As the breeding season ends, red-winged blackbirds take to the skies in enormous flocks that can contain tens to hundreds of thousands of birds. They share the skies with other species of blackbirds and starlings, and forage for food together. The size of these flocks helps protect them from predators, animals that hunt them for food, and keeps them protected from the elements. Roosting flocks can be even larger than foraging flocks, and may number over a million birds.
One species—the slender-billed grackle—is extinct, or has died out. Three more species of Icteridae are Critically Endangered, facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild; and four are considered Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction.
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