Description: Males are glossy black with red shoulder patches broadly tipped with pale yellow. Females are dark brown above, heavily streaked below and sometimes show a red tinge on wing coverts or pinkish wash on chin and throat.
Habitat: Prefers thick vegetation in freshwater marshes, sloughs, and fields. Forages in nearby fields, orchards and woodlands.
Diet: Insects, seeds.
Displays: While elevated on vegetation, male spreads tail, droops wings, raises colored patches, fluffs feathers, leans forward with head pointing downward and sings. He also uses a slow, stalling song flight with tail spread, head down.
Nest: Near or over water on emergent vegetation or shrubs. It's made of sedges, grass and lined with fine grass and rushes. Built in three to six days.