Male Red-winged Blackbird singing on a Mangrove

Singing male Red-winged BlackbirdSinging male Red-winged Blackbird – D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/200, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Red-winged Blackbirds are found in every state in the lower 48, Alaska and southern Canada. They prefer wetlands, freshwater marshes, wet meadows and saltwater marshes. It isn’t unusual for me to see Red-winged Blackbirds here in Utah foraging along the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake or while I lived in Florida singing from the tops of mangroves in a Spartina marsh, like the male shown above who was attempting to call in the ladies during breeding season at the north beach of Fort De Soto County Park. I don’t know if this male was successful with the female Red-winged Blackbirds but he sure had me mesmerized with his sleek black feathers and his flashing red, orange and yellow epaulets.

Even though Red-winged Blackbirds are common they are fascinating and challenging subjects because it seems they are active all the time and those black feathers are difficult to expose properly and show fine details in their plumage.

The “common” can be uncommonly beautiful in the right light and setting.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


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  2. Such a stunning bird. Thank you.

  3. I miss lying face down, sun on my back, in lukewarm,turquoise colored salt water…small waves rocking me gently as I peer through my mask at tiny sea creatures and shells in a tangle of mangrove roots.

  4. He is one handsome dude! How could any lady bird resist him?

  5. Simply outstanding photograph, Mia! Yes, they’re “common” but your image of this one is quite “uncommon”!
    As you said, it’s very difficult to expose properly.

    It wouldn’t be Florida without hearing the Red-winged Blackbird calling, singing and diving into the weeds!

  6. hi mia
    i never seen this bird, he s beautifull, the red/orange spots on wings makes a good help fir identification i suppose :))
    thanks for this nice picture
    see you soon ☼

  7. One of the most pleasing RWBB shots I’ve ever seen Mia. I had an opportunity to photograph Tricoloreds during a UC Davis banding event and found myself struggling with those amazing blacks, and I only wish I could have captured them like you did. Great job as usual!

  8. Beautiful shot, Mia. These birds grace my backyard and are difficult to capture.

  9. MORE RAPTORS! Hah, just teasing, I love all your photos. And you post lots of raptors, which makes me happy.

  10. I agree, there is nothing “common” about common. Love them all.

  11. Beautifully done, Mia! I agree with your last statement 100%!

  12. Mia, you have captured him so beautifully. All his lovely details are very evident in your photo.

  13. Excellent shot Mia, thanks for sharing.

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