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THE NATURAL WORLD OF SOUTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND THROUGH THE LENS OF CAPTAIN YVES- PART 18

Glossy-black males have scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide depending on how confident they feel.

Females are a subdued, streaky brown, almost like a large, dark sparrow.

They eat mainly insects in the summer and, corn and wheat, in the winter. Sometimes they feed by probing at the bases of aquatic plants with their slender bills, prying them open to get at insects hidden inside.

Male Red-winged Blackbirds defend their territories during the breeding season. They spend more than a quarter of daylight hours in territory defense. They will chase other males out of the territory and attacks nest predators, sometimes going after much larger animals, including horses and people.

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