Four and Twenty (Red-Winged) Blackbirds

IMG_7548Coming home from work this afternoon, I parked in the backyard car pad, cut the engine, and stepped out into what sounded like an aviary. The air was filled with bird squealing, buzzing and chirping, but it took me a moment to see the flock of birds high up in the maple and horse chestnut trees. I immediately thought of red-winged blackbirds, but since I usually saw them in summer, perched singly on a cat tail or thistle, I wasn’t sure. After being relatively bird-less all winter, though, it was exhilarating to hear and see any birds, and I ran for my camera. In closeup, as you will see, most were clearly red-winged blackbirds, but it looked like some grackles were mixed in, as well. Twenty minutes later all the birds were gone. As usual, I found myself learning so much more about a bird when seen close up!

May be a grackle. According to Peterson’s, they have yellow eyes.


This sparrow seemed unmoved by all the hubbub.
Flashing his red shoulder patches as he preened.
Flashing his red shoulder patches as he preened.


When the bird is at rest, you only see the light yellow wing  bar.
When the bird is at rest, you only see the light yellow wing bar.
Another grackle.


When the birds had left, the yard was very quiet, and we were back to the silence of winter. (But just for awhile, I hope.)  Namaste. Fran

8 thoughts on “Four and Twenty (Red-Winged) Blackbirds

    1. Hi, Ginene–That’s a good question. From my standpoint, this was the toughest winter I’ve ever seen. But goldfinches, house finches and downy woodpeckers have shown up at the feeder already. I don’t know how they do it! One goldfinch has shown up with an injured eye, though. I don’t know if it was from the cold, or not. Fran

      1. I’m glad the little goldfinch can get a bite at your house while, hopefully, he recovers. I’ve seen animals and birds recover from some pretty terrible things so maybe there is hope!

      2. Hi Ginene–It doesn’t seem to have affected his appetite at all–the goldfinches eat like little truck drivers! I’m just a bit worried because I’ve heard of a mite that affects the eyes of finches, including goldfinches. So we are making sure that the feeder is clean. (Ginene, hope this gets to you–I’m not totally sure I replying in the correct thread! Fran)

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