The Feather Files
Name: Agelaius phoeniceus
Alias: Red-winged Blackbird
Migration: Red-winged Blackbirds that breed through most of Canada spend the winter in the southern United States. The birds that breed in the United States and Mexico don’t migrate at all.
Date Seen: May 2018, February 2019
Location: Utah and Arizona
These birds spend the breeding season in wet places like fresh or saltwater marshes. Male Red-winged Blackbirds will sit on a high perch over their territories, which they defend vigorously. Females slink through reeds and grasses collecting food or nest material. This explains why I didn’t recognize the female until I saw a flock of them feeding beside a lake during non-breeding season.