Red-winged Blackbird in the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge
The beautiful red-winged blackbird is found year-round at the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. This bird is one of the most studied bird species in the world and many claims have been made that it is the most abundant bird species in all of the North America.
The species get its name from the male’s distinctive red shoulder patches. The female red-winged blackbird is smaller and blackish-brown in color. They tend to inhabit open grassy areas with some wetlands. This makes Rocky Flats the perfect home for them.
The red-winged blackbird is omnivorous and tends to eat seeds, weeds, corn, rice and a variety of insects like butterflies, moths, flies, worms, and dragon flies. They even eat spiders, frogs and snails. The species faces number of predators year-round like rat snakes, barn owls, hawks, ravens, minks, foxes, raccoons and magpies.
Red-winged blackbirds are known to migrate in massive loose flocks. They sometimes form a flock that consists of a million birds during migrating season.
Although they may be one of the most abundant native bird species in North America, red-winged blackbird populations have decreased. According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, the red-winged blackbird population declined more than 30-percent between 1966 and 2014. Because of this, it is important that they have a good home and Rocky Flats is the perfect habitat for them!
Learn more about the wildlife in the area on the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge website!
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons