The Red-winged Blackbird is a passerine bird found in most of North and much of Central America. It breeds from Alaska and Newfoundland south to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, and Guatemala, with isolated populations in western El Salvador, northwestern Honduras, and northwestern Costa Rica. It may winter as far north as Pennsylvania and British Columbia, but northern populations are generally migratory, moving south to Mexico and the southern United States.
The male is all black with a red shoulder and yellow wing bar, while the female is a nondescript dark brown. Seeds and insects make up the bulk of the Red-winged Blackbird's diet.
The common name for the Red-winged Blackbird is taken from the mainly black adult male's distinctive red shoulder patches which are visible when the bird is flying or displaying. At rest, the male also shows a pale yellow wingbar. The female is blackish-brown and paler below. It is 25 cm in length and weighing 64 gm.
Young birds resemble the female, but are paler below and have buff feather fringes. Both male and female have a sharply pointed bill. The tail is of medium length and is rounded. The eyes, bill, and feet are all black.