Most people in Illinois are obsessed with cicadas right now, but another annoying creature has just returned to our state to wreak a little havoc... Red-Winged Blackbirds.

These birds make look pretty...

Photo by Steve Smith on Unsplash
Photo by Steve Smith on Unsplash

But the truth is; red-winged blackbirds are feisty, territorial little heathens that won't hesitate to dive bomb your heard if you get too close to their turf.

Why Are Red-Winged Blackbirds a Threat in Illinois?

Nature experts are warning residents that not only have red-winged blackbirds returned to Illinois, but we are currently smack dab in the middle of their nesting season, which means the birds are on high alert right now.

According to NBC Chicago, red-winged blackbirds are a "notoriously aggressive and loud bird species that is known to dive-bomb humans in defense of its nests and mating territories".

Yikes! Now the big question is; what specific areas in Illinois do we need to avoid, aka, where do red-winged blackbirds like to nest?

Where Do Red-Winged Blackbirds Nest?

Typically, red-winged blackbirds like to nest close to the ground in wet, vegetated areas.  So, for those of us that love walking on the bike path along the Rock River, keep a close eye on low trees and bushes for nests and then give it a wide berth when you spot one....or else.

Photo by Ricardo Martins on Unsplash
Photo by Ricardo Martins on Unsplash

Ready for more good news? (Yes, I'm being sarcastic)

NBC Chicago's article says male red-winged blackbirds are the ones we need to worry about most because they are the protectors of the nest...and their territories can span more than a square mile!

Ready for some legit good news?

Red-winged blackbird aerial assaults are usually just a bluff. The birds are mostly trying to scare you away, not actually harm you. But still, it's best to be cautious. If you see a red-winged blackbird, try to avoid getting too close to its nest. And if you do get dive-bombed, don't panic! Just stand your ground and the bird will eventually give up.

Hang in there, Illinois...Red-winged blackbird nesting season only lasts until early July, and then the pretty peckers should simmer down and be nice.

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