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Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus

Flight call description Highly variable with different regional dialects and a nearly continuous gradation of call types. Main flight calls are a soft, clapping "pek" (or "check" or "trk"), a soft, rising "pwik", a louder, higher, huskier "jek" (or "jik"), a squeaky, doubled "ki-drk", and a whistled "seee" (or "seeer"). Other call types are sometimes given in flight including a loud, nasal "jenk" and a high, popping "teek". See Behavior.


Fig.1. New York June 23, 1989 (WRE).

"Pek" call from bird in flight.



Fig.2. Florida May 3, 1989 (WRE).

"Jek" call from bird in flight.



Fig.3. Texas May 14, 2001 (WRE). 

"Pwik" call from female in flight.



Fig.4. New York March 23, 1989 (WRE).

"Ki-drk" call from bird in flight.



Fig.5. November 1, 2001 (MO).

"Seee" call from bird in flight.


Examples     Diurnal


Similar species "Jek" call similar to Rusty Blackbird but higher, huskier, and more rising. See Yellow-headed Blackbird.


Behavior Primarily a diurnal migrant. Gives flight calls regularly while perched and in flight during the day. Not known to give flight calls at night. "Pek" and "jek" calls and variations are given regularly by both sexes. "Pwik" is apparently given only by females. Most other call types apparently restricted to males. Repertoire largest in the breeding season and more restricted at other seasons. "Ki-drk" and "seee" calls given primarily during spring migration or on the breeding grounds.