blackbird

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blackbird,

common name in North America of a perching bird allied to the bobolink, the meadow lark, the oriole, and the grackle and belonging to the family Icteridae. The European blackbird, Turdus merula, is a thrush. The blackbird is possibly the most numerous N America land bird. The red-winged blackbird of E North America is a familiar sight, its scarlet shoulder patches conspicuous among the tall grasses of the marshes and wet meadows where it nests. It eats grain, insects, and weed seeds. Another common species is the yellow-headed blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus. Except during the breeding season, blackbirds usually travel in flocks. The yellow-headed, the tricolored red-winged, and brewer blackbirds are found in the West. The rusty blackbird, glossy blue-black in summer when the brown edging of its winter feathers has worn off, winters in the United States. Many members of the family are polygamous, although the incidence of polygamous behavior varies from population to population. For example, in the brewer blackbird, the male becomes polygamous only when there are more females than males; when the balance is even, monogamy is the rule. The female blackbird usually builds the nest, which consists of a cup-shaped structure made of grasses. Flocks of blackbirds may be as large as 5 million birds, and they often do serious crop damage when foraging for food. However, the birds are invaluable because of the insects they consume. Blackbirds are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Icteridae.

blackbird

[′blak‚bərd]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any bird species in the family Icteridae, of which the males are predominantly or totally black.

blackbird

1. a common European thrush, Turdus merula, in which the male has a black plumage and yellow bill and the female is brown
2. any of various American orioles having a dark plumage, esp any of the genus Agelaius
3. History a person, esp a South Sea Islander, who was kidnapped and sold as a slave, esp in Australia
References in periodicals archive ?
Only one profane word ever made it into a poem--it was written by a different dear friend of mine who was using a red-winged blackbird as a metaphor for her jerkface ex-boyfriend.
This distinction is somewhat arbitrary since song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) occasionally nest in shrubs well above ground level (Arcese and others 2002) while red-winged blackbirds occasionally place their nest close to ground level (Yasukawa and Searcy 1995).
salicaria and red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) abundance or nest success (Whitt et al., 1999; Hill, 2000; Maddox and Wiedenmann, 2005), so we expected no relationship between red-winged blackbird abundance and L.
In rice fields, red-winged blackbirds cause damage and reduce yields by consuming sprouted seeds and through consumption of rice at maturity.
getula in other subspecies commonly prey on birds (Guthrie, 1932; Morrison and Bolger, 2002; Clark, 2009), only a few instances of predation by speckled kingsnakes on avian nests have been documented, e.g., dickcissels (Spiza americana; Facemire and Fretwell, 1980; Suedkamp Wells et al., 2007), red-winged blackbirds (Agelauis phonecius; Facemire and Fretwell, 1980), field sparrows (Spizella pusilla; Stake et al., 2005), and indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea; Stake et al., 2005) although other subspecies of L.
It is the only college in the Chicagoland area that can boast of such an ecosystem right on its campus, where white-tailed deer, coyotes, red-winged blackbirds, prairie crayfish, butterflies, dragonflies, not to mention scores of indigenous plants, thrive.
the jellyfish Colwyn Bay More than 3,000 red-winged blackbirds are thought to have flown low to avoid explosions and collided with objects.
Follow the path that meanders through what was once an old gravel quarry, and the sounds of chittering chickadees, red-winged blackbirds and garrulous crows mingle with mallards muttering among the sedges.
It started with some 3,000 red-winged blackbirds tumbling from the skies above the small town of Beebe, Arkansas, shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve.
Summary: Two-thousand red-winged blackbirds have mysteriously fallen dead from the sky in a central Arkansas town.
With the exception of Red-winged Blackbirds, bird populations were similar between years.