The first Red-winged Blackbird of the 2016 season made its appearance in the park this afternoon, along with a small handful of fellow fliers. Chances are that the colorful males’ characteristic high-pitched whistles will soon dominate the northwest quarter of the park. They’ll claim the top of a bush as their little empire and sing a come-hither song to the plain brown females, along with a don’t-you-dare song to the other males. Plenty of action in the skies as the males combat one another, and then team up to chase away intruders like crows and the occasional hawk. It’s a loud, busy nursery for the next five months, until right around the Summer Solstice, when they all suddenly disappear. They’re fun to watch and to photograph. The hardest shot is to get a male with both wings extended, showing his red epaulets on each side. There’s several other items about these birds on this blog.