Saturday, April 18, 2009

Aggressive blackbirds

It's really been a late spring. Not much is flowering at all. Hardly anything is leafed out. It's been dismal for weeks. Today, though is a warm, sunny day.

The Magic Hedge Sanctuary was abuzz with activity, mostly in the form of red-winged blackbirds and common grackles. They were exhibiting a lot of breeding behavior, and, while they didn't attack me, they were comfortable flying a bit too close. There was a lot of strutting around and dancing for the ladies; aggressive puffing up in tops of trees; and general machismo. I don't know why male red-wings think displaying their bright red epaulets to me is intimidating. It's not. You're a 9-inch long bird, and landing on the grass next to me isn't that scary. Even a Turdus migratorius (american robin) made a run at me. It was a tough crowd down at the park today.

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