Blackbird Staking Out His Territory
|Copyright: John Reasbeck (ubc64)
|Date Taken: 2010-04-23|
|Camera: Nikon D300|
|Exposure: f/5.6, 1/2500 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2010-04-25 11:44|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Before today, I hadn't figured out that the reason that I hadn't seen any female Red-Winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) at Red Deer Lake is that there aren't any there yet. Long time birders are probably saying, "Duh". The male Red-winged Blackbirds arrive at a cattail marsh, typically, about one week before the females, and stake out a territory. They defend that territory fiercely. They sing their raspy song and flash their red and yellow shoulder patches at all comers. If another male gets too close, they'll attack. Successful males, that have been able to establish a good nesting area, can expect to attract multiple mates. The females make nests and blend in very nicely with the surroundings, as they incubate their eggs -- unlike the males, they aren't black; instead, they are heavily streaked with brown, beige, white, and a little yellow, and with very faint red shoulder patches. While the females are on their nests, the males stand sentry duty nearby. Much of this information came from "Birds of Alberta", by Chris Fisher and John Acorn.|
My photo today shows one of the males, perched on a reed, declaring to all concerned (especially, to other males) that this is his area, and trespassers need to beware. He's also hoping to be the first to attract any females that might happen by and be impressed with his song and colours.
Belgerdy, lovenature, Adanac has marked this note useful
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good action shot,
You're lucky to have seen the Red Winged blackbirds already. There are not sign hear in Cochrane yet. Your capture of this colourful male calling out and beak wide open and plumage fanned out is well done. I can't wait until they show up here as I love their call.
- [2010-05-23 18:09]
Your image is superb here John, I like how they present their red wing patches by lifting them showing off the yellow so it almost looks like a flame. Superb details from your sharp focus, thanks for sharing this beauty.