Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Red-winged Blackbird / USFWS

Over the past week or so, there has been a huge influx of blackbirds. Several large, mixed flocks have been roaming around the neighborhood, flooding feeding stations and congregating in large evening roosts. This evening during supper I could hear the creaking and croaking sounds typical of a blackbird flock. When I looked out the back door, there were hundreds of blackbirds in the trees at the back of the yard, and even more in the trees on the next block over. The birds I could see and identify were all common grackles and red-winged blackbirds; there were probably cowbirds in the mix as well.

The return of blackbirds is usually one of the earliest signs of spring. Phoebes and swallows can't be far behind!