Each spring, just as northern marshes are thawing, red-winged blackbirds return to their nesting
grounds. Within moments of their arrival, males display their red wing patches and sing their territorial songs.
The females won't appear until about 2 weeks after the males, but you'll know when they've arrived: Watch for the
males' territorial displays to intensify. (Females look completely different from males--more like large sparrows.)
Report your First Red-Winged Blackbird to Journey North
Help Track Red-Winged Blackbird Migration
Listen to the song of the Red-winged blackbird. Listen over and over so you'll be sure to recognize
it next spring.
- As soon as you see (or hear!) your first Red-winged blackbird of the spring, report your
observations to Journey North.
- When the blackbirds arrive, try these field observations you can
do with red-winged blackbirds.
Red-winged Blackbirds on the Wintering Grounds?
If you see red-winged blackbirds overwintering in your region, please report your observation now. Red-winged blackbirds
spend winter in the southern U.S. states.
Watch for Signs of Spring
Your sightings of first red-winged blackbirds--as well as frogs, earthworms, emerging
leaves, flowing sap, melting ice and other spring events--will to be incorporated into Monday's "Signs of
Spring" updates. Twice each month, Journey North will post news about various Signs of Spring--including
the arrival of red-winged blackbirds.
Signs of Spring will be posted on: MONDAYS
Jan. 31, Feb. 14, 28, Mar. 13, 27, Apr. 10, 24, May 8, and 22
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