Saturday, February 2, 2008

A First - unusual for an old broad!

Today I saw a bird I’ve never seen before: a Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor). Oh sure, I’ve seen common blackbirds and red-winged blackbirds and yellow-headed blackbirds…but I’d never even heard of a Tricolored Blackbird! At first I thought it was a starling because of faint markings on it's upper back, but it had white edges to it’s wing and as it landed or took off, it flashed a bit of red, as well. It’s a beautiful bird…and an auspicious beginning to both my blogging and my bird-watching. LOL [Addendum: The bird turned out to be a Red-winged Blackbird. Who knew they 'hid' the red when they wanted to get along?]

And, I have a confession to make. All my books are still packed in boxes while I remodel my home; including my bird-books…and I’m in a quandary.

There are, I believe, four red-ish birds who visit my feeders:
  • A small, smooth bird with red head, face, bib and upper base of tail with strongly stripped bellies, wings and backs in brown and buff.

  • Another similar to the first, but in Industrial Orange, rather than red, at least one of which blends to yellow low on it's throat.

  • One which has a spiky crimson top-knot like a punk-rocker boy overlaid with brown facial markings, with the red continuing down the bib but with a pale breast and belly.

  • And finally, another small bird in pale pink along its entire underside with slightly darker face and bib. This bird has pale tan markings much like the others, but less stripy.

I want to learn which bird is which breed and which females belong to whom. I want to learn how to identify wild birds. I mean it, too!

Here's a shot of some kinda raptor who frequents my feeders, too. S/he's been coming around regularly.

If anybody can answer any of my questions please just leave a comment; I'd appreciate it!

[Addendum: Based on further experience, this is likely to be a young Cooper's evidenced by the white edges at the end of the tail-feathers and the lack of a 'hooded' or dark coloring to the head; plus the light nape and 'line of color' where the darker back coloring begins.]


Lita said...

I'm appreciating your stories and all the wild life pictures :)

Beverly said...

Thank you lita, for your kind words. The photography will get better! LOL