Breeding red-winged blackbirds in captivity
- C.J. Know and A.R. Stickley Jr.
Ability to establish and maintain self-sustaining breeding colonies of captive Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) would facilitate long-term studies designed to develop methods for alleviating blackbird depredations as well as provide basic life history data. To be most useful, the colonies should be established in pens near laboratory facilities; this frequently involves putting colonies in unnatural nesting habitat. This paper describes a 5-year effort at Gainesville, Florida, to induce captive Red-wings, most of them taken from the wild as nestlings and then hand-reared in our laboratory, to breed regularly under such conditions.
Except for an undocumented report of two young fully reared at the London Zoo in 1913 (Prestwick per. comm.), captive Red-wings have not been induced to breed successfully under avicultural conditions. In 1969, captive Red-wings, wild-trapped as adults, were induced to breed and to rear young successfully in large pens over normal marsh and hayfield nesting habitat in Ohio (Jackson pers. comm.). Earlier, a pair of Red-wings that had been caught as adults and kept together for a year hatched two young in a 40- X 20- X 6-foot cage in Massachusetts (Wetherbee 1960, Wilson Bull. 74: 90), but the nestlings died soon after hatching.
Additional publication details
- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- Journal Article
- Breeding red-winged blackbirds in captivity
- Series title:
- The Auk
- Year Published:
- American Ornithological Society
- Contributing office(s):
- Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
- 9 p.
- First page:
- Last page: