Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Red-winged Blackbird

It's always so pleasing to see the Red-winged Blackbirds, Agelaius phoeniceus, returning in the spring. These birds are sexually dimorphic--only males have yellow and red wing banding.

I most often see the red-wings on cattails, even on those in the highway medians. Curiously, around the lake there aren't many cattails at all. Here's the only stand of cattails I've so far run across, these from the magenta route.

There are some water grasses below where this fellow is perched that I need to look at more closely. I'll bet there are nesting females within those grasses.


  1. Great shots-beautiful depth of field. I love the one where he's fanning his tail out.
    Nothing says spring has arrived more than that welcomed chortle of the redwinged blackbird. I agree- they love the cattails!
    Yesterday's chippie was adorable; they sometimes climb up into our blueberry bushes and snack; I remember one that seemed to have fallen asleep in there- I thought it was dead but it perked up after about a half hour and skittered off- I wonder if the berries had some kind of sedative effect on them?

  2. Thanks! My telephoto zoom (100-400mm) is so dreamy--I love that lens.

    I too really liked the fan tail. I enjoy it after I've got down the capture shots and then feel that I have time for those quickly passing behaviors. (Especially those wings in motion moments!)

    That's such wonderful chipmunk story, Gretchen. Amazing! :-) Just hours ago while out on my lake trip I was thinking about how I am coming to see and learn about so many new things--all this that has been around me all along...I'm so lucky...