Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Red Winged Blackbirds

There is so much sorrow now.  Confusion, anger, pain, uncertainty.  Here is a bright spot in the world.  The Red Winged Black Bird.  This raucous bird is common across North America.  The males are spectacular, with red and yellow wing patches that they can puff up in competitive display.  The antics and call and wing-patch display seduce a simply marked brown female into the caller's territory.  And another, and another. He builds a nest with each.   Over 30 % of his daylight hours are spent guarding his harem.  But, surprise, many of the eggs laid in his nests are from an invading competitor.  The females incubate and care for the young regardless of the territorial sparring around them.  This festival of aerodynamics and singing fills the air around ponds and marshes in the spring.  It is happening now outside my window.  Here is the Red Winged Blackbird. 

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