The male Red-winged blackbird, sentry of the marsh during the breeding season, continually announces its territory to all present with its oak-a-tee song, and tenaciously defends against flyby predators. The male is territorial, polygynous, larger than the female, and glossy black with a broad bar of red-orange, bordered with yellow, on wing writs. Females are less conspicuous in behavior, light brown, with a heavily streaked breast, and buffy supercilium. This is one of the most abundant and studied birds in North America.
The Red-winged blackbird occurs west of the Cascades in Oregon from coastal and valley locations, and east of the Cascades in eastern counties. The Red-winged blackbird is an abundant breeder in major wetlands and occurs in lesser numbers in small wetlands statewide.