These birds forage on the ground or in low bushes; particularly in winter they are also found in grazed low-growth grassland. They mainly eat seeds, but also eat insects in the breeding season. They are typically encountered as pairs or family groups in the breeding season, and assemble in flocks for the winter migration. The flight call is a thin seepSensu lato, the Savannah sparrow is considered a threatened species by the IUCN. The song is mixture of chirps and trills.
The red-winged blackbird is one of 11 species in the genus Agelaius and is included in the family Icteridae, which is made up of passerine birds found in North and South America. The red-winged blackbird was originally described as Oriolus phoeniceus by Linnaeus in his 18th-century work, Systema Naturae, but was later moved with the other American blackbirds to the genus Agelaius (Vieillot, 1816). The genus name is Latin derived from Ancient Greek, agelaios, meaning “belonging to a flock”. The specific epithet, phoeniceus, is from the Latin word meaning “deep red”.