The Blackbirds are Back!

The first of the Red-Winged Blackbirds showed up today in the northwest corner of the park, their habitual haunt.  From now until the summer solstice, that corner of the park will be their territory.  The males with their red shoulder patches will be showing off and whistling their piercing song, each claiming a bush as its exclusive territory, and there’ll be lots and lots of flying and fluttering as the males chase each other and pursue the females.  It’s a fascinating drama.

Here’s a snapshot of the first bird I saw this afternoon.  It’s a little blurry because I was excited and didn’t take time to steady the camera properly.

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To compensate for the quality of that shot, here’s a better one I took a couple of years ago, showing one of the males in full cry.  This is from my book.  They have a formidable beak, don’t they?

Belligerent blackbird, mating season

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