Male Red-winged Blackbird singing on a Mangrove

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County, Red-winged Blackbirds/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.



  1. Elephant's Child November 16, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Such a stunning bird. Thank you.

  2. Patty Chadwick November 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    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.

  3. Patty Chadwick November 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

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

  4. Wally November 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    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!

  5. Sonja Ross November 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Just beautiful, Mia.

  6. eric c11 November 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    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. M. Bruce November 15, 2013 at 10:28 am

    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. Lynn Koch November 15, 2013 at 9:40 am

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

  9. Jerry Liguori November 15, 2013 at 8:02 am

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

  10. Ilze Long November 15, 2013 at 7:56 am

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

  11. Beverly Everson November 15, 2013 at 7:06 am

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

  12. judy watson November 15, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Beautiful shot!

  13. Dick Harlow November 15, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Excellent shot Mia, thanks for sharing.

  14. Bob Bushell November 15, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Brilliant photograph.

  15. Montanagirl November 15, 2013 at 6:58 am

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

Comments are closed.