June 28, 2008

Attack! Red-Winged Blackbird

I just watched a news video on a red-winged blackbird attacking some people on bikes, and I'm remembering that I've been attacked by one too!

Periodically I like to walk around Evergreen Lake - they've made a nice trail - just a bit over a mile, and I'll walk around it twice (I used to go, taking Dawson, since he wanted to fish or catch crawdads, which we ate once).

One year they started posting a sign just before you entered the boardwalk that went over a wetland area of the lake with lots of reed/plant growth. It was a warning sign about an attacking red-winged blackbird.

Defending his nearby nest, the
dive-bombing daddy pecked me on the top of my head, and sometimes clawed at my hair!

Apparently they are a highly polygynous species, having up to 15 females nesting in his territory - BUT it does not mean all the young in a nest are his! being sired by other neighboring males. They sound like quite the communal bird, even throughout the year. The nesting season is primarily late May through early July.

I never imagined that the female wasn't black like him. She's just brown and striped all over. It's so interesting that females in the animal kingdom are so bland ... and then there's us humans!!! Hmmm ..........


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