Friday, April 10, 2009

Return of the Red Winged Blackbird

Here's a female Red-Winged Blackbird from last year that I initially wasn't able to identify. The males have already arrived up at our lake and have been singing their hearts out.

By the way, did you know that one Red-winged Blackbird male can have up to 15 different females making nests in his territory? Talk about a Don Juan....!


28 comments:

Kallen305 said...

Great photo! I don't know if I have ever seen a female red winged blackbird before. I had no idea they could have that many nests and females. Indeed a Don Juan!

Jayne said...

I like watching the Red-winged blackbirds and love their screech!

Montanagirl said...

Great photo. They sure look different than the males!

Mary said...

Great shot...I've never noticed that color on the face. Will have to look closer when I see one. That's a lot of females!

Montanagirl said...

P.S. Did you use your new Sigma lens for the female Redwing shot? I'm anxious to hear how you like it.

Andrea said...

I had no idea she looked like that. I wonder how many I've seen and thought she was someone else?

bennie and patsy said...

Poor little blackbird, I have never seen a female or didn't know it. Bad boy that Red-winged blackbird.
Patsy

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Great shot.

Ginnymo said...

What a great photo!! I never knew what the females looked like. I had a group of the Red-Wings come through last spring but haven't seen any yet this year. Sometimes I will see one or two during the summer. I always have a hard time catching them though.. Isn't it funny how birds are? Some birds only mate with one for a lifetime they say. I learned something new!! Every day I do on here. Neat!! Thanks!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Well I surely did learn something today. I had NO idea that a female bird could look SO different from the male of the same species. I know about male Red-winged Blackbirds --but would NEVER in my wildest dreams thought that bird in the picture was a female Red-winged Blackbird. She looks more like a sparrow or a house finch to me... UNBELIEVABLE... Wow---see what I have learned today!!!! Thanks Shelley..

Have a wonderful trip --and Easter.
Hugs,
Betsy

HANNIBAL said...

Absolutely beautiful photo--The pose, the lighting--well done!

Daisy said...

Sounds like a real Romeo! Great picture, Shelley. Happy Easter to you! :D

Leedra said...

The female is such a shock at first, because they don't look anything like the male. Glad you posted this, it reminded me of that fact. Which tells me I have 8 male red winged blackbirds in the back yard at Rockwood. They really do eat alot too.

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Bird Girl said...

Isn't she pretty? I think the female red-winged blackbird can be very difficult to ID - I'm so glad you posted this little beauty!

ramblingwoods.com said...

I remember the first time I saw a female and thought it was a new bird for me...LOL.....

Mildred said...

Well, this was something new to me today. Such a great photo Shelley. Hope you have a great Easter weekend.

Natural Moments said...

When I first got into birding, I started seeing these giant finches and I couldn't figure out what they were. It turned out that they were female red winged black birds. The interesting thing was that I would have many female red wings at the feeder without ever seeing a male. That made the initial i.d. harder because the option of it being a typical blackbird was out of my minds site.

Kelly said...

...Don Juan is right! Beautiful photo of the female. I was wondering what Montanagirl wondered...did you use your new lens on her?

Abe Lincoln said...

Lovely. Mine is a longer shot and not the same angle. I like your photo of this bird best.

Tina said...

Shelley, What wonderful photo you captured of her...she's tilted her head a little as if she knows you are collecting her portrait for your post! While in Ohio, I took a picture of a female red wing..BUT it wasn't until I showed the pic to another birder than I found out what it was!! Looks nothing like what I would have thought the female would look like!! I'm learning!! The lovely golden color under her chin totally threw me off on what kind of bird she might be!!

Richard said...

It's funny that I haven't seen any female Red-wings this year (yet). Maybe I haven't been looking.

Deb said...

Great photo and facts about the red-winged blackbird that I didn't know! The female looks so different from the male.
Wishing you a Happy Easter Shelley.

T and S said...

Cool shot, I just saw the male posted in another blog. The female is such a completely different looking bird. I m seeing this for the first time online.

Gardener's Garden said...

My goodness I never knew this lothario was such a terrific breeder and it looks like I'm going to have quite a flock this year.

Willard said...

Excellent photo. I am seeing the males too now, but no females or else I am not looking close enough.

troutbirder said...

Very informative. Now I know why my few shots of the male redwings always look so tired. Ooops that just slipped out.

Shellmo said...

Thank you everyone for your comments! I haven't given my new lens a whirl yet but planning to this week when I head up to the cabin. The camera shop had let me test drive it before which helped seal the deal for me. LOL at your comment Troutbirder!
Shelley

fishing guy said...

Shelly: I have so much easier time identifying the males with their applets.