A Couple Of Blackbirds (two species)

The Farmington area is hopping with blackbirds right now and many of them are displaying as if it were springtime.


brewer's blackbird 0150 ron dudley

1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4l IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

The behavior of this Brewer’s Blackbird yesterday seemed to be a combination of displaying and grooming. There was another male close by and at least at times they were obviously interacting with each other but this bird was also rousing and preening so I’m not quite sure exactly what was going on. Either way I thought the interplay of ruffled and spread feathers with light in this shot was pretty interesting. The background is water.



red-winged blackbird 9355 ron dudley

1/1600, f/6.3, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4l IS II USM + 1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

Two days earlier I photographed this male Red-winged Blackbird as it perched on phragmites and this bird was definitely displaying and singing though I caught it in-between tunes when I snapped this photo. I like the rich colors in this shot as compared to those in the previous image.

I’ve been setting up a new computer and for me that’s quite a complicated process so my posts for the next couple of days may (or may not) be brief. I’m also trying to learn some new “tricks” (and prove the skeptics wrong about “old dogs”) and reserve some time for bird photography so my plate is pretty full.




22 comments to A Couple Of Blackbirds (two species)

  • Linda

    My son is a computer wizz … if you get stuck … drop me an email and I am sure he will have a tip or two. Your black bird pics are great. I have a group of black birds I feed in the morning. One is very interesting, he has one leg which has been amputated. I call him/her, the crop that hops. He sings a beautiful song. This computer stuff is second nature to those young guys/gals … you sure know about taking those digital shots. I hate to admit … I like to shoot with my son so he can set the camera. Ahhh bet you feel good about setting up your new system now!

  • Susan Stone

    Beautiful shots of both birds. I especially like the feathers in the first one – it’s just an amazing photo. I wish you luck with the computer setup. I just had fun like that with setting up a new operating system. I’m sure you’ll be able to learn new tricks – if you weren’t capable of that you would never have mastered your current camera as well as you have.

  • I am resisting moving to Windows 10. Good luck. I have heard success stories and failures and so hope you fall into the first category.
    Loved both birds today. For a change. Not.
    Both very different to our blackbirds – which I also love.

  • The red-winged blackbird is a favorite of mine. In Austin, where I used to live, we were inundated with the Mexican Broadtailed Grackle. That Brewer’s looks a bit like those but without the long tail of the MBG.

  • Great pics as always. Particularly like the Red Wing. Years ago in OK as a teen I used to try and shoot them with my Daisy Red Ryder BB gun But they are a smart bird & could never get close. They always knew when we had bb guns

    So you are getting windows 10? Good Luck

  • Jo Ann Donnelly

    I love both photos, Ron!! I’ve learned how smart crows are so my opinion of them has greatly increased. I have fish crows that visit my bird feeder. I had recently read a FB post about crows that I almost shared with you. Decided you probably had seen it so didn’t. I love the red winged black birds but they never visit my yard like they do Judy’s!! Where I see them is at Green Cay and they are so friendly. Now as to your new computer, I do wish you luck with set up. However, I do resent when people like to lump all us seniors into a computer illiteracy group. I am 69 but worked with computers right up to my 65 age retirement. It does take longer to learn something new but I plan to download Microsoft 10 & use it. I have all the faith in the world in your ability to conquer your new computer!! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!! Have a chocolate donut – it will help!!

    • Ha, I had one of those donuts a couple of hours ago while I was out shooting, Jo Ann. That and the (very) few birds I saw seemed to assuage at least some of my computer angst.

  • jake schas

    Ron, I live in central Oregon and we have sparrows that act like it is spring in the fall (such as now). It seems that they get some “autumnal recrudescence” in their system. I work in central Colorado in the summers and migrate back to Oregon in the fall. I found many places with cattails, or in towns that the blackbirds were all acting like it was spring. So in some areas one gets to have two spring choirs.

    I heard some Pacific Tree Frogs singing this week near my home this week. One or two, such as I hear in April when things warm a bit and the sunlight hours are about the same.


  • Alison

    Especially love photo #1 – spectacular, and the barbed wire adds to its electric energy! Almost like zen brushwork… If I was a female blackbird, that fellow would win my heart. Good luck mastering your new skills. I have total confidence in you!

  • Patty Chadwick

    Two interesting images…the bird in the first ones seems to be saying, “Look how many feathers I have! I have nore than you do…and I’m really BIG!” Or he’s yrying to let the rays of the sun, and vitamin D, reach his skin. The second bird’s fluffiness is echoed by then phramites. Nice! Good luck with the computer!

  • Judy Gusick

    Nice pictures, Ron. 🙂 Male Red-winged Blackbirds are something of a pest at our bird feeders, particularly in the spring tho I have gotten some feeders that make it more difficult for them. Downside of that is it also makes it difficult for the Grosbeaks. Hear you on new computers!

  • Charlotte Norton

    Wonderful behavioral shots Ron!