with scarlet flashes hidden © SB
All About Birds says this happens often with Red-winged Blackbirds: "Glossy-black males have scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide depending on how confident they are."
Confidence aside, as these pictures show, redwings are without doubt more visible when their wings are, in fact, red!
|Redwinged Blackbirds in flight. |
(Note the female, flying low in the middle,
and the two more brown/yellow juveniles) © SB