The male is unmistakable except in the far west of the US, where the tricolored blackbird occurs. Males of that species have a darker red epaulet edged with white, not yellow. Females of tricolored, bicolored, red-shouldered and red-winged blackbirds can be difficult to identify in areas where more than one form occurs. In flight, when the field marks are not easily seen, red-winged can be distinguished from less closely related Icterids such as common grackle and brown-headed cowbird by its different silhouette and undulating flight. The upper parts of the female are brown, while the lower parts are covered by an intense white and dark veining; also presents a whitish superciliary list. Females exhibit a year or salmon pink stain on the shoulders and a clear pink color on the face and below this, while older show a stain usually more crimson on the shoulders and dark pink hue on and under the face.