Breeds in a variety of wetlands, including freshwater and saltwater marshes, and lesser so upland habitats, including sedge meadows and crop fields. Also occurs in riparian areas and in open patches of forests (Nero 1984, Orians and Beletsky 1989, Searcy and Yasukawa 1995). In the northern part of its range, this species uses smaller ponds, and even muskeg habitats in spruce dominated forests (Campbell et al. 2001). Roosts during breeding season in dense cover primarily in wetlands (Meanley 1965, Weatherhead and Bider 1979). Usually nests near water (small ponds, lakes, beaver ponds), in cattails, rushes, sedges; occasionally in shrubs or trees (NatureServe 2007b). In Southeast Alaska, found in freshwater marshes and in sedges by beaver ponds (Johnson 2003).
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, A. C. Stewart, and M. C. E. McNall. 2001. The Birds of British Columbia. Volume 4. Passerines: wood-warblers through Old World sparrows. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver. 739 pages.
Johnson, J. A. 2003. Breeding bird communities of major mainland rivers of southeastern Alaska. Thesis, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA.
Meanley, B. 1965. The roosting behavior of the red-winged blackbird in the southern United States. Wilson Bulletin 77:217-228.
NatureServe. 2007b. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 6.2. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer.
Nero, R. W. 1984. Redwings. Smithsonian Institution Press, Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 160 p.
Orians, G. H. and L. D. Beletsky. 1989. Red-winged Blackbird Pp. 183-197 in Lifetime reproduction in birds (I. Newton, ed.). Academic Press, New York.
Searcy, W. A. and K. Yakusawa. 1995. Polygyny and sexual selection in Red-winged Blackbirds. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, NJ.
Weatherhead, P. J. and J. R. Bider. 1979. Management options for blackbird problems in agriculture. Phytoprotection 60:145-155.