diversity Web)
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