Polk County Conservation

Territorial Red-winged Blackbirds

  • When driving down the road I’ve noticed small blackbirds chasing larger birds in flight. Why do they do this?

    Red-winged blackbirds are very territorial and will attack birds, animals, or people that are too close to their nests. This behavior is called mobbing when several birds work together to harass predators like hawks or owls. Mobbing can occur at anytime of the year, but is most prevalent during nesting season. When birds mob they will often physically attack the predator, sometimes even killing the animal. The purpose of mobbing is thought to distract predators away from the nest site. Many different species of birds show mobbing behavior.

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    Administration Office
    12130 NW 128th St
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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