Animal Awareness: Red-Winged Blackbirds

Posted on: July 21, 2021

If you are visiting Lake Ellyn, Lake Foxcroft or Churchill Parks, please be aware of red-winged blackbirds. During mating and breeding seasons, which runs from late May to August, this species can be extremely territorial and may exhibit aggressive behavior in defense of their nests. If they feel threatened, or that the female and nest are in danger, males are known to swoop, peck, or grab at humans. Signs are installed to warn visitors of aggressive bird behavior. We also recommend the following tips:

  • Give plenty of distance between yourself and the nest whenever possible
  • Take an alternate route
  • Wear a hat when walking through a nesting area
  • Do not allow children to get too close or provoke them

These birds are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits any harm to them or their nests.