Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

But what about the blackbird?

22 Comments

Ah yes. I went out to Kensington nearly a week ago to see if there were red-winged blackbirds singing there. I had one lone male visiting my feeder at home, but I hadn’t heard the early blackbird chorus that announces spring every year here in Southeast Michigan.

Not a blackbird.

But I got distracted, first by the turkeys and then by the redheaded woodpecker. Still….were there red-winged blackbirds here in Michigan, aside from the lonely guy at my feeder?

Can’t get over this guy.

I could hear a few, down another icy trail, and I hoped I didn’t have to go too far to gather proof. They were mostly far away, hiding in the cattails. They weren’t making much noise, and seemed a bit shy, or maybe they were just shell-shocked by the freezing temperatures and snow.

“I’m hungry, but I don’t know if I can trust that lady over there.”

One was walking up the path ahead of me. I thought maybe if I put some peanuts and oilers out I could coax him up into a more photogenic location.

“HEY! Hurry up you guys, she left us SNACKS!”

The longer I stood there the more blackbirds I saw, though none were brave enough to come get the treats I put out.

I’d appreciate a snack too, lady. My feet are cold.

Eventually they came closer, and ate some treats that I tossed near them. They even sang a little, but I know that later in the season they’ll be much happier to see me, once they figure out that the people visiting generally have food for them.

“If I don’t look at you, you’re not there. Right?”

So yes, spring has officially sprung in Southeast Michigan. The red-winged blackbirds are here, let the snow begin to melt!

“Gotta get fluffed up and pretty for spring!”

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

22 thoughts on “But what about the blackbird?

  1. Wow, that red-headed woodpecker. Gorgeous. These are lovely photos. The red-winged blackbird has always been one of my favorite birds because of its call. Always reminds me of my time living in Idaho, years ago. Their distinctive call is nostalgic.

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    • Yes, it’s a very distinctive call and I really haven’t heard much of it yet here, but it was good to see them anyway. I know these are the scout males, and they’re probably sending back messages for everybody to WAIT! IT’S COLD UP HERE!! 🙂

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  2. That poor little guy with the cold feet has my sympathy! And I love the photo of the *back* of the blackbird. Nice to hear that spring’s on its way — how I hope you’re right. Not sure I can take much more of Monkey pottying in the house instead of taking it outdoors where it’s COLD!

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  3. Dawn, I just love your captions of bird conversation. The photos are lovely, too. I’m stunned that the redheaded woodpecker is making himself so available. They’re very skittish up this-a-way. I was in some wetland today and didn’t see or hear and RWBBs. But I’m betting they’ll be just everywhere by the middle of next week. We’re still pretty frozen, so they are probably waiting for a melt.

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    • I don’t know where those conversations come from, they just float through my head. I’m SURE it’s what the birds are really thinking! I’ve never seen a redheaded woodpecker before this past fall…and that was a juvie. This was the first time I’ve seen in person the red heads! It was sooooooo phenomenal!!! It’s still frozen here too, but getting up to 50 something today. Next week it goes back down to normal temps. Of course. We are a long way from spring still.!

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  4. More lovely photos. Red-winged blackbirds always remind me of summer

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  5. Your captions are hilarious, Dawn. Few years ago, I was so excited to tell my son (a bird enthusiast) that I had seen a black bird with red wings in our front yard. I asked him what kind of bird he thought it was. “Mom, that’s a red-winged blackbird.” Smart mouth kid…. 😆

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  6. Oh, birds, birds, birds! Love ’em.

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  7. I love that last photo. Is it a crane? I love that last photo. 🙂

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    • Yes that’s a sandhill crane. This was back at the parking lot, where a pair of them were flirting and preening. Basically getting ready for spring, and for their daily shift of collecting tolls at the nature center parking lot. There’s always a pair in the parking lot, requesting and receiving something from people arriving. I got there really early and they weren’t on duty at that time, but it was clear that people arriving as I was leaving were going to have to pay the toll.

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  8. Great shots. I’ve never seen a red-winged blackbird before. They look very fancy compared to ours.

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    • Oh! Then I will try to make sure to include them whenever I do posts about birds, especially out at the park. They’re always out there, from spring till fall here. They are pigs at the feeders, and they are nosy and kind of bullies, but they mean spring is here, so we love them.

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  9. I’m jealous of your signs of spring. You captured great photos (as always). The expressions on their faces are precious – your captions are clever too.

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  10. Pingback: Friday Favorites: Of Bluebirds & Bluegrass | Notes From the Hinterland

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