Tricolored Blackbird: Medium-sized blackbird that is mostly black with a glossy blue tint overall. Shoulder patches are bright red and bordered with white. Lives in flocks year round.Feeds on insects, spiders, caterpillars, and seeds from weeds and grains. Strong direct flight on rapid wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Tricolored Blackbird: Breeds in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Baja California. Oregon birds migrate south in winter; California birds are resident. Preferred habitats include annual grasslands, wet and dry vernal pools, and other seasonal wetlands.
The Tricolored Blackbird was classified as endangered in 2006 by BirdLife International.
In the past decade their population has declined by more than 40%.
The majority of their population nest in a small number of large colonies. This is similar to the habits of the Carolina Parakeet, Passenger Pigeon and Great Auk-all extinct colonial breeders.
A group of blackbirds has many collective nouns, including a "cloud", "cluster", and "merl" of blackbirds.
The Tricolored Blackbird has a small range, found almost entirely in California. Native to the United States and Mexico, this bird prefers inland wetland ecosystems, though it can live on arable land. The global population of this bird is not quantified but shows a marked and severe decline that necessitates inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Tricolored Blackbird is Endangered.