Red breasted Blackbird (Sturnella militaris)

Red-breasted Blackbird

[order] Passeriformes | [family] Icteridae | [latin] Sturnella militaris | [UK] Red-breasted Blackbird | [FR] Sturnelle militaire | [DE] Rotbruststarling | [ES] Pastorero pechirrojo | [IT] Merlo pettorosso | [NL] Zwartkopsoldatenspreeuw


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Red-breasted Blackbird is a small icterid, 19 cm long. The male has mainly black plumage, apart from a bright red throat, belly and wing epaulets. This striking ?redcoat? plumage gives rise to the specific name militaris aor its name on Trinidad which is Soldier Bird. The female has buff edged dark brown upperpart feathers, buff underparts with a reddish tinge, and pale streaks through the crown and eye. Juveniles resemble the female, but are paler and lack the reddish tint to the underparts.

Listen to the sound of Red-breasted Blackbird

[audio: Blackbird.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 19 cm size max.: 20 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


The Red-breasted Blackbird breeds from southwestern Costa Rica, which it has recently colonised, and Trinidad, south to northeastern Peru and central Brazil.


It is a bird associated with open country, including moist grasslands, pasture and cultivation, preferably with the odd bush or fence post for males to use as a songpost.


The Red-breasted Blackbird builds a deep grass-lined open cup nest on the ground amongst tall grasses, with several nests often close together. The normal clutch is two to four reddish brown-blotched cream eggs.

Feeding habits

This gregarious bird feeds mainly on insects and some seeds, including rice, and forages on the ground


This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 3,400,000 km². The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘common’ in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Red-breasted Blackbird status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range.

Distribution map

Red-breasted Blackbird range map


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