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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Agelaius phoeniceus
POPULATION: 150 million
HABITAT: Breeds and winters in fresh and saltwater marshes; also meadows, prairies, and fields, especially near ditches or ponds.
The liquid, burbling “conk-a-ree!” of a male Red-winged Blackbird on territory is a sure sign of spring, or at least its pending arrival. This bird’s common name derives from the sleek black males’ distinctive shoulder patches, or epaulets, which flash red in flight and while the bird is singing on territory.
The Red-winged Blackbird belongs to the family Icteridae, which includes the Eastern Meadowlark, Tricolored Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, and Baltimore Oriole.