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Mar 17, 2013

Spring blackbirds

Photos by BarrytheBirder
It is St. Patricks Day...three days before the first day of spring.   Two male Red-winged Blackbirds (above) arrived at the backyard feeders today.   It is sunny, windy and a bitter cold -7C.   Arriving first on the breeding grounds in this kind of weather demands a brave heart.
Evil-eyed glossy grackles have been here for several days already.    
European Starlings have been around for many days also and well into their winter moult which shows their speckled coloured markings fading to rich darker feathers and their beaks turning from a dull yellow to bright yellow-white.   Brown-headed Cowbirds will be the next to arrive and join the throng.   With this mixture of blackbirds taking over, the Blue Jays have to turn up their aggressiveness a notch or two, to maintain the pecking order.
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