The Travels of Tug 44

Red-Winged Blackbird

The Red-Winged Blackbird is the most common bird in North America, with 250 million breeding pairs in peak years, but they are often overlooked.   high-res

This one is a male, he's showing off his colorful shoulder patches. The colors can be almost hidden or proudly displayed, according to his mood. The females are a non-descript brown color without the red and yellow markings.   high-res

Here he is again, sitting on a grass hummock in a swamp ... a section of abandoned Old Champlain Canal in Fort Edward. He's looking for bugs ... lots and lots of bugs ... and seeds & berries. But this moment, he pauses to launch into his breeding display.   high-res

Every minute or so, he stops, inhales deeply, pushes out his wings a bit to display his colors and then gives his call, "Preeeeeeet!"   high-res

The Red-Winged Blackbird shows off his color patches, in the hope some female will notice.   high-res

When he does this, the colors are visible from all directions.   high-res

Suddenly this Red-Winged Blackbird flies off, flashing his red and yellow patches. Real pretty little critter.   high-res

I photoed this little birdie, not certain of what it was, when a male Red-Winged Blackbird swooped at it and then both flew off together. Turned out, this is the female.   high-res

After showing me her front, she then flipped around on the twig and spread her wings for me. I like it when critters cooperate!   high-res

And here's her mate, a particularly nice specimen of the male Red-Winged Blackbird, sitting on a post with a "Posted" sign at the edge of a hay field in Fort Edward.   high-res

The Red-Winged Blackbird, the most common bird in North America.

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