I had a chance to get a few more shots of these Blackbird hatchlings today. The light and the chicks were much more cooperative than they were the other day, and it was really fun to see them light up whenever anyone passed by. Their parents weren’t very happy, but I guess that’s their fault for building their nest in a very public area where people pass by regularly.
Here are a few more images of these cute and fuzzy birds.
A friend pointed out this nest in the hedge in front of our office building today. She was very excited to see these freshly hatched chicks instinctively opening their mouths anytime somebody passed by. Seeing them all stuffed together in such a little nest, with their necks stretched straight up toward the sky with their mouths open reminded me of watching cartoons when I was a kid. I can vividly remember images of the farmer’s wife baking a blackbird pie. It seems awful now, but I remember it being very funny back then!
Their parents weren’t very happy that we were close to their nest though and they chattered angrily from the adjacent trees. I guess they should have picked a more secluded location to build their nest… The adults had been dive-bombing me every time I passed near that spot over the previous few days, so I was pretty sure they had a nest in those shrubs, only I didn’t quite know where. I made as many images as I could in just a couple of minutes, and when I left the adults were back on the nest before I was out of sight.
It’s been a long winter and after many months of snow and dull grey skies I was really starting to get tired of making images that were largely monochrome. I’m not saying I was only shooting black and white, because I really don’t do much of that, but there have been a lot of images that were largely 1 or 2 colors (often including white and brown), and even those were relatively dull and muted. Or at least it seems that way now that I’m thinking back on it.
But now that spring is finally here there are many new and interesting subjects showing up every day. We still haven’t seen many new spring flowers, but everything is starting to green up and it won’t be long before there are colorful leaves and flowers everywhere!
One common subject that I’ve been seeing every day lately are Yellow-headed Blackbirds. These vibrant birds are both beautiful and interesting to watch. Like their Red-winged cousins they are very curious and usually willing to pose for a portrait while they check you out in return. Mostly I’m just grateful to have colorful subjects readily available once again!
I was very surprised to discover a Red-winged Blackbird eating from the bird feeder in my backyard this weekend. It spooked when we went outside to watch it, but it came back soon after. My wife and I sat and watched it eat while the kids went crazy playing in the yard. I don’t know how common it is for a blackbird to eat from a feeder, but I’ve never seen it before, so I had to get some pictures to share.
It’s been pretty exciting to watch all the birds come to the feeder through the spring. Among the many House Sparrows that are year round residents in the neighborhood, I’ve also had several White-crowned Sparrows, many Robins, two pairs of House Finches, and (also surpisingly for me) a trio of Common Grackles. Of course there have been many other birds as well, but these are the repeat visitors…
Anyway, here are a few pictures of the Blackbird from the other day. Because of the patchy colors on the wing it appears that this bird is a juvenile (1st summer).
I’m happy to have Blackbirds back in the area because they are always very curious and fun to watch. They sing all the time and are never too shy to pose for the camera! I was out looking for Yellow-headed Blackbirds when I saw this one perching on a post beside a slough. I actually found lots of Yellow-headed birds, but didn’t manage to make any great images. I’m very happy with what I got from this Red-winged beauty instead!