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Red-winged blackbird        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The ubiquitous red-winged blackbird is common throughout much of North America.  Birds in the west tend to lack the yellowish border on their red wing patches found on many red-wings.   I took most of these photos in springtime, in patches of wild mustard and a tule marsh at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area near Riverside, California -- a habitat they share with the closely-related and very similar tricolored blackbird.   The camouflage-colored females were photographed nearby; with difficulty they can be distinguised from female tricolored blackbirds by reddish-brown shades on the 'shoulders'.
      More images of male red-wings in intense display behavior are here; flying flocks of red-winged blackbirds are on this page.

  • Canon 10D, 1D3, or 1D4; 500 mm f4 IS lens plus 2X converter or 800 mm lens + 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Canon EOS1v, 500 mm f4 IS lens plus 2X converter, Elite Chrome Extra Color (2003)