Saturday, March 24, 2012

Redwinged Blackbirds: Flight Over Saskatchewan Marsh

Redwinged Blackbirds
with scarlet flashes hidden © SB
The song of the Red-winged Blackbird was familiar — but the colour was lacking in the cluster of birds in the reeds. Instead of the bright scarlet wing flash, only thin yellow lines showed.

All About Birds says this happens often with Red-winged Blackbirds: "Glossy-black males have scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide depending on how confident they are."

Confidence aside, as these pictures show, redwings are without doubt more visible when their wings are, in fact, red!

The first picture also shows one mottled brown female Red-winged Blackbird in flight with the flock, as well as a couple of younger, more brown/yellow birds.

Redwinged  Blackbirds in flight.
(Note the female, flying low in the middle,
and the two more brown/yellow juveniles) 
© SB
Red-winged Blackbirds, Copyright  © Shelley Banks, all rights reserved
A squadron of Red-winged Blackbirds takes to the sky © SB

What are these? Red-winged Backbirds .     
Location: In a marsh north of Regina, off Route 734, west of Highway 11.  
Photo date: March 23, 2012. 


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