Slow Motion Blackbirds

10,000 Birds

Even garden variety Red-winged Blackbirds are fun to play with in slow motion. Here’s a sample of what I got at the feeders at Santa Ana NWR last week: I love the way the blackbirds sound in slow motion…a little terrifying. Here’s a trailer for it: Birds blackbirds digiscoping As a freelancer who lives in Minnesota, I try to plan work in warmer areas in the winter.

Tricolored Blackbird in Trouble in California

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More than 99% of the population of Tricolored Blackbirds ( Agelaius tricolor ) live within the state of California and form the largest colonies of any North American passerine bird 1. The Results of the 2014 Tricolored Blackbird Statewide Survey confirm that this species is in rapid decline. ” Blackbirds, among other species, are also killed every year for consuming sunflower seeds mostly in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Red-winged Blackbirds

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Red-winged Blackbird ( Agelaius phoeniceus ) Male (click on photos for full sized images) This time of year, Red-winged Blackbirds are gathering on nesting grounds in wetlands but also in uplands and agricultural habitats. Right now though, you would most probably see flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds preparing to mate and nest. Sometimes the male Red-winged Blackbird will sing with no obvious recipients in sight! Birds bird song blackbirds Red-winged Blackbirds

What’s in a Name: Brewer’s Blackbird

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Blackbirds, as a family, often have those simple descriptive names that are easy to mock ( Yellow-rumped Warbler , ugh) until a non-birder comes describing such a species to you and asking for an ID. Then you bless the folk wisdom that gave the Red-winged Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird , and even the Rusty Blackbird their names. Which is not to say that the creeping hand of ornithological nepotism has never touched the blackbirds.

Pure White Blackbird

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You may already know about this, but I was not aware that a pure white Blackbird (the thrush, not the icterid) can be found at Rufford Abbey Country Park in Nottinghamshire, UK. Asides blackbirds thrushesIn fact, this leucistic lovely ( check out the pic ) has resided at the park for the last four years. Thanks to reader Sher Buckner for the tip. BONUS TRIVIA: Nottingham is , of course, also the home of famous archer, outlaw, and liberal economist (I kid!) Robin Hood.

Blackbird catches Newt.

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This reminded me of an occasion when I noted similar behaviour by a Eurasian Blackbird , Turdus merula. Heavy competition may have forced the bird to “get creative and adapt to other food sources” The Blackbird was faced with a similar challenge, except that the ground was rock solid on account of a hot dry spring. It was the blackbird landing on the path with a wet, glistening newt, which it proceeded to batter to death.

The Blackbird that is a Meadowlark – Red-breasted Blackbird in Trinidad

10,000 Birds

Blackbirds are blackbirds. In the new world all meadowlarks and blackbirds, along with grackles, cowbirds, orioles, oropendulas, and some others, are members of the family Icteridae , the New World Blackbirds. adult male Red-breasted Blackbird showing off its namesake. However the Red-breasted Blackbird ended up with its appellation doesn’t matter as much as how great a bird it is, well worth a trip to Trinidad and Tobago to see.

Red-winged Blackbird Harassing a Fish Crow

10,000 Birds

While at Flushing Meadows Corona Park near my house in Queens this evening putting my new lens through its paces,* I was entertained by the strafing runs that the Red-winged Blackbirds were taking at every Fish Crow that flew by. Birds Bird Behavior blackbirds crows Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

10,000 Birds

Wallace Stevens’ “ Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird ” is a marvel of modernist poetry. It is only 246 words long, divided into thirteen sections, each labeled with the corresponding Roman numeral, and a surface reading will show that it is about, not surprisingly, thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird. VIII I know noble accents And lucid, inescapable rhythms; But I know, too, That the blackbird is involved In what I know.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds: Conspicuous Wetland Breeders

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Yellow-headed Blackbirds ( Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus ) are robin-sized blackbirds found in prairie and mountain meadow wetlands of the western and central United States and Canada. You can hear the Yellow-headed Blackbird call by clicking on the sound link courtesy of The female Yellow-headed Blackbird is not quite as flashy as her beau, but she doesn’t need to be. Birds "Yellow-headed Blackbirds

What Do Red-winged Blackbirds Say?

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I’ve been reading Bernd Heinrich’s Summer World lately and was struck by his description of the song of the Red-winged Blackbird as “oog-la-ee.” What follows is a rundown of a dozen different authors’ take on the song of the Red-winged Blackbird. ” – a subjective description as a bird was stealing his newly planted corn David Sibley “kon-ka-reeeee” What do you think Red-winged Blackbirds say?

Herdade do Esporão Bico Amarelo Vinho Verde (2019)

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The bird is, of course, none other than the Common Blackbird ( Turdus merula ), the original blackbird of European folklore and nursery rhyme fame, better known to North American birders as the Eurasian Blackbird and unrelated to those “blackbirds” of the family Icteridae found in the New World.

2019 87

Thousands of Tricolored Blackbirds Saved Through Farmer/Conservationist Partnership

10,000 Birds

For a birder, a sighting of a Tricolored Blackbird is a treat. Add in habitat loss, and the population of Tricolored Blackbirds has plunged enough to necessitate listing it as a Bird of Conservation Concern on the U.S. For more about Tricolored Blackbirds and the threats they face, check out the comprehensive Tricolored Blackbird Portal.). In the meantime, the farmer/conservationist partnership is a win–win for everyone, especially the Tricolored Blackbirds.

Trinity Brewing Company: You Never Even Call Me By My Name

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But the name of this beer had nothing to do with “Sixteen Tons” of coal, or “Okies” from Muskogee, but birds: merle is also the French word for “blackbird”. And, of course, by blackbirds I mean true thrushes of the family Turdidae , of which the Common (Eurasian) Blackbird ( Turdus merula ) is the most famous in European culture and folklore. Brewer’s Blackbird is a more beery icterid than most, but it’s no merle.

2018 43

Farewell to 2020 – Marin Brewing Company: Albion Amber Ale

10,000 Birds

I wasn’t joking – the Brewer’s Blackbirds outside the Bovine Bakery really were expecting us to share our scones with them. As we’d just eaten our breakfast with the blackbirds, Katherine and I had some time to kill before our next meal.

2020 81

North Coast Brewing Company: Le Merle Saison

10,000 Birds

But North Coast also makes a bird-themed beer, Le Merle, an interpretation of a Belgian, farmhouse-style saison with a name borrowed from the French word for the Common (Eurasian) Blackbird ( Turdus merula ). Trinity left a spooky silhouette of the blackbird on the label as a vestige of their beer’s original name, but it isn’t as an unmistakable likeness of the species as the handsome black-on-silver design by North Coast.

2019 40

Birding from home

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Lady Helen’s thundering progress kicked up the turf and brought opportunities for our resident Eurasian Blackbirds. Birding Eurasian Blackbird European RobinIt has been a difficult week so far.

2020 62

Bright Lights Big City

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The bright lights of the city at night cause young Eurasian Blackbirds to mature faster according to a new study. Birds Eurasian Blackbird science Urban Birding

2013 41

First Outbreak of Usutu Virus in Germany

10,000 Birds

So, to cut things short, there is sickness all around me, and I have thus decided to have my February post whistle to that tune as well and give an update to the mysterious die-off amongst our Eurasian Blackbirds that occurred around my home turf in Heidelberg last summer – blogged about here. A short summary of events described in this former blog post of mine: We are talking about the thrush called Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula , not the American Icterids.

The Black Death

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But something happened, and it happened many times: Something has been killing our Blackbirds. We interrupt this blog post for an important message: This is the kind of Blackbird I am talking about, the Eurasian thrush that is Turdus merula, and not the American group of iconic Icterids you might have had in mind. But there is a catch: Something has allegedly , apparently , with increasing probability as we gather more data , … been killing our Blackbirds.

2011 54

Montezuma Winery: Red Wing

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As its colorful and endearing label makes plain (if not the exact spelling of the name), this Red Wing wine is named not for the Old World thrush Redwing ( Turdus iliacus ), but for that beloved and abundant North American icterid, the Red-winged Blackbird ( Agelaius phoeniceus ). Birding Food Reviews Birds and Booze Finger Lakes Montezuma Red-winged Blackbirds wine

2019 50

What is the National Bird of Sweden?

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The national bird of Sweden is the Blackbird Turdus merula , otherwise known as the Common Blackbird or Eurasian Blackbird , though, of course, in Sweden it is not known by any of those names but as Koltrast.* The Blackbird became the Swedish national bird as a result of a newspaper poll in 1962. Despite my inability to figure out why, exactly, Sweden chose the Blackbird it seems like an excellent choice, especially if one likes The Beatles.

This Week in Bird(ing) News: Orange Is the New Beak, and a Dead Parrot (No Joke!)

10,000 Birds

Eurasian Blackbirds living in cities have learned to keep their cool, compared with rural birds. News Bell Miner Birds Eurasian Blackbird kenya Zebra Finches If you’ve got some downtime between barbecues and fireworks (or, outside of the U.S., obsessing over World Cup matches), here’s some bird news to peruse: Loss of suitable habitat , instead of insecticides, seems to be the culprit in declining numbers of grassland birds. Know what else kills grassland birds?

2014 56

Do nine-primaried oscines represent 16 different families?

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For those of us in the Americas, nine-primaried oscines are among our most familiar and beloved birds: finches; sparrows, juncos, and towhees; warblers; blackbirds, meadowlarks, and orioles; cardinals and grosbeaks; and tanagers. Icteridae : New World blackbirds, orioles, meadowlarks, etc. For example, rather than putting Yellow-breasted Chat in its own family, Boyd puts it within the blackbird family. Or blackbirds and warblers?

2013 62

A return visit to Summer Lake Refuge

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The well manicured area near the entrance was watered with a sprinkler system, and the mown area was quite popular with the Brewer’s Blackbirds. Birding Central Oregon sandhill crane Summer Lake Wildlife Refuge Trumpeter Swan Yellow-headed BlackbirdThe first of September marked the start of quite a bit of travel for Jeanne and I. As all of you know, that means new birds to see with all this new territory visited.

2017 40

This Week in Bird News: Win (Gunnison Sage Grouse), Lose (Bird Flu), or Draw (European Blackbirds)

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Blackbirds foraging in the dead of night? News Aplomado Falcon big year Bird Flu Bohemian Waxwing Conservation European Blackbirds Great Bustards Gunnison Sage Grouse hummingbirds Magee Marsh South Island Saddlebacks Finally some good-ish news for the Gunnison Sage Grouse : The boomers of the Rocky Mountain states have finally been granted “threatened species” protection. Which means hopefully their plummeting numbers will stabilize and grow.

Rainy Day Birder

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Worst off were the Red-winged Blackbirds. ” “It’s a Red-winged Blackbird!” Birds rain Red-winged Blackbirds Perhaps my greatest handicap as a birder, aside from not driving, the whole being lazy thing, and the poor eyesight, is my +10 weakness against sun. I’ll stand in the cold and damp on, say, a pelagic trip until I just about fall over, hoping for one more good alcid.

2013 58

The Birds are All Right

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There were large flocks of Brown-headed Cowbirds and Yellow-headed Blackbirds , with some Red-winged Blackbirds in the mix. Up close, you could see mostly Yellow-headed Blackbirds , but with some Cowbirds mixed in.

2020 87

Glendalough Distillery: Double Barrel Irish Whiskey

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According to one legend, Kevin was kneeling in prayer one day when a blackbird alighted on his outstretched hand and began to build a nest. Not wishing to disturb the bird, Kevin resigned to hold his reverent stance until the eggs she laid hatched and the young blackbirds fledged, which he did with stoic perseverance for weeks. Saint Kevin and the blackbirds. So why a blackbird? The Saint Kevin blackbird legend, as depicted by Welsh artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins. __.

2018 41

First Phoebe of 2020

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I saw my first migratory Eastern Phoebe of 2020 this morning at Cunningham Park in my home borough of Queens, where I was looking for my first Rusty Blackbirds of the year. (I

2020 73

Birds of Visselhövede in Winter

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Common Blackbird. This sounds like an exciting topic for a blog post, right? Birds of a specific place with an unpronounceable name that you have never heard of? Well, this post is more specific than that – it is about the birds of Fliederweg 7, 27374 Visselhövede, Germany.

2019 76

Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of March 2020)

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For me, the view of Red-winged Blackbirds puffed up with territorial bravado signals the approach of spring, even if we’re have to endure a few more snowstorms to get there!

2020 65

Collaborative List – August 2021

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It is delightful to see that the beats are getting back into the field and brandishing their optics around with great relish. They have been waiting for the natural imperative that calls them outside and now the leash has been loosened. I hope that you have made it out too. Stay vigilant and safe.

Collaborative list July 2021

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Heatwaves, floods, lockdown, football and Olympics. It’s a wonder that any of the beats managed to get out and wave their binoculars at birds this July. Yet, 79 checklists were submitted by 8 beats, accounting for 366 species in 5 countries.

Habitat Mash-up

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Yellow-hooded Blackbirds and Yellow-chinned Spinetails were ubiquitous as expected, along with a few shorebirds in some isolated ponds. The southwest peninsula of Trinidad is unfortunately rarely birded by visiting birders.

Red-wing and Great Gray

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An angry Red-winged Blackbird attacked again and again, flashing its bright epaulettes and hitting the heron hard in the middle of its back. The blackbird appeared to be purposefully targeting the heron’s back. It continued to fish, working its way slowly along the bank while the blackbird continued its assault. As an exercise in futility, few chores can rival deleting photographs to gain a bit of space on your hard drive.

2015 55

The origins of tanagers, warblers, and sparrows are coming into focus

10,000 Birds

A new paper out this month attempts to paint the most comprehensive picture yet of the origins and diversification of the American sparrows, wood-warblers, blackbirds, cardinals, tanagers, and their kin, an enormous group of birds more than 800 species strong. Lovette, and it’s open access in The Auk: New insights into New World biogeography: An integrated view from the phylogeny of blackbirds, cardinals, sparrows, tanagers, warblers, and allies.

2015 83

Collaborative list – June 2021

10,000 Birds

Flaming June is busting out all over. Insects were held back by weird spring weather, but now the warmth returns and the birds are feasting on the late stirring bugs. June saw 8 beats get their birding boots on and share 90 checklists for your pleasure.

The Birds of March Madness

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Among the “First Four” games, the LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds faced the squad from James Madison University. At least one local European Starling decided to cheer on the Blackbirds at University of Dayton Arena in Ohio, flying around the court and even touching down on the hardwood before perching in the rafters. LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds. Greetings, 10,000 Birds readers! I’m thrilled to be contributing all the little tidbits I find to the Nature News beat.

Best Bird of the Weekend (Last of April 2020)

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We got out to Lucien Morin during a break in the rain and saw nothing more seasonal than Red-winged Blackbirds claiming their individual patches of marshland. April showers most assuredly bring May flowers in the more temperate portions of the Northern Hemisphere.

2020 62

The Dracula Bird

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And then there are those startling bright red eyes, which distinguish them from all other blackbirds in my region, and make them look quite capable of peering into your soul and taking over your will. I’m not particularly proud of these photos.

2020 59

Collaborative list – March 2020

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Eurasian Blackbird ( Turdus merula ). Red-winged Blackbird ( Agelaius phoeniceus ). Lady Helen has often made the point that we get very little opportunity to spend quality time together. The old saying “ be careful what you wish for ” comes to mind.

2020 57

Keeping Cool in Tierra Caliente

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Yellow-winged Caciques , showy members of the Blackbird/New World Oriole family, are always conspicuous residents of the region.