The male Red-winged Blackbird’s conk-la-ree! is a classic sound of wetlands across the continent. The 1-second song starts with an abrupt note that turns into a musical trill. Males often sing from a high perch while leaning forward, drooping their wings, spreading their tail feathers, and fluffing their bright shoulder patches to show them off. Females give a very different song in response to a singing male, a series of three to five short chit or check notes.
The typical call of a Red-winged Blackbird is a distinctive, matter-of-fact check that’s fairly easy to recognize. Males and females make these calls all year round, in flight and while feeding, when confronting rivals and to raise an alarm. They also give a more intense alarm call, a fast, scolding chak chak chak.