Decorah, Decorah North
Red-winged Blackbirds are omnivorous ground foragers. They eat primarily insects during the summer, occasionally supplementing their diet with seeds. They eat seeds and grain during the winter, including corn, wheat, ragweed, cocklebur, and sunflower seeds.
Red-winged Blackbirds breed from late-March through mid-August. A female Red-winged Blackbird builds her nest by winding grass and sedges around several close upright stems. She weaves the bottom from coarse vegetation and begins filling in the nest with leaves, moss, and decayed wood before plastering it with mud and lining the inside with soft grass. Red-winged Blackbirds lay two to four Pale blue-green to gray darkly-splotched eggs per clutch and may produce up to two broods per year. Females incubate eggs for 11-13 days and young stay in the nest for 11-14 days before fledging. Both parents provide parental care, although the female may do more feeding than the male. To learn more, visit Cornell’s website.
Although Red-winged Blackbirds are common in Decorah, the population has declined in Ontario and some other areas. Climate change appears to be reducing the population of red-winged blackbirds and increasing the ratio of females to males. The birds birds appear to have extended their breeding season with the warming trend. But the extension has occurred at the season’s beginning and end, when the birds’ tendency is to produce more females, not in the middle, when more males are produced. You can read more about it here: https://ansc.illinois.edu/news/climate-change-creates-dramatic-decline-red-winged-black-bird-population-0.
Bird Range Maps of North America
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003.
Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA. Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy – Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International – CABS, World Wildlife Fund – US, and Environment Canada – WILDSPACE.
Web Link: http://bit.ly/2ynPQ5I