Red-winged Blackbird, Boynton Beach FL

Although I couldn’t see clearly as I came along the boardwalk with the sun in my eyes, that reedy whistle was unmistakable.  I don’t know if this guy was singing for his supper, but after hand feeding red-winged blackbirds in the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, I wasn’t really surprised that he seemed content to sit on the railing as people went by, quite close.

Red-winged blackbird on a railing, singing


    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – I was walking in a bird sanctuary area in Phoenix a few years ago and heard a bird call that I then didn’t recognize. A guy walking past stopped dead in his tracks and exclaimed, “A red-winged blackbird!” As he said, once heard, never forgotten. He remembered them from his youth, lying in bed and listening to them.

  1. Jim Taylor

    Just back from Los Cabos, where as soon as a diner rose from the table, a flock of local birds descended on it. Isabel, I think you might have gotten some wonderful pictures of a row or eight or more birds, all sitting on the back of a chair, facing the table, watching for the human to rise and leave. Some that looked like house sparrows, some apparently from the oriole family, no doubt some from the finches… But I didn’t get any pictures to send to Merlin for identification.
    The one thing all of them have is blinding speed when they flash through the restaurant area, apparently aiming at a spot about two inches above or to the side of my face.
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim T – Los Cabos, here I come! Well, not likely, but it sure sounds like fun. Except for the part where you worry about getting smacked in the face in a flurry of feathers.

  2. Ian Hepher

    In our part of the world – Southern Alberta -the red winged blackbird rather than the robin is the true harbinger of spring. That reedy whistle brings lightness to our step and joy to our hearts.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Ian – Interesting. We have tons of RWBBs around Ottawa, too, but not in suburban neighbourhoods, only in marshy environments. Down by the river, that sort of thing. So maybe it’s our first spring bird, too, but most of us don’t see it.

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