Migration and Annual Cycle

(This is a Limited Coverage Species)

February: Non-migratory red-winged blackbirds are in the western US and Central America. Redwings that breed in Canada and the northern US are in the southern US, feeding on grain, putting on fat, and starting to migrate north.

March: Peak male migration and territorial behavior. Females arriving behind males.

April: Peak male territorial behavior. Females nesting, and first eggs are hatching. Birds are exceptionally wary when crows or hawks fly over nesting marshes.

May: Virtually all redwings on territory now, and egg-laying and incubation are at annual peak. Many more babies hatching.

June: Re-nesting and rearing babies keep redwings very busy all month.

July: Nesting is finishing up by early in the month, and as parents finish baby-rearing, they are starting to molt.

August: Just about all babies have fledged and are on their own by the start of the month. This is the peak month for molting body and flight feathers.

September: Birds are gathering in large feeding flocks, putting on fat in preparation for migration and winter. Flight and body feathers are still being molted.

October: Birds are feeding and migrating in huge flocks.

November: Peak of migration in southern states and Great Plains. Birds feed in huge flocks.

December: Mostly on wintering grounds in central and southern states. Some stragglers may remain in northern states and provinces.

January: Redwings are still on wintering grounds, putting on fat for the coming spring migration.