This week’s photo, taken April 17, 2013 at Union Bay Natural Area (Montlake Fill) in Seattle, WA, features a female RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD clinging to a cattail.
Differences between male and female Red-winged Blackbirds are striking. Most people in North America are probably familiar with the male, with its fiery red shoulder patches that strongly contrast with its black body. But if you’re faced with a female Red-winged Blackbird for the first time, you might say, “What the heck is that?” With its brown color and extensive streaking, a female red-wing may remind you more of a sparrow than a blackbird.
One thing is certain: a male Red-winged Blackbird knows a female Red-winged Blackbird when it sees one.