Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Red-winged Blackbirds play peek-a-boo
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.