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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Blackbird antics

On our excursions around Prince Edward Island recently, we see Red winged blackbirds around the remains of last year’s cattails. 





Recently, as we picnicked at the New London Lighthouse, we watched the male blackbirds ward off crows who approached areas with blackbird nests.


Our second encounter involves male and female blackbirds. The females are not black or red winged but can often be seen around the cattails as well. Last week, when we stopped by the side of the road to photograph some ducks, a female blackbird landed in the cattails in front of me. She had food in her beak. I stood to watch and photograph her. Even with her beak full, she managed to make a blackbird equivalent of a bleat, then paused, bleated again, on repeat. 





I moved on and returned a few minutes later. Mrs., as I dubbed her, was in a different location. She repeated the same sound. Suddenly, a male blackbird about five meters above and two meters in front of me caught my attention. Mr. sang his best songs, and did aerial acrobatics. I had never seen anything like the dynamics of his movement. Just as quickly he was gone so I looked back for the female. She was gone too.


Was the Mrs. taking the food back to babies in her nest among the cattails? Was the bleat-like sound a call to Mr. to provide a distraction so Mrs. could deliver the food safely? It looked like it. We had seen similar behaviour in a pair of song sparrows too.


The more I watch birds, the more I admire their abilities to work together and as parents. Instinct? Whatever it is, it’s amazing!

32 comments:

  1. I agree with you, Marie. I love to see the parenting skills of birds as they take care of their young. I wonder now, too, what the Mrs. was actually doing. :-)

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    1. I don’t know Jan but she wouldn’t do anything while I was there watching.

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  2. Lovely birds! They were a common bird in my rural childhood. Now in the city, I haven't seen one for decades.

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    1. I see them in the countryside here Debra.

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  3. 1. The lupine picture is stunning. That is lupine right?
    2. Lucky girl to watch the birds love dance.
    3. How great it is to experience PEI through someone with a love of nature and a talent in photography.

    Happy Wednesday Marie.

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    1. Those are lupines in the header. We call them lupins Linda.

      Thank you for visiting the island with me Linda. I am happy to take you along.

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  4. What a pleasing post. You are a good observer.

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  5. Is that food or is it nest making stuff?

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    1. It was food Mage. In another photo, it looked like a moth.

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  6. that's so cool! Most would not be bothered.

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    1. It was such an interesting encounter SW. i always stop to watch birds. They always surprise me.

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  7. Birds are neat! I see these red winged blackbirds often, usually when I am driving, they seem to be around the ditches and roadsides. The bright red always catches my eye.

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    1. The males are the ones who get most of the attention Jenn. The females are more elusive.

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  8. We have lots of the redwinged variety here but I don't think I've noticed the females. I need to sharpen my observational skills :-). Really enjoy your pictures.

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    1. Thanks Celia. The females are harder to see but if you’re patient, you’ll see them too.

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  9. I am awed and amazed at bird's parenting skills. I suppose that there probably are 'bad' bird parents but haven't seen them. I DID know a bad cat parent growing up. She had her kittens walking down the hall (shrieking) and walked away and never looked back. Fortunately we had another mama cat at the time who took them in. And the first cat had the operation and never looked back.

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    1. That was unusual behaviour for a cat from my experience EC. I guess there are good and bad parents in every species, like you said.

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  10. What a wonderful bird story. They are so interesting to watch.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Love watching these amazing creatures Bill.

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  11. everything about them is amazing. beautiful pictures of the black birds, i love the way they balance...

    and i LOVE your new header!!

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    1. Thanks Debbie. The blackbirds are wonderful entertainment!

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  12. Lovely post and great photos. Well done, take care Diane

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  13. You were so lucky to catch them Marie, how nice of them to pose for you ☺ I also admire their ability to work together and get things organised!

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing about nature around where you live. Your photos are great. I like the new banner you have for the blog! Beautiful!!

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    1. THank you Angela. I hope all is well with you.

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  15. Delaware has lots of red winged blackbirds. I had no idea that is what the females look like. Andrea

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    1. The females are more elusive but if you’re patient, you’ll see them too Andrea.

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