What is that black bird with the yellow mark on its shoulders? A reader recently asked for help in identifying a feeder bird she didn’t recognize. It was a Red-winged Blackbird, like the one shown here, with yellow bright on the wing as the red begins to appear. The trademark red epaulet is revealed as black shoulder feathers wear away. This happens as spring begins, the red fully revealed in time for the male bird to be ready for courtship. Other bird species reveal their brighrt breeding colors in the same way.