Thursday, April 28, 2005

Friday Farm Blogging--The Red-winged Blackbird

This is a Red-winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus. In my neck of the woods, general opinion is ambivalent at best, but more often it is considered a pest. They are frequently used as target practice by farmers and children with new BB guns. When they gather in large flocks, they can eat a large volume of grain, which is one cause for contempt, but they do eat some insects and other small animals. An even more frequent cause for dislike of these animals is their habit of nesting in large roosts, which cause noise and mess. Their droppings in these areas, especially in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys, make a good harbor for Histoplasma capsulatum, a fungus which causes a potentially fatal lung disease in humans known as Histoplasmosis.
The key to identification of this bird is obvious, it is black with a yellow-bordered red shoulder patch.

Don't forget to check out the Friday Ark.

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Blogger Wayne Hughes said...

Although they're widespread around here, we see neither red-winged blackbirds nor mockingbirds around the house. I assume it's the lack of open space, but I miss both of them. Mockingbirds especially strike me with their aggressiveness and early morning songs - unlike a lot of people I love being awakened at 4am in that manner. I also like redwings for their songs, as well as their appearance.

3:08 PM  
Blogger oldwhitelady said...

Yay! You blogged about Red-Winged Blackbirds. I think they are quite beautiful. My sister has lots on her property. They tend to hang out around her ponds. I also see them on the drive to work at one connection to another highway. I want to take some pictures, so I guess I need to head on over to sis's house with camera.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Nice post and pics!

I can't wait to do some bird watching this spring...

8:39 PM  
Blogger Henry said...

Thanks for visiting. I'm glad ya'll like the bird. Of course there is no way I can beat Tracy's Ommatidia, but its still fun.

8:22 PM  

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