The Red-winged Blackbirds are here at the freshwater marshes around The Villages, FL now. I have spotted these gorgeous male Red-winged Blackbirds in many spots around the lakes and ponds. The birds often hunt for insects to eat by landing on larger lily pads, Cattail Reeds, and Willow Trees. The female is a much less vividly colored brown bird resembling a female Cowbird, Grackle, Starling or even a larger sparrow. The males have vivid, deep orange-red and yellow bars on the shoulders.
Red-winged Blackbirds dine on insects, worms, spiders, and during the Winter and early Spring, they add seeds and grains to their diet. The Red-winged Blackbirds can be noisy when there are a lot of them around. These birds are commonly spotted in many places throughout the United States. I was happy to have seen the handsome males at the Walmart “Buffalo Ridge” pond off of CR 466, and also at the Lake Deaton area Sharon Weichen Nature Preserve in The Villages, FL.