Posted by: atowhee | January 13, 2018


January was on hiatus today.  Sun, mild temps, blue sky speckled with puffy summery cloudlets. So the Red-winged Blackbirds were singing, those silly testosterone-fueled males.  We have only to consider American politics to measure how toxic testosterone can be.  So here are these male birds on January 13th singing loudly, displaying their bright epaulets, swaggering on cattail-laced marsh.  And to what end?  Trying to drown out the chorus frogs also singing? I did not see a single female red-wing.  After all, what female blackbird with a full set of genes would be lured into mating or nesting or egg-laying at this time of year.  Let’s give those red-shouldered bozos the benefit of our scorn and assume they were just practicing, pretending to stake a claim in a marsh where some serious courtship and nesting may take place in another three or four months.

As I listened to the red-wings in what the dog and I call Merlot Marsh at the end of Merlot Street, we could look across the Toths’ private playing fields to the Baker Creek riparian woods on the north side and see two Acorn Woodpeckers fly catching from the tallest oak.  Meanwhile in the small pool of open water in the marsh I saw a single male Hooded Merganser paddling around.CLOWDMerlot Marsh:IMG_0150IMG_0154IMG_0161AC DRILLZGarden glorious:IMG_0134This male Townsend’s Warbler has now been around more than a week, brightens every day of feeder watching, likes both suet and sunflower seeds, avoids the Audubon’s Warbler.WOW-TOWAWOW-TOWA2Dowdy female House Sparrow almost never gets her picture taken. Here she is eagerly going to seed…IMG_0119

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