Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brewer's blackbirds

I love blackbirds. These are brewer's blackbirds. The male is on the top. Like most bird species, the female is not nearly as pretty.

Many people dislike blackbirds because they're extremely common. I've never agreed with that reasoning. The only common bird that I ever disliked was the pigeon. Pigeons are too slow and are frequently dirty. Now that I don't see them all the time, though, I like them a lot more.

The blackbirds around my house travel in roving packs. They travel with other blackbirds and with starlings. They're in mating season right now, which means the males fight each other and follow the females, flirting the entire time. When they flirt, they make this wonderful sound and puff out their feathers.

I took these pictures last weekend. I was sitting on a bench reading, when two males started fighting in the air! Of course I had to run and get my camera.

This is my favorite picture. The birds aren't afraid of anyone and this guy was probably hoping that I had food. He was within two feet of me and looked right at me. You may notice that he only has one leg. His left foot is missing, but he moved easily and was busy courting the female pictures above. I'll have to carry bird food next time.

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