This common backyard bird is usually the first of the summer migrants to arrive. The male Red-winged Blackbird has a red and yellow patch on its shoulder, but sometimes only the yellow shows. The female is more subdued in color, with a streaked brown body and white eyebrow. Red-winged Blackbirds love swamps and marshy areas. The bulk of their diet is insects, but they love almost any kind of birdseed available!
The Common Grackle is another summer migrant to Minnesota. The male has a black body and an iridescent blue/black head. The females are similar to males, but smaller and a little duller. Grackles dine on fruit, insects, and, of course, birdseed.
Brown-headed Cowbirds are the only parasitic bird in Minnesota. Instead of building their own nests, females lay eggs in existing nests of other species, abandoning their young to be raised by unsuspecting foster parents. Like other blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds are summer migrants to Minnesota. Males are a glossy black with a chocolate brown head. Females are slightly duller in color and have a streaked chest. Cowbirds eat insects and seeds, the latter which includes most any kind of birdseed.