Monday, June 14, 2010
The red-winged blackbirds come each spring. I recognize the males from their red and yellow wing bands, spread on their shoulders like epaulets. They come before the females to stake out their claims for nesting areas. I thought they were marsh birds but I see them each year in my yard, often scattered amid the grackles. The ground is sometimes soggy because of the density of the marl but it’s certainly not marshland. Perhaps this is only a brief stop on their migration. I am glad to see them, whatever propels them to come. The red blazes when they spread their wings – quite a sight. If they feel comfortable or are not in display mode, the red may be tucked away with only the yellow showing. This bird has just fed on black oil sunflower seeds and seems quite at ease. Interesting that when he is relaxed he can keep his flashier aspects in check. It sounds like a reasonable plan. He knows who he is and doesn’t need to flaunt it all the time. Not a bad philosophy.