There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus

    Black overall
    Red and yellow band on wing
    Streaky and brown overall
    Dark brown streaks on breast
    Buff throat
    Whitish eyebrow

Listen to its song.

I photographed these birds earlier this week at Swan Lake. There was a large flock of them crowding around one of the feeders. With only one male among about a dozen females, there was a definite imbalance of the sexes. The male sat in the branches of a tree watching while the females ate their fill. Perhaps he was feeling a bit outnumbered or maybe he was just keeping an eye on his mates. Talk about your polygynous relationships!

Learn more about the Red-winged Blackbird.

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