Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Red-winged Blackbirds play peek-a-boo

This morning the rain stopped, the sky cleared, and Baby Dog and I took our usual early-morning jaunt around the mountain. Even the biggest, brightest emerald in the world has nothing on the bright green and lush foliage of the forest this morning. A dripping, dewy woods in spring is one of the prettiest things on this earth.

Baby Dog and I ventured a bit further than usual since we weren’t dodging raindrops and mud puddles. We passed one of the snowmaking ponds. Sawgrass covers one end of the pond, with the new green shoots climbing up through last year’s dead brown ones. I heard a familiar sound—the red-winged blackbird.

The blackbirds nest inside the stand of sawgrass, building their nest near the water line. I’ve never quite understood why their nests don’t fall into the water, as the nests appear to be constructed where several shoots of sawgrass grow close together but without any obvious supports between or under them. Somehow the female binds her nest to the unbranched grasses, but I can’t see how she does it. It’s pretty impressive engineering, though. I’ve never found more than one nest in this stand. I think papa blackbird claims the entire end of the pond for his territory.

This year, he appears to have two possible choices for his mate. I saw two female blackbirds responding to his calls and checking him out. Perhaps he will have a harem. Blackbirds are at least as aggressive as mockingbirds around their nests. Baby Dog and I might have to change the route of our morning walks for a while.


Cathy said...

Excellent photos! Oh that would be a shame if you had to change your route but it's better than getting dive by a craze bird.

it's getting nice and green up here. Except I saw ice pellets after supper. Might see snow flurries tomorrow morning too. Lol

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I didn't have precipitation down here but if I had I'm sure it would have been snow/ice or something like that. I had frost this morning!!

Carolyn H

Cathy said...

Lol right now, ice pellets are falling. The bird bath had a coating ice. Plus I did see snowflakes too. Now my heat just kick on. Very chilly, windy day up here.

I think old mad Winter needs a good kick in the rear to get him to leave!

However the temps are suppose be in the 80s on Sat.

Gina said...

Hi Carolyn, I live just across the Conewago Creek from you. The male red-winged blackbirds have been building nests in the cattails in our pond every spring for the 4 years we've been here. I was just checking online to see if anyone has spotted the females yet when I discovered your blog. We haven't seen females yet and are hoping that they'll nest this year. Love this area!

Carolyn H said...

Gina: Howdy neighbor! It may be the world wide web, but sometimes the internet is like a small town, isn't it?