Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bye Bye Blackbirds

On February 13th, I posted a single photo of the Red-Winged Blackbird along with some tidbits of information on the bird species.  At that time, I didn't have but that one good photo of a male Red-Winged Blackbird.  However, since then I have acquired several images of a couple of males that frequented our bird feeders for a couple of months. They are gone now...probably migrated north for breeding season.  They will return in a few months.  

Either I didn't see any females or I didn't recognize them.  The female of this bird species has dark brown plumage with heavy pale streaks.  These photos are all of males. 

During the approaching summer breeding season, the male's plumage will begin to molt off, revealing bright red feathers, along with the yellow feathers, on his upper flight wings.  This show of bright feathers is spectacular in flight. Unfortunately, I have yet to capture a good photo of him in flight.

The only thing I found annoying about these male blackbirds is their hours on end screeching from nearby trees. They mean to be heard and they are.

Some populations of the Red-Winged Blackbird breed in the northern U.S. and lower half of Canada. They will travel up to 800 miles to breeding grounds during summer and return south to winter.  Since I haven't seen the two males since April, I'm certain they flew north into their breeding range. 

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