Red-winged Blackbird, Ladner BC

Who knew that red-winged blackbirds could be inveigled into eating out of a hand? Well, the guy ahead of us on the path at George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary apparently knew, because he had a pocketful of sunflower seeds and shared them with us. A lovely experience on both counts.


Red-winged blackbird eating sunflower seeds from the hand.

Hand courtesy of sister


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6 Responses to Red-winged Blackbird, Ladner BC

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    Same thing with grey jays, sometimes known as whiskeyjacks. Which I think is an English corruption of Ouisakedjak in Ojibwa (not sure of either the spelling or the etymology) who was considered a mischievous, trouble-making spirit. Fits, doesn’t it?
    Jim T

  2. Jim Robertson says:

    I’ve never seen a red-winged blackbird do that, neat!

    At Mud Lake some of the downy woodpeckers have learned from the chickadees and nuthatches there are good pickin’s in people’s hands. Also Mud Lake’s wild turkey last year would hand feed, but his table manners were atrocious and I quickly learned to just drop the seeds on the ground.

    Only seen in a (undoctored) photo; a local well known birder with a cardinal sitting on his hand.

    Then there are the select Florida sandhill cranes who will eat from an open hand….

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim R – A cardinal? Where do I sign up for that? Ours take off when I move behind the living room window. As for sandhill cranes eating from an outstretched hand, I’ve seen that, too, also at the Reifel sanctuary. One just pecked (ouch!); the other turned its bill sideways and somehow hoovered up the bird seed.

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